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Huskies fall to Cal Lutheran JV in four sets at home

Huskies fall to Cal Lutheran JV in four sets at home

MONTEREY PARK, CA — The Huskies lost their third straight home match of the year, falling to a talented Cal Lutheran University Junior Varsity (3-1: 15-25, 27-25, 26-28, and 24-26) on Friday night at home.

“Cal Lutheran is a really good team. They worked well together, hustled for every ball and made good plays at the right time. As a young team, we have got to get it together and put games away when we have a chance!” said Huskies’ Coach Elliott Walker. “We are hanging in there and know how to come back from a deficit. We have to work on being mentally prepared.”

After losing a first tough set, the Huskies bounced back to take a 16-11 lead in the second set and then found themselves in a battle after several hitting errors that closed the 5 point lead – 16-14. After time-out, the Huskies pulled away 18-14 and were on the quest to close the game. With a tie at 20-20, the Huskies traded points back and forth to eventually take the second set.

Poised and confident, the Huskies entered the third set with the same intensity and drive as in the second set. The Huskies had an early lead 11-4 and were in the groove. Sophomore Breana Trujillo added to her already 10 kills nailing 10 kills in the 3rd set. Sophomore Yaketerina Makarova came alive and added 2 kills and 4 blocks to help the Huskies sustain the lead. A 20-15 lead was soon cut to 20-18 as the Regals served up 2 aces and a big kill from the outside hitter. Although the Huskies put on a valiant performance, they fell short in the end narrowly hitting the ball out-of-bounds.    

The fourth set was a repeat of the third. The Huskies did an excellent job defending the powerful attack. In this set, the Huskies had 5 big blocks by Makarova and sophomore Ashley Winet, shutting down the attack of the outside hitter. The Regals stared at a 21-16 lead held by the Huskies. A controversial tip by the Royals, stirred up things and aided in gradual score lead change 22-23. Freshmen Venessa Peralta, came off the bench and quarterbacked the Huskies back into a 24-23 lead. Sitting on game point, the Huskies refused to let a ball fall to the floor and sustained six rallies, each with a defensive dig, but found themselves short of putting down the last point to end the set. One serve receive error, ball handling error, and a missed hit gave the Royals the lead and the fourth set.

When asked about the lack of closing out the game with a big point lead, Coach Walker responded, “We are playing good volleyball. However, we are met with the challenge of inexperienced players being able to put it away. Despite the loss, we will have to get back to practice, and work on the things that we do well and work on minimizing the little things that seems to disrupt our game flow and eventually the win.”

Catch the Huskies in their next home match, Wednesday, 5 p.m. when they challenge College of the Desert to turn things around.

story submitted by Coach Walker