While Colusa’s volleyball team may not have won a set in last Friday’s Northern Section Division V final, they hung tight with the top-seeded Durham Trojans, falling 13-25-22-25, and 23-25.
Even in the first game, Colusa kept pace with Durham early, spurred on by sophomore Carly Lay’s strong play at the net. After a 4–0 mid-game run put Durham up 12–8, Colusa earned a side-out and battled back to within two. The brief RedHawk run prompted Durham head coach Kirsten Peters to call a time-out, after which the Trojans began to take over. Durham closed out the game on a 13-3 run, highlighted by a stretch that saw senior Lindsey Brant score 12 straight service points.
In a second game that was defined by four- to five-point runs from both teams and some of the longest volleys of the night. Colusa’s largest lead – four points – came late in the second game, as they clawed ahead, 20–16. As in the first set, a time-out allowed the Trojans to regain momentum. After the squads retook the court, Emily McCabe directed the ball over the net and into a hole in the RedHawks defense, earning her team a side-out. With Addison Zaring at the service line, Durham knotted the score at 20–20 before a Colusa side-out. From there, the two squads battled back and forth, and were tied at 22 before Durham ended the game on a 3–0 run.
Despite being down two sets, Colusa displayed the same tenacity that allowed them to overcome a two-game hole to Etna in the Northern Section Division V semi-final. After leading early, Colusa found themselves on the ropes, behind 14-19. Colusa went on a 7–1 run that included a pair of emphatic kills from Jessica Hickel on the outside, and a pair of drop shots from Amber Morales in the middle, to go ahead 22-20. Addison Zaring stopped the bleeding when she tipped the ball over the net to give Durham a side out, sparking a 4–1 run capped by a match-sealing Lindsey Bryant kill.
Jessica Hickel had a team-high 10 kills, followed by Gillian Ayala’s eight. Annie Lay led Colusa in assists with 21, and Abby Huskey had nine digs on defense. Carly Lay was a strong presence at the net for Colusa, finishing with a handful of blocks.
Despite the loss in the section championship, Colusa (28-11) automatically qualified for the CIF state tournament. The RedHawks have a home-game on Wednesday at 7 PM against Golden Sierra (14-9), which lost in the semi-final of the Sac-Joaquin Section D-V championship tournament. ■