Colusa volleyball win streak continues RedHawks open three-win week with sweep of Sutter

Sophia Stocks and Gillian Ayala go up for a block in their game in Sutter last week.

The Colusa RedHawks’ varsity volleyball team tore through their three-match slate last week, sweeping all three teams they faced to extend their winning streak to 15 games and remain undefeated in matches this season.

The RedHawks swept Sutter on the road last Tuesday to open their week. Colusa won by scores of 25-18, 25-17, and 25-21, improving their record to 13-0. While Sutter hung tough in all three games, Colusa was in control for the majority of the match, despite the fact that they were without middle back Amber Morales – a solid all-around player for the RedHawks who hurt her knee digging the ball in the first game – for most of it.

“I thought our girls played well. Our injury to my middle back really hurt us, but for the rest of us it was a good game,” said coach Tina Lyons. “I thought Sutter played a little better than the score said they did.”

In game one, Colusa led 8-6 before rattling off five straight points to take an 13-6 lead.

Sutter kept it relatively tight but got no closer than five the rest of the way, as Gillian Ayala, Jessica Hickel and Hannah Taylor hammered down kills throughout, facilitated by some savvy passing by Annie Lay.

The second game provided a similar result. Colusa was up 10-6 before Jessica Hickel served six straight points to go up by ten. Sutter quickly closed the gap to six but never got closer than that, as Hickel, Taylor, Lay and Sophia Stocks controlled play at the net with a variety of blocks, kills, and set-overs. Lay’s passing continued to set up big kills for the RedHawks offense in the second, particularly from Hickel – who scored four of her seven kills in game two.

“I thought Sophia Stocks had a really good game for us,” Lyons said. “She really stepped up.”
Game three was back and forth between the two sides as Sutter clawed their way to a 13-11 lead. Colusa earned a side out and Hickel tied the game with an ace before serving two more points to give Colusa the lead, which they would hold the rest of the way. Ayala, Stocks, and Taylor scored kills down the stretch to keep Colusa in front, before Taylor ended the game with a block, securing the sweep for the RedHawks.

Taylor finished the match with 11 kills and six blocks, Ayala with 10 kills, and Hickel with seven kills. In addition to seven kills, Lay dished out 29 assists. Abby Huskey was solid on defense with 26 digs and 22 serve receptions.

On Wednesday, Colusa hosted Gridley and cruised to a sweep of the Bulldogs by scores of 25-9, 25-14, and 25-8, moving their season record to 14-0. Stocks led the team with eight kills, followed by Hickel’s seven and Taylor’s six. Mia Critchfield turned in a solid night at the service line with six aces out of 17 total serves. Lay’s 20 assists led the team.

The RedHawks improved their record to a perfect 15-0 with a sweep of Lindhurst on Thursday afternoon, winning by scores of 25-10, 25-21, and 25-9. Huskey led the team with 10 digs. Annie Lay scored five kills and distributed 18 assists. Ayala led Colusa with 10 kills, followed by Hickel’s seven and Taylor’s six. Taylor also had four blocks. Both Lay and Stocks were solid from the service line against the Blazers. Lay had four aces and 19 service points, while Stocks had three aces and scored 14 straight service points to close out the third game.

Colusa (15-0) played Wheatland (15-3) on the road last night, after the publication deadline for this week’s issue. They host Orland (0-10) tomorrow night at 6 PM.

Brian Pearson is the former Managing Editor & Reporter for the Williams Pioneer Review. Brian joined the Williams Pioneer Review in June 2016 and is committed to bringing hyperlocal news to its readers. A few of his projects included reporting local government and the sports page.