Colusa wins rubber match against Willows, advances to Northern Section semi-final
What a difference eleven days can make.
The Colusa RedHawks’ varsity volleyball team may not have been able to beat Willows for a Sacramento Valley League title on Oct. 16 – but they outplayed the Honkers with something even more valuable on the line on Thursday: a trip to the Northern Section Division IV semi-final and a chance at a section title.
The underdog No. 4-seeded RedHawks beat the No. 3-seeded Honkers 3-1 on the latter’s home court on Thursday, winning by scores of 25-18, 26-24, 12-25, and 25-21.
“It was an unreal match. Carol’s teams are always strong,” head coach Tina Lyons said. “We played well all the way around. It was truly a team effort.”
In their Oct. 16 match in Willows, Colusa struggled at the service line – amassing 14 service errors. Lyons said that her squad’s late-season loss to Willows may have been just what the RedHawks needed heading into the playoffs – helping to sharpen their focus as they pursue their first section title in the program’s history.
“We haven’t missed 14 serves in I don’t know how long,” Lyons said of their last match against the Honkers. “This time, we came to play. We had a really great week of practice.”
Five RedHawks had at least six kills in last week’s match, including Gillian Ayala (11), Jessica Hickel (nine), Hannah Taylor (eight), Carly Lay (seven), and Amber Morales (six). Annie Lay dished out 32 assists, and Abby Huskey had a team-high 19 digs. In addition to her six kills, Morales was second on the team in digs (13) and led the RedHawks with four aces from the service line. Taylor and Lay had 12 and eight blocks, respectively, which Lyons said were crucial to reining in a potent Willows attack.
“Hannah and Carly were a force,” Lyons said. “They really helped control (Willows’) offense.”
Lyons pointed to the match’s third set – which the RedHawks dropped 25-12 – and said that she was impressed with her team’s ability to bounce back and close out the match with a win in the fourth set.
“Mentally, they fought through and played hard,” Lyons said.
Colusa (36-5) hits the court again on Thursday in the NSCIF D-IV Semi-Final, and will play the winner of yesterday’s match between No. 1 seed University Prep (28-5) and No. 9 seed West Valley (20-18). The results from that game were not available at press time.
Maxwell 3, Butte Valley 0 – The Panthers roared into Dorris and upset Butte Valley – the No. 3 seed in the NSCIF D-VI tournament. Maxwell, which drew the No. 12 seed in the 15-team tournament, swept the Bulldogs 3-0, by scores of 25-14, 27-25, and 26-24.
Natalie Wilson was a force in the middle for the Panthers, tallying 12 kills and eight blocks on the night. Laynee Haywood and Courtney Wycoff each had 12 kills, too, and contributed five and four aces from the service line, respectively. Setter Morgan Dennis doled out 30 assists, and also had four aces.
With the win, Maxwell (11-12) advanced to the NSCIF D-VI Quarter-Final against No. 4 seed Portola, which was played last night. Results from that game were not available at press time.
Paradise Adventist Academy 3, Princeton 0 – The Eagles, who earned the final spot in the NSCIF D-VI tournament, had a tough draw against the No. 2 seed Cougars, and fell 3-0 by scores of 25-14, 25-17, and 25-13. No stats were provided by Princeton. The Eagles finished their season with an 8-19 record.
Pierce 28, Live Oak 27 – The Bears scored on their opening drive and held a 12-0 lead heading into the half, but the Lions surged back with a 20-0 run in the third quarter, propelled by their passing attack. Pierce’s offense, meanwhile, was plagued with drops, head coach Anthony Tapia said. Live Oak scored three touchdowns through the air on the run to capture the lead for the first time, but missed a crucial point-after attempt after the third touchdown that would have made it a three-possession game.
The Bears tied the game up at 20-20, but another Live Oak passing touchdown put the Lions back ahead 27-20.
“We stopped the run early, as a team, but they just had those four passing touchdowns,” head coach Anthony Tapia said. “They just burned us.”
Ramon Paiz, who did not start the game at quarterback due to an injury he suffered in Pierce’s game against Winters, replaced his younger brother, Eduardo Paiz, in the fourth quarter, and led Pierce on a game-winning drive – connecting with Gabe Villa for a touchdown. Tommy Davis punched in the two-point conversion to give the Bears a 28-27 victory.
Davis led Pierce with 107 yards on 17 carries, and converted both of the Bears’ two successful two-point attempts. Matthew Tapia had 54 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries, Ramon Paiz had 49 yards on four carries, and added the one passing touchdown to Villa. Villa finished with three catches for 77 yards and two touchdowns – the other coming from Eduardo Paiz. Luke Voorhees also hauled in a Eduardo Paiz touchdown pass.
Pierce (6-3, 3-2 Sacramento Valley League) closes their season against the league-leading Durham Trojans (8-1, 5-0 SVL) on Friday. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 PM.
East Nicolaus 52, Williams 0 – The Spartans cruised past the visiting Yellowjackets in Friday’s Mid-Valley League contest in Trowbridge, jumping out to a 39-point halftime lead and never looking back. East Nicolaus held Williams quarterback Hunter Povlsen to just 156 yards passing – his lowest yardage total of what has been an impressive season for the senior signal caller – and held him without a passing touchdown for the first time this season.
The Yellowjackets’ defense had no answers for the Spartans’ two-pronged rushing attack, led by quarterback Gavin McAuliff and running back J.T. Stinson. Stinson led East Nicolaus with 162 yards and three touchdowns on just 10 carries. McAuliff wasn’t far behind, finishing with 136 yards and three scores on 10 carries. McAuliff added 47 yards passing, completing four of his six passes. Takeshi Faupula also scored for the Spartans.
Williams (5-4, 2-2 MVL) wraps up their regular season and their league slate at home against Hamilton (2-7, 1-3 MVL) on Friday at 7:30 PM.
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