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Foothill volleyball: Early jolt pushes ’Cats

West Ranch wakes up after a slow start against Grizzlies

Posted: October 28, 2010 10:55 p.m.
Updated: October 29, 2010 4:55 a.m.

West Ranch’s Bree Braucher (11) hits the ball over the net as Golden Valley’s Katie Nicholson, left, and Ashley Lorton defend on Thursday at Golden Valley High.

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West Ranch had to scrap in three straight games to beat Golden Valley on Thursday night.

The Wildcats got 12 kills each from Bree Braucher and Hannah Orlandi to help erase the Grizzlies' leads in all three games for a 3-0 win at Golden Valley High School.

Orlandi only played in two games as an outside hitter because of shuffled lineups in the third game.

"I don't think we gave that game away," said Golden Valley head coach Jeff Cody. "We made them beat us."

The Grizzlies (2-11, 0-8) jumped out to an 8-1 lead in the opening game thanks to solid blocking and an array of Wildcat miscues.

"It was all our mistakes," said West Ranch head coach Nate Sparks. "We were hitting balls long and hitting balls into the net."

The Wildcats (14-9, 6-2) crawled back into the game by finding weaknesses in the Golden Valley defense.

Braucher tallied most of her kills by tipping balls over the net and into uncovered spots on the other side.

A West Ranch attack error tied the score at 21-21, but a series of mistakes by the Grizzly defense let the visiting Wildcats rattle off four straight points to close out the game.

Golden Valley's Megan Badovinac and Ashley Lorton combined for a block to give their team a 4-2 early lead in the second game.

The threat was quickly erased once West Ranch found an offensive rhythm, as setter Tani Slauson fed the ball to Braucher and Janelle Futch, who usually plays setter, but played as an opposite in the match.

Futch finished with eight kills in two games.

"We're great until we get up to about 18 points, but we're so young and inexperienced, we start making errors," Cody said.

The third game again showed promise for Golden Valley.

Senior hitter Sam Holcombe directed the ball over the net a few times and earned a team-high five kills for the day. Teammate Claire Gillenberg also contributed with three aces.

The Grizzlies' last lead was at 18-17, but too much miscommunication on defense and setting errors prevented them from winning a game.

Defensively, Wildcats libero Shelby Kunz led all players with 33 digs.

"Shelby played the most consistent the whole night," Sparks said. "In terms of her passing, her setting and her defense, she was the most consistent."



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