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Prep volleyball: Early impression

Canyon moves to 4-0 in preleague

Posted: September 22, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: September 22, 2011 1:55 a.m.

Canyon High setter Bri Lonquich (18) celebrates after the Cowboys earn a point on Wednesday at Canyon High in their victory against St. Bonnaventure.

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The Canyon girls volleyball team had a goal coming into the season — to improve with every match.

After defeating St. Bonaventure High School of Ventura on Wednesday afternoon 3-1 to end the preleague portion of the season with a perfect 4-0 record, the Cowboys are well on their way to achieving that goal.

The Cowboys (4-0) closed out a back-and-forth match by winning the final six points to win the fourth game 25-18, culminating in Stevie Haub’s kill to win the match.

Junior Morgan Fay led Canyon with 17 kills and 11 digs, while senior Courtney Spackman tallied 11 kills and 22 assists in the 25-23, 16-25, 25-22, 25-18 win.

“We gave 100 percent every point,” Fay said. “We didn’t give up even when we were down.”

And the Cowboys needed every bit of that effort in their match with the Seraphs (6-5).

Leading nearly the entire way, Canyon saw its lead slip away in game one as St. Bonaventure took a 23-22 lead late behind the play of Seraphs’ kills leader Tiffany Taian, who finished with 10 kills, and Veronica Beccerra, who finished with 20 digs.

It was the Seraphs first lead since taking the first point of the game.

Canyon came roaring back, though, winning the final three points as Fay slammed the ball down for the game-winning kill.

In game two, though, the Cowboys came out flat and could not keep the game close before losing 25-16.

“We just expected to win (game two) and we came out slow after we won the first game,” Fay said.

“We’ve kind of had that mentality all season,” added Canyon head coach Brandon Johnson. “(The girls think) if we get off to a hot start, we can take it easy. I tell them, you take off a point, it becomes five points, and it becomes a game.”

Fortunately for the Cowboys, that mentality didn’t last long.

The girls came out in game three and took a 9-8 lead that they would never relinquish on their way to a 25-22 victory to give them the 2-1 match lead.

As was the theme of the match, game four was another close affair as St. Bonaventure fell behind early before storming back to take a 17-16 lead.

A series of mistakes, though, saw their lead vanish.

“That’s what we’ve been doing,” said Seraphs head coach Jack Richards. “It’s the effectiveness that we fail at.”

The Seraphs battled back again, pulling to within 19-18 before Canyon won the final six points to win the match.

“I’m proud of them,” Johnson said. “Ending our preseason 4-0 is as good as we can hope for. We faced some tough teams … I’m proud of the way they’re working.”

Canyon will return to the court on Friday during the Saugus High Tournament before opening up Foothill League play against West Ranch on Sept. 27.

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