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Valley Christian volleyball comes up short

Lady Lions fall in Division VI section final
By: Bill Poindexter
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DAVIS – The Valley Christian volleyball machine finally ran out of gas.
The Lady Lions and their small pride of eight faced what head coach Maria Hill described as their toughest competition yet, trailed in a match for the first time this season, came up short in a marathon second set and lost to top-seeded Woodland Christian 3-1 in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division VI championship Thursday at UC Davis.
“They were just pooped out,” Hill said. “They had a squad of 11 or 12. We have eight. I just had no subs, no rest, nothing for my girls. I said just pour it out.”
Valley Christian rebounded to win the third set before Woodland Christian prevailed 25-18, 41-39, 20-25, 25-13.
The second set featured nine lead changes, 27 ties, nine set points for Woodland Christian and seven set points for Valley Christian.
“We thought we had it won like four or five times, and they pulled out saves on us,” Lady Lions assistant coach Chris Patterson said.
Woodland Christian went 17-6 overall and was 4-6 at one point. One loss was to Buckingham Charter 3-1. Valley Christian defeated Buckingham twice. The Cardinals won the Central Valley Christian League title and finished with a 13-match run.
“Woodland was amazing,” Hill said. “Woodland did not make errors. That team was just digging. They dug a lot.”
Valley Christian didn’t collect a blue section banner, but seniors Presleigh Sinerius, Midori Bounds, Carly Gish and Sam Shoemake helped the Lady Lions set several school marks. They swept 20 matches this season and won 70 games to seven for their opponents. They finished with the best volleyball record in school history (23-1), won the Sacramento Metro Athletic League to give Hill her first title and advanced to their first section final. The four seniors went a combined 75-18 over four seasons.
In fact, Valley Christian’s only four losses over the past two years have been to Woodland Christian, Ripon Christian and Bradshaw Christian of Elk Grove (twice). All were at UC Davis on Thursday night. Ripon Christian defeated Bradshaw Christian for the Division V championship on the adjacent court.
“We had a wonderful season,” said Hill, an eighth-grade teacher at the school. “The girls just had great chemistry. So many amazing moments.”
Bill Poindexter can be reached at billp@goldcountrymedia.com.