Eagles get clipped

HIGH SCHOOL VOLLEYBALL: Del Oro misses chance to clinch share of SFL title with home loss to Rocklin
By: Ray Hacke, Journal Sports Writer
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LOOMIS — In a sport where offensive prowess is measured in “kills,” a team had better have a killer instinct. With the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs looming, Del Oro High girls volleyball coach Stu Kageta hopes his team can rediscover that instinct — fast. The Golden Eagles succumbed to Rocklin 25-16, 25-21, 25-19 before a packed Del Oro gymnasium Monday night. The victory — Rocklin’s second over Del Oro this season — gave the Thunder (27-7) a share of the Sierra Foothill League title. “Normally we play a lot more aggressively, and we didn’t see that tonight,” Kageta said. “We weren’t our normal aggressive selves offensively or defensively. In a (match) like this, the team that’s more aggressive is going to win, and that was Rocklin.” Rocklin didn’t just play aggressively, it played intelligently, according to Thunder coach Dave Muscarella. “Offensively, we made some really good decisions,” Muscarella said. “We were being smart in placing (the ball), putting it in some good places.” Del Oro (24-5, 8-3 SFL) still has a shot at sharing the crown with Rocklin. For that to happen, however, the Golden Eagles will have to beat Roseville on Wednesday and hope Rocklin loses to Nevada Union, which would create a three-way tie of teams with 9-3 SFL records. “We hate to put it in someone else’s hands, but we have to now,” Kageta said. “We also have to take care of business for ourselves. Roseville’s a tough team — they took us to five (games) last time.” The Golden Eagles could have been the team to clinch a portion of first place in the SFL Monday night if the team Kageta was used to seeing had been on the court. “At times it looked like we were worried more about making mistakes than going after the ball,” Kageta said. Senior outside hitter Corissa Santos led Rocklin with nine digs. Senior setter Mrogan Smith dished out 28 assists, junior libero Lauren Orozco had a team-high nine digs and junior middle blocker Olivia Lane blocked four shots. Sophomore outside hitters Cailyn Prewitt and Kaitlin Ivy combined for five service aces for the Thunder. Senior outside hitter Emily Mattevi led Del Oro with nine kills, followed by junior middle blocker Aly Duffin with five. Senior libero Kate Kessler had 13 digs and two service aces, and junior setter Bailey Humes had 16 assists. Rocklin’s junior varsity team won in three games, 25-15, 23-25, 15-10. Del Oro’s freshmen won 25-22, 25-21.