Volleyball struggles with momentum, unable to restrain Laney

Communication continues to cause problems despite improving performance

By Xavier Johnson, Staff Writer

The volleyball team struggled to maintain their momentum and stop the shooting of Laney College in a loss Wednesday in the Gymnasium.

Contra Costa College came into this rematch off performances that showed improvement and entered the first set with high levels of energy. Ball movement, hustle and communication overwhelmed the Eagles from the jump.

CCC found offensive momentum to take the lead at 11-8. After four unanswered points Laney called a timeout. Coming out of the timeout the Comets lost all of their energy.

Clean ball movement stopped and communication lessened.  Laney scored seven unanswered before volleyball coach Christy Tianero had to call a timeout to try and stop some of Laney’s momentum. “We need to work on keeping energy after the timeout,” Tianero said, “the timeout worked. It slowed our team down.”

The Comets battled from behind the rest of the first set. Coming out of their timeout CCC allowed four more unanswered points. Outside hitter Deanna Craighead (five kills, two service aces) ended the scoring drought and brought three straight scores to CCC off her serving. Laney built the lead early in the set and maintained it to win the set 25-19. Craighead said the team communicated well and hustled during the first set.

CCC rolled into the second set still struggling to find energy. Early in the set Tianero called a timeout after four unanswered points by Laney. Coming out of the early timeout, the Comets began to show signs of life. However, the offense of the Eagles found its rhythm on the back of outside hitter Morgan Warren (13 kills, five digs). CCC started to take control late in the set but Laney’s lead was too much to overcome as they lost the set 25-19

Setter Paula Sanchez (eight assists, two digs) said the energy of the team went down in later sets. This point was evident in the third set where Laney took control. CCC came out with a high pace reminiscent of the first set. However, that faded quickly. As the set went on the team began to make sloppy plays and hesitate.

Middle hitter Alejandra Galvez (six kills, five digs) and Craighead were small sparks of life in the stagnant Comet offense. Laney was able to go on a seven to one run that prompted Tianero to call for another timeout. Coming out of the timeout Laney closed out the set in dominant fashion. Laney scored five unanswered points to win the set 25-11 and the game 3-0.

Galvez said the team did well. The fading energy of the team remained an issue, however. “We have to keep the energy up. We need to move quicker and talk more.”

Tianero said there are positives to take from this game. Middle blocker Mariah Marinho (three digs) showed signs of improvements she said. She showed more confidence and had great digs. Craighead and Galvez emerged as big factors in this game. Tianero said, “The team is getting more comfortable. They are bonding and really becoming a team.”