The California Pintos lost in two sets to the defending state Class 3 state champions Nov. 2 in the sectional round of the Class 3 state tournament.
The Pintos fell in two sets, 25-15 and 25-10, to the Logan-Rogersville Wildcats, ending the Pintos' season with a record of 26-7-3.
The Pintos found themselves down early in both sets. In the first set, the Pintos eventually stared down a 10-point deficit, with the Wildcats leading 18-8. It looked like the Pintos were starting to slowly get back into the game as they won the next three points to make it an 18-11 game, but Rogersville won five of the next six points. Again, California went on a small streak to cut the lead down to eight points, by winning the next three points to make it 23-15. However, the Wildcats forced an end to the set by winning the next two points.
In the second set, California took a 1-0 lead to start things off, but the Wildcats won three points in a row to make it 3-1. The Pintos got the set back to within one point after a kill by Paige Lamm, but the Wildcats started to pull away as they made it 5-2. California battled back to make it a two-point game at 5-3, but Rogersville went on a five-point winning streak to make it 10-3.
After a Pintos timeout, the Wildcats kept their streak going as they won the next five points to make it 15-3. The Pintos were able to end that scoring streak thanks to a kill by Lauren Friedrich that made it 15-4. Nevertheless, 11 points is the closest the team would get to their opponents in the final set. The Pintos trailed by as many as 14 points in the second set at 20-6. The team pulled off a small three-point scoring streak that made it 20-9, the final point of which saw some impressive saves on defense by the Pintos and ended with a kill by Lamm. The Wildcats ended the set by winning five of the next six points to secure the win.
Pintos head coach Julie Bailey said the team gave it their all, up until the last point of the season.
"I couldn't be prouder of these girls and where they started and the obstacles they overcame," Bailey said. "Losing Hailey Cain, that happens to one of our best players and having to make adjustments and they never gave up and they continued to fight and battle. I couldn't be prouder of the effort and hard work they put to this season."
Bailey said the team went into the game with the right mindset.
"I think we started knowing that they were the defending state champs and that they have a division one player on their team. I think we went in the with right mindset that we had a chance," Bailey said. "I think we started off the first set very nervous, and it took us a while to calm down and play our game. We were on our heels the whole time because they were just constantly pounding the ball at us, and I think defensively we did pretty outstanding. We had some pretty good blocks and our back row made some amazing defensive plays especially in that second set. It is that they were just a really tough team, and it is hard to beat a team that good."