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story.lead_photo.caption Democrat photo/Kevin LabotkaThe Lady Pintos prepare to send the ball across the court at the jamboree Aug. 29. The Lady Pintos would finish the day even, after winning their first game against Battle in two sets and falling to Rock Bridge in two sets.

The California Pintos volleyball team finished its Aug. 29 jamboree even, winning the first game against the Battle Spartans in two sets, 25-11 and 25-23, and losing the second game against the Rock Bridge Bruins in two sets, 25-16 and 25-23.

During the jamboree, the sets start with the scored tied at 4-4. In the first set in the game against Battle, the Pintos won six points in a row to take a 10-4 lead. Later in that set, the Pintos led 16-7 and had not lost more than one point in a row until Battle made it a 16-9 game. The teams would alternate points to make it a 18-11 game. California would then win the next seven points in a row to take the first set.

The second set was much closer, as neither team was able to gain an advantage early on and the set was soon tied 10-10. California started to gain a small lead after a kill by Paige Lamm made it 11-10 — the Pintos would then win the next two points to make it 13-10. However, Battle would not go away, fighting back to make it a 13-12 game. California answered with a run of its own to make it 16-12, but again Battle fought back to get within one point at 16-15. That was the pattern for the second set, as every time it looked like California was about to pull away, Battle would go on a run to keep it close. This would go on for the rest of the set, but California was eventually able to secure the win.

Head coach Julie Bailey said it takes the team a few points to adjust to the second set. California has seen some struggles when it comes to the second set of a game in the past.

"We have definitely struggled with coming out strong in the second set of the match," Bailey said. "That probably says a lot about our opponents' players and coaches. They have been able to make adjustments to throw us off our game and it takes us a few points to adjust to their changes as well. We dug a bit of a hole for ourselves to start the second set against Battle but were able to pull ahead and gain a win."

Bailey said that she was pleased with the energy the team showed at the jamboree.

"In the jamboree, our players went all out defensively with the mindset to play aggressively and get to every ball," Bailey said. "I was very pleased with the energy and determination they brought to the court."

In the second game, the Pintos found themselves having to play from behind for most of both sets. Unfortunately, the Pintos were not able to win a set in their final game of the jamboree.

Bailey said the team never gave up, nonetheless.

"I was very happy to see the girls fight from behind against Rock Bridge the entire match and never relent," Bailey said. "Even though we did not win, we were able to fight with heart and drive — we never gave up."

In the first set, California kept the score very close, as both teams would alternate points up until Rock Bridge had a 13-11 lead. The Bruins would then win three points in a row to make it 16-11. California would get it back to three points at 17-14, but Rock Bridge would win seven points in a row to make it 24-15 before winning the first set.

In the second set, the Pintos found themselves down 20-12 before they would start to eat away at that deficit.

"In the second set against Rock Bridge as the girls fought for every point in an effort to get back in the game and almost pull off a victory, I believe they learned to never give up and go all out," Bailey said.

California would win three points in a row and after another kill by Lamm, the team found itself down only five points at 20-15. California would win the next two out of three points to make it 21-17. California would fight back to get within two points at 22-20 and later at 23-21. California would tie the game at 23-23 after Rock Bridge hit the ball out of bounds. But the Bruins would win the last two points to secure the win.

The team's first game of the season was Sept. 3 at Linn, and the Pintos first home game is at 5 p.m. Sept. 5 against Boonville.

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