The California Pintos volleyball team won its third straight game as the team defeated the Tolton Catholic Trailblazers in two sets, 25-11 and 25-8 on Sept. 10. The Pintos' record improves to 3-0 with the win, while Tolton's record now stands at 1-3.
In the first set, the score was close very early, as California won the first two points to take a 2-0 lead, but Tolton tied the game at 2-2. California took a 3-2 lead before pulling away from the Trailblazers. The Pintos went on to win the next eight points in a row to make the score 11-2. Tolton won the next two points to make it 11-4, but on the next point, a kill by Emma Whitson gave the Pintos the ball back with a 12-4 lead.
Later in the set with the Pintos up 15-5, the team went on another run as it won the next five points in a row to make it a 20-5 lead. Tolton had one last push in them as the team reduced the lead and made it a 21-10 game. However, California took four of the next five points en route to winning the set.
California stayed in control in the second set. The Pintos led 3-1 early on before a missed serve made it a 3-2 game — the first missed serve in the entire game for California. The team finished the game with only two missed serves. Head coach Julie Bailey said the team does not focus on trying to get aces off of serves, which helps with efficiency.
"My philosophy isn't about getting aces, it is letting the other team make mistakes," Bailey said. "Our theory is get it over and in, and let them make mistakes. We have a good enough defense and offense that we don't need to get points off of aces."
The Pintos won the next five points in a row to build a 8-2 lead. The Pintos really began to pull away shortly after with the score at 10-4, and with Sincere Mullins serving — the team won the next nine points in a row to make it 19-4. The teams then traded the next couple of points until California was up 21-7, and the Pintos won four of the next five points en route to winning the second set.
Bailey said the team's passing was a reason for California's extended runs in the game.
"Right now, our passing with (Mullins) on the back row has been outstanding," Bailey said. "Hailey Cain and Dylann Henley have just been making some exceptional passes so that our setters can get the ball to our hitters, and then our hitters have a great opportunity to give a good swing. It starts with the pass, and it has been paying off for us."
Bailey said she was happy to see the team did not allow its opponent to get back into the game.
"There were times last year where that was not the case," Bailey said. "This was our third game, and we haven't really done that, so I am glad to see that is a change from last year and hopefully it continues."