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story.lead_photo.caption Democrat photo/Kevin LabotkaElla Lewis goes up for a block Oct. 20 during the Pintos’ win over Hallsville.

The California Pintos volleyball team (23-6-1) defeated the Hallsville Indians (15-8) in three sets, 3-0, on Oct. 20.

The Pintos won the first set 25-13, the second set 25-18 and the third set 25-17, en route to their fifth win in a row.

In the first set, the Pintos jumped out to a 17-6 lead. The Pintos’ lead only increased near the end of the set as they led 20-8. Hallsville tried to get back in the game, winning two points in a row to make it 20-10, but a block made it 21-10 and the Pintos won four of the next seven points. The Pintos won the set on the last point after Hallsville hit the ball into the net.

The next two sets were both closer than the first set was. In the second set, California won the first three points to take a 3-0 lead, but Hallsville responded by winning the next two to make it 3-2. The teams stayed close in the early part of the set as California led by two points multiple times at 8-6, 10-8, 11-9 and 13-11. It looked like California had put together some breathing room by extending its lead to 15-11, but Hallsville came back to make it a 15-14 game. With the game at 16-15, Ella Lewis got a kill to make it 17-15. Later, with the score at 18-16, another kill by Lewis made it 19-16. The Pintos then won five of the next seven points to make it a 24-18 game. On set point. a hit by Kaitlyn Stauffer found a hole to win the set for the Pintos.

In the final set, the Pintos trailed 6-4 early on but won the next three points in a row to take a 7-6 lead. California led by four points multiple times early on at 11-7, 13-9 and 14-10, but Hallsville won the next three points in a row to make it a 14-13 game. California followed that up with a 11-4 run to close out the set and seal the victory.

Pintos head coach Julie Bailey said, in the second and third sets, Hallsville attacked more.

“Hallsville was a scrappy team and were able to dig up our hits pretty successfully,” Bailey said. “In the second and third set, they started to attack our line so we had to make a defensive adjustment to their offensive strategy.”

When the team had the chance to, California was able to end sets and not let its opponent stick around too long in the game.

Bailey said she has been happy to see the team maintain its leads recently.

“I have been happy to see our team maintain (its) lead in the last few matches we have played,” Bailey said. “In the past, we tended to relax at times and allow teams back in the set.”

Bailey said recently, things have been clicking for the team.

“Our team has been firing on all cylinders lately,” Bailey said. “Our defense has been outstanding, which has helped our setters to be able to utilize all of our hitters. The offense has been very successful at attacking with force and finding the holes.”

The Pintos are currently competing at the Class 3 District 9 Tournament that runs from Oct. 26-28 at Osage.

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