The California Pintos volleyball team (3-2) suffered its second loss in a row on Sept. 10 as it was defeated by the Eldon Mustangs (3-1) in four sets 3-1 (25-22, 26-24, 25-17 and 25-19).
Head coach Julie Bailey said the team had an interesting week filled with adjusting to the players on the court.
"We've had two different players out at two different times and we have just not been able to practice as a team," Bailey said. "I feel like in the first set, we had to make that adjustment and it took us a while."
All of the sets were close. Early in the first set, California was down 6-4. The two teams traded points, neither able to build a large lead. Eldon finally took a 16-12 lead after winning four points in a row. The Pintos cut the lead to one at 20-19 before tying the game again at 20. The Mustangs won five of the last seven points to take the first set.
In the second set, the Pintos took eight points in a row to lead 8-0, but Eldon won six of the next nine points to make it an 11-6 score. California responded with a run, making it 17-9 after winning six of the next nine points. Eldon would not go away as the team went on a 9-2 run to get within one point at 19-18.
Eldon tied the set at 21 before taking a 22-21 lead late. The teams traded the lead until Emma Whitson got a kill to win the set for the Pintos.
Bailey said winning a set is always a good thing, but the Pintos can't let good teams back into the game.
"Getting a win is good always, but I am not happy that we had that big of a lead and let them back in," Bailey said. "You can't do that against good teams. We have to stay on top and we have a tendency to relax when we pull ahead and think it is going to be over, and we can't have that mindset."
The third set was close until the Mustangs pulled ahead after a 6-2 run gave them an 11-5 lead. The Pintos cut the lead down to within four twice, but the Mustangs would hold on at the end of the set, winning six of the last nine points.
In the final set, the Pintos found themselves trailing by three points for most of the early parts of the set. The Pintos tied the game at 11 after trailing 10-7, then took a two point lead at 14-12. The game was tied at 15 before Eldon retook the lead at 16-15. Eldon won six of the next seven points to lead 22-16, and sealed the victory by winning three of the last six points.
The Pintos' next game is at 5 p.m. Sept. 17 at home against Blair Oaks (3-0).