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Vista volleyball defeats Oak Ridge for first time

By: Nick Pecoraro/Telegraph Correspondent
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The Eagles’ Nest was the site of Monday night’s foundation volleyball game between Vista del Lago and the Oak Ridge Lady Trojans. Vista was able to upend Oak Ridge in four games, 25-16, 23-25, 25-20 and 25-18. Vista, who had never beaten the Lady Trojans in its previous four seasons, sprinted out to an 11-1 lead to begin the first set behind service from junior Caroline Sipiora. Junior Kelsey Sampson had four of her 11 kills in game one to aid the Lady Eagles to the 25-16 win. Oak Ridge evened up the match after the second game. Down a point, the Lady Trojans capped off a wild rally when Alexa Becker saved an errant ball and found Maddie DeGeorge, who set up Haley Simmons for a momentum-changing kill, tying the score at 22. Simmons would also take the final point of the game from DeGeorge to knot the match at one game apiece. “The adrenaline definitely got going for us that game,” said the senior Simmons, who finished with team-high 15 kills. “The big thing now for us is confidence. We’re mostly a new team that’s trying to mesh together on the court. We just need to work out some of the bugs.” In game three, Vista rode a 5-0 run behind a pair of aces from senior Jessica Sampson to go up 17-12. Oak Ridge clawed back with strong third-game efforts from Becker and Amelia Crye, but Vista held on as Kendall Moore and Maddie Kaim played tough defense at the net late in the game to take the third set. Sipiora totaled six of her game-high 20 kills in the fourth game, including the sealer to give the Lady Eagles a 25-18 victory and a 1-0 start to the Vista season. “We’ve never beaten Oak Ridge before. They have a fantastic program. Anytime you’re in the conversation with them, you’re doing a good job,” said Vista head coach Patrick Sanders, who led the Lady Eagles to last year’s Division III Sac-Joaquin Section title. “It’s nice to have our core group of players coming back this year. We’re deeper than we’ve been in the past and it makes for some fantastic practices. We’ll know how we really are once we start league.” “I think we’re going to be better than last year,” said Vista’s junior libero Jordan Cryderman, who dug out 20 loose balls throughout the match. “Beating this (Oak Ridge) team is a huge accomplishment for us.” In the loss, Becker had six kills and 16 digs, while DeGeorge assisted on 15 of the Lady Trojans’ points. “There’s not much you can do when the first 10 points of your season, you’re down 0-10,” said Oak Ridge head coach Becky Potter. “A couple years ago, we lost our first game and in that same year, ended up going the furthest in school history. I’d rather have this loss at the beginning of the year than at the end.” Each team follows with tough opponents in their next respective games. Oak Ridge will host Del Oro on Tuesday night in El Dorado Hills, while Vista welcomes Granite Bay into the Eagles’ Nest on Thursday.