[Article courtesy Cosumnes River sports information]
The Cosumnes River women's volleyball team snapped a 66-match losing streak in Big 8 Conference play that lasted five years in defeating visiting Modesto, 25-12, 25-23, 25-20, on Nov. 11.
The streak has been on the minds of the Hawks all season as first-year head coach Kari Post said after the match.
"We had one goal this season and that was to win a Big 8 match. We wanted to get that off our shoulders and take the pressure off. We didn't care who, or where we won this year. We wanted to begin fresh next year and move forward."
The Hawks last victory in Big 8 play was also against Modesto in 2011.
A focused team can do wonders and the Hawks jumped out in the first set racing out to as much as a 17-7 lead before the Pirates slowed them down a little. The Hawks had 14 kills in the first set on a .282 kill percentage. The final score for CRC in the first set was 25-12 as the Hawks passed crisply and communicated especially well.
The second set saw Modesto step up and play much better moving out to as much as a 11-5 lead before the Hawks began their comeback. The Hawks kept chipping away until they forged a 23-23 tie as you could see some of the fire slip away from the Pirates. At that point with the large crowd cheering the Hawks on, CRC finished off the Pirates, 25-23, in set two.
When set three started, the Hawks were in control throughout even though it shows just a five point victory, the Hawks could feel the victory in their grasp. The Hawks had 12 kills in the final set and while their percentage wasn't as high as the first set, the Hawks had a whopping 46 attempts at kills showing just how good the defenders played in getting the ball to Lauren Smith to set the front line hitters Hannah Norris, Olivia Sowles, and Meg Maddalena. The final set was 25-20 in the sweep for the Hawks.
For the Hawks, in addition to her team leading 11 kills, Sowles had a team-high 18 digs and a service ace to lead the way. Norris had nine kills and was followed by Maddalena's eight kills.
The Hawks had a season high in digs with 73 in the three sets led by Sowles, followed closely by Busse who tallied her highest total since a 5-set match against College of the Redwoods. Following closely was Lauren Smith who was outstanding passing and setting in the match as well, with nine digs.
Smith was possibly the key factor as she tallied 30 assists and two service aces. Both of her aces were precision serves just inside the sideline. Smith's passing and her precise setting allowed the Hawks to never be far off from the kill zone. Maddalena was also a force at the net as she had six blocks on the night.
Sowles summed it up perfectly, "We finally won, this is awesome."