PLACENTIA- The Regents came up against a much bigger El Dorado team and found themselves on the short end of the stick and bounced out of the post-season playoffs. Despite a valiant effort, the Lady Regents did not have enough answers as the Hawks claimed victory after a five set struggle, 25-16, 25-27, 25-15, 18-25, 12-15.
St. Lucy's jumped out to an early 8-2 lead in set one and seemed to be in complete control. El Dorado took a time out and came back firing. They cut the lead to three, trailing 6-9 at the side out. The Regents settled into their game and stretched the lead out again, up 12-6. St. Lucy's continued to execute their game, Rohrer putting the ball down on the overpass for a 21-9 lead. El Dorado made a late set run, cutting the lead to 6, but Arden Davis answered with an ace to get the Regents set point. Lucy's took set one 25-16.
Set two may have been where the Regents lost the match. El Dorado's number 6 was deadly with the slide attack and the Regents didn't have an answer. Both teams played great hustling defense and made impossible digs. Again the Regents had the early lead following an ace by Arden Davis and a kill by Roni LaPierre, which sent El Dorado to the bench for a time out, trailing 5 to 10. Mo Hageman's tip found the floor and Desi Villajin served up an ace to extend the lead to 12-6. The Hawks, however, came storming back. They cut the lead to one, 15-16, before Mo Hageman was able to find the deep corner. El Dorado kept going to their effective slide attack to level the score. The teams traded points and the lead from that point until the Hawks tipped a kill off the block to take a 23 to 21 lead. St. Lucy's took a time out, got the ball back on a service error, and tied it up on a kill by Mo Hageman on the overpass. Roni LaPierre put the next one down on another overpass kill and the Regents had set point and the ball leading 24-23. The Hawks quick set the middle for a kill and the 24 point tie. The teams battled to a 25 point tie, before El Dorado was able to link two kills together and edge the Regents out 27-25.
The Regents regrouped and came out and executed their game in set three. The set was tight with ties at 3, 4, 5, 9 and 10. El Dorado pulled ahead 12-10 and the Regents took to the sidelines to talk it out. The time out did the trick as the Hawks made a service error to side out. Sydney Bast took full advantage of the El Dorado mistake, serving up an ace to tie the score at 12. The Regents crept out to a 15-12 lead, forcing an El Dorado time out. Bast's answer? Ace 'em again. And again. And again. And again. Sydney served five aces before the Hawks were able to side out at 21-13. The Regents closed out set three on an ace serve by Eryn Young, 25-15.
Set four was marred by many Regent mistakes. Missed serves, shank passes, hitting errors, ball handling mistakes all contributed to the loss. El Dorado got out to an early lead and the Regents played the entire set from behind. The Regents took their first time out trailing by 5, 9-14. They were not quite able to right the ship and took their second time out trailing 11-17. This time, they seemed to pull it together and started to work their way back into the set. Roni LaPierre crushed one down the line and sent the Hawks to the sidelines to regroup, up 17-14. The Lady Regents kept it coming and tied the score at 17 and again at 18. El Dorado pulled slightly ahead, 20-18 and the Regents attempted to call another time out. Oops. That'd be three, and point goes to the Hawks. St. Lucy's seemed unable to overcome their own foibles and gave up the final seven points of the set without siding out. El Dorado won 25-18.
So it all came down to the fifth set. The Hawks had the momentum and the home crowd. They jumped out to a 3-0 start, but the Regents battled back to tie it up at 3. El Dorado kept taking it to the Regents, and pulled ahead 7-4 at the first Lucy's time out and 9-5 at the second Lucy's time out. Everything was going the Hawk's way, with the setter even finding a way to get a kill on an behind the back slam. Still, St. Lucy's did not quit. Two consecutive kills by Roni LaPierre cut the lead to 9-7, and El Dorado took a minute to ice the server. It worked. The Hawks extended their lead to 12-8 before siding out on a service error. Desi Villajin came in to serve trailing 13-8 and she was unfazed. The Regents had cut the El Dorado lead to two, 13-11, when El Dorado took their second time out. The Regents fought hard, but the Hawk hitters were too strong and too fast. The Hawks took set five 15-12.
The stat leaders for the game were Vanessa Caustrita with 13, kills, Roni LaPierre with 14 or 11 kills (depending on who you ask), Sydney Bast with 18 digs and 5 aces, and Arden Davis with 29 digs and 3 aces. It was a nice run and the Regents are to be commended on a fantastic season! Best wishes to everyone for great club seasons.