RIVERSIDE (Poly HS) – Paloma Valley girls’ volleyball and league championships go together like hot fudge and ice cream on a sizzling summer day.
However, after a first-round loss against Riverside Poly the Lady Wildcats put themselves in a position where they had to survive a stretch of matches against Elsinore, Hemet, and the Lady Bears to stay undefeated and keep their 2022 hopes alive. After winning a pair of five-set thrillers last week at home, Paloma Valley went on the road Tuesday afternoon and indeed completed that stretch, prevailing 3-1 at Poly and creating a tie atop the Ivy League standings.
In set one the Lady Bears actually got off to a hot start and held a 6-2 lead. Kayden Croy had a pair of kills while Michelle Milligan had a trio of aces. Then, Sarah Allen’s ace plus a Milligan kill made it 12-10 Poly before the Lady Wildcats went on a 5-0 run to take a 15-12 lead. Alexa Rosales had three straight kills while Brooklyn Jimenez had an ace and Christianna Hawkins a kill in the run. The lead reached 23-17 on back-to-back kills from Mia Rosas and it ended on a solo block for a 25-18 Wildcats win.
Rosas said, “We didn’t pass very well in that third set after a convincing set two victory but pulled it together and got the win. These are all really good teams and winning in this league usually comes down to who makes the fewest errors.”
Set two was all Wildcats as they led from the outset in a 25-8 victory which put Paloma Valley up 2-0. Grace Liesemeyer had three aces in a five-point stretch and Rosas also posted a trio of kills as Paloma Valley took a 12-4 lead. An Ashley Stoyer ace ended the set.
Just like set one the team who led early ended up falling. Paloma Valley jumped out to an early 5-2 lead on a kill from Kamryn Anderson. Then a pair of kills from Croy plus two Wildcats attack errors put the Bears up 7-6. After a pair of Rosas aces put the Wildcats up 14-9 Poly went on an 8-0 run to take a 17-14 lead. Sarah Allen had a pair of aces while Kate Sullivan was in on a pair of blocks. Michelle Milligan’s kill made it 20-17 Poly and a Croy kill got Poly on the board, trailing 2-1.
In the fourth Paloma Valley jumped out to an early 4-0 lead on a pair of kills from Anderson, who played JV the last time these teams met. It reached 17-7 on a trio of kills from Rosales and the Wildcats 10th service ace ended it.
“Our kids are developing a trust in each other and the things they’ve been working on in practice and it’s shown over this last week.” Paloma Valley coach Stephen Kaas said “Another big difference tonight was the addition of Kamryn Anderson, who played JV the last time we played Poly, and tonight had some nice kills on the right side. We know that this was a big win, but we’ve still got one more against Elsinore to bring that title home again.”
Paloma Valley stats:
Kills: Rosales – 22 (.333% hitting percentage) and Rosas 13 (.429% hitting percentage)
Aces: Liesemeyer – 4
Assists: Ashley Stoyer – 43 (guided team to a .292% hitting percentage)
Poly Stats (unofficial):
Kills: Croy – 21
Aces: Milligan – 3
Derryl Trujillo has been an area sportswriter since 2018 and is the 2019 IEBCA Supporter of the Year. He can be reached via email at email@example.com.