EL CENTRO- The El Centro Spartans hosted their second matchup against the Calexico Bulldogs October 18 trying for their second league win against Calexico. Ambitions ran high with both teams giving their all to improve league records. Despite the Spartans’ strong efforts, Calexico was the dominant team, taking the win, three sets to one.
For the first set, the teams rallied back and forth keeping the score tight the entire time. Central’s Destiny Salgado (#13) was a major player for her team putting Spartan points on the board. Salgado, with 264, leads her team in kills for the season. Calexico’s Kayla Rubio (#20) was a blocking machine, allowing her team a chance to score points, knotting the teams in the first set.
With the score tied 24-24, the Spartans and Bulldogs dug deep, looking to force errors and take the lead in the match. The El Centro Spartans managed to win the battle, scoring twice, final score of the set ending at 26-24.
After switching sides, the Bulldogs took to the court, looking to even the board. Again the lead changed back and forth, neither team able to take the upper hand. Bulldog, Iran Alvarez (#22), fired up the team with a few key aces, stoking up their crowd. Alvarez leads her team with 30 aces for the season.
Yet, the Bulldogs found a way to push out in front, late in the set, with a final score of 25 to 22, getting their first win of the night.
With the series tied one to one, the teams huddled to talk strategy for the third set, which was another grueling one. Both teams matched points, one after another, bringing the score to the now familiar, 25 to 25, late in the third set. Salgado rallied her team, with vital blocks and points for the Spartans. Central’s Angelica Camacho (#8) strutted her stuff in the set with serves that kept the Bulldogs scrambling. Camacho leads her team in aces, marking 40 for the season.
The scrappy Bulldogs did not give up. With the score tied, they fought back getting two up on the Spartans, closing out the third set with a score of 27 to 25.
Heading in to the fourth set of the evening, the Spartans had one final chance to win a set or face defeat. Both teams came out fighting, with the Bulldogs staying a few points over the Spartans. Once into double digits, the Bulldogs found their rhythm, becoming the dominate team on the court. Calexico beat the Spartans in the final set, 25 to 21, with Central trailing the later half of the set.
The Bulldogs claimed victory, with a final score of three to one. Having this win under their belts, avenging their previous loss to Central, the lady Bulldogs won the second match up against the Spartans on the road and improved their league standing to 4-6. Calexico will travel to play the Palo Verde Yellow Jackets, October 25.
For the Spartans, this loss puts them at 6-3, and will host their rivals, the Southwest Eagles, hoping to capitalize on their previous shutout victory over the Eagles in their last match up.