CALEXICO- The Imperial Tigers displayed their tenacity beating the Calexico Lady Bulldogs in high school volleyball action in four sets (27-25 I, 25-14 I, 25-13 C, 25-20 I) at a ruckus full house in Calexico on Thursday night.
In the first set both teams exchanged leads, keeping it a one point contest difference until at 6-7, Imperial’s (#5) Cady Davis and (#23) Analia Sotelo each found holes in the Calexico defense to jump ahead 10-6.
An ace by Lady Bulldog’s (#8) Luz Martinez followed by a poke by (#9) Nataly Martinez helped Calexico take the lead right back to make it 15-14 in favor of Calexico in the first set.
After another kill by Martinez, Calexico served for set point leading 24-22.
With their backs up against the wall, the feisty felines rallied back with (#13) Camryn Seaman contributing a block and two spikes for the Tiger’s comeback first set victory, 27-25.
In the second set the Lady Bulldogs still appeared rattled.
Aces by Imperial’s (#7) Keren Hogue and (#4) Alyssa Chavarria, along with a series of miss-hits in the second period found Calexico in a 21 -12 hole. Sotelo would finish off the Lady Bulldogs with two back to back aces to take the second set, 25-14.
By the third set the Lady Bulldogs gathered their composure and (#22) Iran Alvarez fed off the hot crowd to stifle the Tigers, netting six kills and a 25-13 third set win for Calexico.
The fourth set was tit-for-tat consisting of long rallies and hustle plays. Stuffs at the net by Hogue and strategic pinpoint-pokes by Imperial’s Seamen put the Tigers up 20-19 with the fourth set winding down.
With Calexico on their heels, Seamen changed up the tempo by hammering the ball right into the hardwood. The Tigers finished off Calexico with three aces by (#3) Katie Gray and a shot by Sotelo to take the final set, 25-20.
“We had a new lineup out there. It seemed like it did take its toll on us for a minute because they were playing next to people that they weren’t necessarily used to playing with. We had a lot of girls that stepped up, executed, and got the job done. We know the game isn’t over until somebody wins three games,” said Imperial Tigers head volleyball coach, Chelsey Strahm.