BRAWLEY- The Brawley Wildcats ladies volleyball team remained unscathed as they swept through the Calexico Bulldogs in straight sets at home on Thursday (25-17, 25-11, 25-18) protecting their undefeated (8-0) record, having yet to relinquish a single set in league play.
The Wildcats immediately took to the offensive when (#13) Savannah Estrada started off the match with two straight aces.
A spike by Brawley’s (#4) Logan Nemlowill, and a sequence of Calexico miscues followed by two more Wildcat aces, by (#15) Mykia Davis, found Bulldogs head coach Claudia Maeda calling for a regroup time out quickly down 9-2 early in the first set.
A diving save got Calexico’s (#22) Iran Alvarez going midway through the first set. A soft poke, two kills, and an ace by Alvarez pulled the Lady Bulldogs within five points at 16-11.
Wildcats Nemlowill heated up recording four more kills. Another ace by Estrada and a commanding set-point spike by (#5) Taylor Carranza kept the bulldogs at bay finishing off the first set 25-17.
Arminda Garcia (#9) found her rhythm early in the second set, scoring two back to back kills as the Wildcats began to execute more efficiently.
Another pair of aces, this time by Brawley’s (#11) Claire Tuck put Brawley up 12-3.
The Lady Bulldog’s had a tough time at the service line throughout the second set. A handful of net errors kept Calexico from getting steam. When another serve by Brawley’s Tuck eluded the Calexico defense, Nemlowill polished off the second set 25-11 with an ace of her own.
The Lady Bulldogs took early control of the third set leading 5-2 after they found their stride at the service line with an ace by (#10) Nicole Lira.
“A couple of their servers showed us a style that we hadn’t seen before. They utilized top-spin and we were short on a lot of those balls, that’s something we definitely need to work on moving forward,” explained Brawley Head Volleyball Coach Phil Finnell.
Brawley’s Nemlowill eventually answered back with a kill and an ace to tie up the third set at 5-5.
Calexico was up 10-13 when Brawley capitalized on two successive errors followed by two more aces by Estrada to take the lead back 14-13 once and for all.
The Lady Bulldogs never recovered from that late momentum swing when they were outscored by 10 points to lose the final set 25-18.
“I’m proud of all my players. Each girl has a unique and important role on this team. More so than any individuals, I’m really proud of this collective team. All the girls have really stepped up in times of need. Calexico came out physical and it was important for us to match that and not take any points off,” added Coach Finnell about his team’s performance.