Canyon and Alemany highs both have young girls volleyball teams.
Pitted against each other early in the season, each showed potential and inconsistencies Wednesday night at Canyon High.
Despite displaying a ton of fight to narrowly take the first game of the night, the Cowboys dropped their second match in as many nights, this one in four games (25-27, 25-22, 25-17, 25-17).
“Confidence,” said first-year Canyon coach Robert Treahy about why the Cowboys dropped the match. “These girls had a rough time last year so when they have a little pressure put on them, their confidence goes down, and basically so does their play. And they don’t play fearless like they did in the first game.”
In the first game, the Cowboys (0-2) were fearless. At one point Canyon had a five-point lead, but the Warriors (1-0) stormed back to take a late 24-23 advantage.
Then Canyon had a comeback of its own, pushing the game to extra points and winning, 27-25, for the early match lead.
In game two, the Cowboys were right there late, with a 22-all tie, but three straight Warriors points won the game and tied the match at one.
Katelyn Leidholdt, one of Canyon’s only two seniors, opened game three with a solo block in the middle to give the Cowboys an early lead.
But as the third game went on, Canyon racked up 11 unforced errors at the same time Alemany began to click.
“I have a very young team,” said Alemany coach Morgan Wijay. “We have a lot of potential, but working through those nerve sand believing in themselves, those little things, we find ourselves a little shaky at the beginning. But eventually they start clicking and start realizing that, ‘Oh, we can do this — we can win.’”
When the Canyon passing game connected to hitters Sasha Thomas-Oakley, Makela Lyons and Denali Lyons, the Cowboys were the ones clicking.
But the inconsistencies were visible in a Canyon squad that hadn’t played any tournaments during the summer and lost a four-game match to Simi Valley on Tuesday.
“We’re learning,” Treahy said. “While we’re young, we’re going to be going up and down, and up and down. I’m proud that we fixed the things that I wanted to work on (from last night), like teamwork and keeping the third ball in. We passed the ball well last night, today we didn’t.”