Canyon girls volleyball loses to Heritage Christian in four sets

Canyon senior Sasha Thomas-Oakley goes up for the kill against Heritage Christian on Thursday night, Aug. 23, at Canyon High School. Dan Lovi/The Signal

The Canyon girls volleyball team got off to a slow start Thursday night and could not recover, losing in four sets against Heritage Christian.

The Cowboys (2-2) fell behind early in the first set, eventually losing 25-13. Normally a solid serving team, Canyon struggled behind the service line on Thursday, giving up easy points to the opposition.

“I think we need to focus on our serves and serve-receive. That’s what killed us this game,” said senior Sasha Thomas-Oakley. “That’s usually our stronger point, so when we come back into the gym together we need to focus on that and if we lead with that we’ll be fine.”

The Cowboys were able to rebound in the second game behind a flurry of kills from Thomas-Oakley, beating the Warriors 25-18 to bring the match to a 1-1 tie.

It was as close as the Cowboys would come however, falling to the Warriors in the third set 25-21 and in the fourth 25-19.

Canyon head coach Robert Treahy believes his team was lacking a mental edge.

“It’s disappointing when serves aren’t going in, disappointing when third contacts are hit out of bounds,” Treahy said. “It was just a lack of focus, it’s easily correctable.”

Another issue facing the Cowboys was rotation errors. They were flagged for a handful of rotation violations, which left Treahy baffled on the sidelines.

“There’s no excuse, they are at the varsity level, they’ve done those rotations for three years and for them to be out of it, it’s just a mental choice,” he said. “I’m still in the middle of figuring it out.”

Despite the loss, Thomas-Oakley played well, showcasing her all-around game. She was the Cowboys leading attacker, but was also featured in the back row. She also came up with several blocks, displaying her defensive prowess.

“I am so proud of her becoming more than a one-dimensional player,” Treahy said. “She’s the leader of our team and we’re lucky to have her. I’m very excited about her future.”

Treahy believes that the loss against Quartz Hill on Tuesday carried over to Thursday night’s match. The Cowboys will have a few days off to regain focus after the two consecutive losses.

Canyon will take on Palmdale Aerospace Academy on Tuesday Aug. 28 before league play begins against Valencia on Sept. 4.

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