Sometimes things that start well don't end the same.
This was the case for the Turlock Christian High varsity volleyball team in their season home opener against Hughson this past Saturday when the Huskies came into town and spoiled the day.
The three-time Division VI Section champion TC Eagles came on strong against the Huskies earning a win in the first game, but after getting comfortable, the tables turned and the Eagles fell 1-3, (25-16, 18-25, 22-25 and 15-25).
“[It was a] good learning experience and the girls need to focus a bit more from here on out. They [Hughson] are a really scrappy team,” said TC head coach Pam Franco. “It’s good to play teams like this because it makes us better in the long run.”
The Eagles held their own at the beginning of the match, handling the Division IV team in Hughson with a nine point victory in the first game.
TC players Tatiana Fabila, Mikayla Yagi, Nikki Sanders and Meghan Mark were just a few of the standouts on the day for the Eagles, despite some late heroics from the Huskies.
“We came out really hot. We had a combination of our setter who had big hits and big combos and Hughson had a hard time keeping up with the hits from the start,” said Franco. “I think we can keep up with a higher division opponent well because it showed in this game for sure.”
Hughson made some adjustments on the court after having a hard time reading the Eagles hits in the opening game, which turned the tables in the final two games.
“After the first game they hammered it right back at us bearing straight and [they] came out crazy fast,” Franco said of Hughson's turnaround.
Although the second game was not a blowout, the Huskies maintained the pressure and won it by seven points before a nail-biting third game excited the crowd and players.
Battling back and forth and coming within a point or two, coach Franco called her only timeout in the third game but the Huskies still came out with a three point victory to go up 2-1.
“It’s such a head game till the last point and we have the skill, we just need to focus on the execution because the girls were making uncommon errors,” Franco said. “This showed us where to work a little bit, like we came out in that first match to keep the momentum going.”
The fourth game was the only lopsided contest of the afternoon, as the Eagles lost by 10 points, marking their 0-1 start for the year.
Yagi finished the game with three aces and 10 kills. Fabila added 24 assists on 35 attempts. Mark tallied 29 digs and Sanders finished with four blocks.
The next game for the TC Eagles will be at home against Livingston at 6 p.m. Thursday.