Tuesday night was Lompoc volleyball player Chyanne Thomas’ 16th birthday. Going into the final set, she was sitting on 10 kills, six away from having one for each year of her age.
She finished with one extra — out of the back row — to give the Braves a 24-20 lead in the final set, then teammate Lauren Powell ended the match with a kill of her own, as Lompoc defeated Santa Maria 25-9, 25-20, 25-20 at Santa Maria’s Wilson Gym in the Los Padres League opener for Santa Maria and the second league match for Lompoc (1-1 LPL).
Thomas also led the Braves with five serving aces.
“We’ve been talking about who to set in what situations,” Lompoc coach Aaron Batula said. “Chyanne’s our best hitter, so whenever we need a kill, we go to her.
“Out of the back row, we call it a pipe set, that is the perfect situation where they bumped the ball up high and she came flying out of the back row — kind of looked like a college player on that last one.”
Thomas credited her setters for her success in the game.
“You just have to have a good set,” she explained. “I usually reach high and snap, and it usually gets in.”
Heidi Chavez is a senior setter and Lexie Barbosa is a junior.
“They both set different,” Thomas said. “But I know how to work with them both.”
Batula was pleased with the work of his setters.
“One of the things about this year’s team is I have two really good setters,” he said. “If one of them is struggling with their location, I can always put the other one in.
“They are both really supportive, really good kids and they understand whoever’s playing better at any given time is going to run the offense.”
Everything was working for the Braves in game one as they had several service runs, from Heidi Chavez twice, Thomas, Micalah Herrigel, Jenna Grossini and Brittany Bolusan. The final run by Chavez took the score from 19-8 to 24-9.
In game two, Batula went with five different players on the court with Thomas and substituted several players off the bench.
Santa Maria hung tough in both the second and third games.
In game two, the Saints last led at 15-14 then tied the set at 17-all before the Braves pulled away. Then in set three, the Saints led 18-17 before the Braves took control.
“What I really liked was their spirit and their attitude,” said Saints coach Rogelio Gonzalez. “The second two sets they changed everything from what I told them and that brought their confidence back.”
Gonzalez saw some good things especially from lobero Danessa Bagasol, who was outstanding in the back row. He has a young team but they are improving.
“She’s the motor of our team,” Gonzalez said about Bagasol. “I believe in them and I feel we will do better in league.
“We’re doing a good job so far — we’re a family here — so we’re pretty happy.”
There was balance in the Lompoc attack. Behind Thomas, seven different Braves registered at least one kill and Chavez added four service aces as seven Braves had at least one.
“We’ve had a lot of close matches and it could have been easy for them to get down on themselves,” Batula said. “There were three, five-set matches that we could have won. So I’m glad they’re still playing hard.
“The wins will come, we’ve played some really tough non-league matches against some really good PAC 7 teams and I think now that league has started we’ll be very competitive.”
Santa Maria next hosts Templeton Thursday night.
Next up for Lompoc is a showdown against Cabrillo Thursday.
“We just need a good attitude, not getting down on ourselves,” she said. “We just need to keep positive and do what we know we can do.”
Boys Water Polo
Cabrillo 8, Oxnard 5
The Conquistadores struggled in the first quarter but took control in the second, in a non-league game played in Oxnard.
The players thought they were playing the second game, but the varsity game was first.
“We got there a half hour before our game,” said Cabrillo coach Jeff Dacus. “We learned today to get to our location earlier.”
Phil Naughton, Noah Caro and Eduardo Cardenas scored two goals each for the Conqs. Nick Matulis and Joel Larson had one goal apiece.
St. Joseph 8, Paso Robles 6
Paso Robles took a 3-2 lead after the first period then the Knights scored three times in the second while their defense clamped down on the Bearcats, powering St. Joseph to a 5-3 halftime lead.
The Bearcats kept it close, closing the gap to 6-5 after three. St. Joe (5-3, 1-0 PAC 7) put the game in the win column with two goals in the fourth period.
Gian Spallino scored twice for St. Joseph. Joseph Castellanos, Matthew Morales, Walker Armstrong, Joaquin Castellanos, Leroy Coles and Ben Jones each netted one goal.
Hancock takes 2-of-3
Hancock College’s squad (2-3-2) fell 3-0 to Bakersfield at College of the Sequoias in Visalia Saturday, then blanked Cerro Coso 7-0 later that day before defeating West Los Angeles College 3-0 at West L.A. Monday in three non-conference games.
Itzy Pinon, the team leader in points with 16, racked up two goals and four assists as Hancock beat Cerro Coso. She has five goals and six assists this year. New addition Barbara Ortiz, a freshman, scored a hat trick for the Bulldogs against Cerro Coso.
Pinon and Danielle Robertson each scored a goal and tallied an assist against West Los Angeles. Cecy Castillo scored a goal and Yuri Roman chipped in with an assist.
Bulldogs goal keeper Renee Block racked up a shutout against Cerro Coso and another against West L.A. No Bulldog has been tagged with a yellow or red card yet this year.