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AOW: Noriega's hitting leads Bulldogs to quick IVL start

September 25, 2001|By ERIC GALVAN, Sports Writer
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For a while it seemed like deja vu for Melissa Noriega and her Calexico High volleyball teammates during their match against Central Union High last week.

As was the case last year, Calexico had Central right where it wanted it before faltering and having to play a fifth and final game. But as one of the team leaders, the 17-year-old senior stepped up to the challenge and helped put away the Spartans as the Bulldogs won the match 3-2.

"It totally reminded me of last year. We just broke down in some areas and let them back in," said Noriega, a senior. "Central isn't a bad team, but I don't think we played to our full potential. I know I could've done a lot better than what I did. In that sense, I was disappointed with myself."

While she thought she could have played better, statistically she played a solid contest, finishing with 10 kills.

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She followed that performance Thursday with a double-double against Palo Verde, recording 17 points and 13 kills in leading the Bulldogs to a 3-1 victory.

As was the case against Central, Noriega thought she didn't play to her full capabilities.

"We lost a game to them and that was like the first time in a few years that we actually lost a game to them," said Noriega. "I think we were probably overconfident going into that match.

"The thing about our team, though, is that when we play a really good team, we step up and play at their level," Noriega said. "But then when we play a team that isn't that good, we'll go down to their level. That's something we need to work on."

Calexico is 2-0 in the Imperial Valley League. While the Bulldogs are tied for first place, Noriega thinks the team still has some aspects of its game to address.

One thing she thinks is working in the team's favor is valuable experience being gained with every game played.

"Every game we're learning something new. We had a tough match against Central, but we all learned from that," Noriega said. "We know what we need to work on and if we work on those things and continue to learn from our mistakes we'll be fine."

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