Imperial finished with 29 unforced errors, which Ponchione said was a big factor.
Other than the unforced errors, what Ponchione pointed to as the difference was the second game.
At one point in the game the Tigers had a 13-9 lead and seemed to be on their way to tying the match at 1-1. But lack of execution and unforced errors gave the Vikings possession and the window of opportunity they needed. Six points later it was Holtville taking a two-game lead into the third.
"That's what did it. That second game is where the momentum changed," said Ponchione. "We just gave them that second game. We pretty much handed it to them."
In the third game the Tigers hung with the Vikings for awhile and even came back from a five-point deficit to tie things at 8-8. Holtville's Mykell Johnston took over and put away the game and match with seven straight service points.
Johnston finished with a match-high 14 points (four aces) to go with two kills and an assist. Also contributing for Holtville were Michelle Strahm with 21 assists and 12 points, Regan Rothfleisch with 10 kills, four points and three blocks and Jezelle Avila adding nine points.
Said Claudia Lopez of Holtville, who finished with three points, two assists and a block: "We played much better tonight. We were more focused and got our serves in. We played a lot better as a team, but there's still a few things we need to work on."
Added Viking coach Valerie Deyo: "We played well and we played aggressive. Our girls hustled and it was just a good team effort. We had some girls that played really well and stepped up for us tonight."
Leading the Tigers were Amy Holtz with 11 points and Jenny Bowlan with seven kills and four blocks.
Both teams play at 6 p.m. Tuesday, with Holtville playing at Brawley and Imperial hosting Southwest.
Calexico 3, Central 0
CALEXICO — The Calexico High volleyball team improved to 4-3 in the Imperial Valley league with a 15-12, 15-5, 15-12 win over Central Union High here Thursday.
Leading Calexico were Blanca Patiño with 17 points, Linda Mendoza with 10 points and Monica Garcia with six kills and two blocks.
Both teams next play Palo Verde, with Calexico traveling to Blythe on Tuesday for a game at 5 p.m. and Central hosting Palo Verde at 5 p.m. Thursday.
Brawley 3, Southwest 0
The Brawley Union High School volleyball team topped Southwest 15-8, 15-4, 15-4 in IVL action at Southwest High on Thursday.
Trisha Fleming led the Wildcats with 10 kills.
Both teams return to action at 6 p.m. Tuesday. Southwest will play at Imperial while Brawley will host Holtville.
Midway Baptist 0
SAN DIEGO — The Calipatria High School volleyball team knocked off Midway Baptist 16-14, 15-6, 15-14 here Thursday.
Lilia Humble led the Hornets with nine points and 12 kills. Tanya Soriano added nine points and Sophia Perez had six kills.
The Hornets will be back in action at 6:15 p.m. Wednesday in Wellton, Ariz., against Antelope.