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Hornets fall to Palo Verde

November 07, 2001|By ERIC GALVAN, Sports Writer

CALIPATRIA — After a perfect 8-0 season in the Citrus League, the Calipatria High volleyball team entered the CIF San Diego Section Division IV playoffs with everything seemingly set up for it to advance to the second round.

Calipatria was playing at home and it was playing a Palo Verde team that was 5-19 overall and 0-12 in the Imperial Valley League.

It was there for the taking. Then the Hornets got on the floor and everything collapsed as they fell 15-17, 6-15, 6-15.

"This was an awesome win for our team. We were all really up for it," said Yellow Jacket coach Cathy Kuamoo. "We had prepared really well for Calipatria and when we came in, our team spirit was really high.

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"We had set some goals before this match that we wanted to accomplish and we did a good job of accomplishing them," said Kuamoo. "All our girls on the floor and on the bench did a hell of a job. They all just played a hell of a game."

While the Yellow Jackets were fairly impressive, the Hornets were anything but.

In each game they had leads of at least four points but allowed Palo Verde back in each game.

"This was a hard loss for us. I know we could've done a lot better," said Calipatria's Lilia Humble. "Our motivation just wasn't in the right place. Everybody's heads just weren't in the game, including mine.

"That's what makes it tougher, knowing that we probably could have beat them. That's really disappointing because I know we should have done better than what we did."

If there was one consistent player for the Hornets it was Humble. She finished with 10 points, four kills and two blocks, and served for the first five points of the contest.

It seemed as if things would be going Calipatria's way with Humble giving it a 5-0 lead in the first. But the Yellow Jackets bounced back, tied the game, then eventually battled to take a 13-12 lead. The sides exchanged points before Palo Verde broke a 15-15 tie and scored the final two points.

As tight as the first game was, the second and third weren't.

Despite falling behind 4-0 in both games, the Yellow Jackets then outscored the Hornets 15-2 over the two games to claim the victory.

"Palo Verde played hard and they came here to win. After we lost that first game, our girls were done," said Calipatria coach J.J. Jackson. "Nobody wanted to step up. It's like our girls appeared to give up. That's very disappointing and very frustrating as a coach. Palo Verde just came to play and we didn't."

The Hornets finish the season with a 16-5 overall record as Citrus League champions.

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