Arroyo Grande High’s girls volleyball coach admitted his team wasn’t as sharp as it could have been, but he was still pleased his team swept a matchup against Templeton on Tuesday.
Coach Ernie Santa Cruz said that he would have liked “more intense focus” out of his squad that improved to 11-3 this season.
But he credited his players for pulling together and earning the victory — 25-18, 25-23, 25-16 — against Templeton (4-7). Santa Cruz said the team still may be regaining energy from a busy tournament in San Luis Obispo this past weekend.
“We just weren’t quite where I’d like us to be,” Santa Cruz said. “I’d like us to improve in certain areas faster this season. We need more balanced serving. But I’m glad we came through.”
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Leading the way for Arroyo Grande was Millisa Morrow, who had 15 kills, and Alyssa Koenig, who had 13 kills.
Jade Fuller recorded 21 digs and sophomore Alaina Hogeboom, the MaxPreps/American Volleyball Coaches Association state player of the week last week, added to her strong season thus far with 30 assists.
“I was kind of surprised when I heard about it in sixth period P.E., but it was a nice surprise,” Hogeboom said of the award after averaging 11 assists per game last week. “My goal is continue to get better at all aspects of my game and to work as hard as all the other girls on the team who have been playing at A.G. longer than me.”
Though the Eagles from Templeton lost the match, they seemed primed to capture at least one of the games, particularly the second set. Templeton went ahead 22-17 and appeared ready to take the set. But led by the strong play of Fuller, who served seven points during the stretch, Arroyo Grande stormed back winning eight of the last nine points.
Templeton rallied for a comeback of its own in the first set, also winning eight of nine points to pull within 19-16, including kills from Heather Fields and Autumn Russell.
But Arroyo Grande pulled away by forcing Templeton misses to close out the set.
“They are a good team, but I also think we made a lot of hitting errors today and gave points away,” Templeton coach Jodi Kelly said. “Our focus wasn’t always consistent. We talked about staying focused on every single play after the game.”
Kelly credited libero Lindsey Wyatt for her sharp passing. Wyatt had 18 digs on the night.
Fields recorded a team-high eight kills to go along with 20 digs. Carly Roth had six kills.
Kelly said her team is preparing for upcoming Los Padres League play and expects it to be a tough year. Last year, Templeton took second place in league and returns seven players this year.
“Coming out and focusing will be our mission,” Kelly said. “I think it will be a very competitive league.”