Sometimes the first win at home can be the hardest and it showed early on for the Garces volleyball team against visiting Mira Monte on Tuesday.
The Lions, a 2018 Central Section Division IV semifinalist, stormed back and took the first set before the Rams settled in for a 24-26, 25-13, 25-12, 25-17 victory for the first win at home after losing in straight sets last Wednesday to Clovis West.
“We came out a little flat. We have a lot of seniors, but they are seniors that haven’t played much varsity,” Garces coach John Price said. “Even though on paper it looks like we are experienced, we are inexperienced and that was an issue in game one. I don’t think like they were ready to play this match, then they turned it around after that.”
Garces didn’t flinch after the Lions came back from a six-point deficit in the first as the Rams went on a 12-0 run in the second set with Ali Adkins on the serve to cruise to a 25-13 win and tie the match at 1-1.
“They started to do the things you need to do as a winning team,” Price said. “They are learning how to win.”
Junior Caroline Napier had five of her team-high 14 kills during that run in the second.
“It felt pretty good,” Napier said. “It was nice that we had the Herd to come and support us, which is great. We need the support. This was good.”
The Rams defeated Mira Monte over the weekend at the Highland tournament in a 2-1 victory and now have two more matches this week on the road at Bakersfield Christian on Thursday and in The Holy Bowl on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Fresno-San Joaquin Memorial.
“We grew a lot in this game,” Napier said. “To work together and keep up the good work and talk (to each other). It really helps when we all play hard. When we play hard, we are really good.”
Along with her four aces, Adkins also had a team-high 24 assists as Aspen Chang also had four aces and a team-high 18 digs. Jana Dulcich and Mia D’Amato both had three blocks as Luisa Dulich added 15 digs and six kills and Allison Martin chipped in with 10 digs.
Alex Penner had seven kills for the Rams.
Mira Monte swept the frosh/soph and JV matches earlier in the evening.