Lincoln volleyball takes Highway 65 match

Zebras beat Wheatland 3-1
By: Jim Linsdau, Sports Editor
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With a power-packed lineup featuring 10 seniors, the Lincoln High girls volleyball team settled the Highway 65 rivalry with Wheatland by turning back the Pirates 25-19, 25-21, 19-25, 25-19 Thursday in the Fighting Zebras house.

Head coach Betty Zamora used virtually everyone on the bench in the match, giving as many of her athletes playing time as possible. All performed well, regardless of which six players were on the floor at any given time.

“It’s almost tradition. Our seniors have been with us a very long time in the program and they know tradition,” said Zamora. “And they’re teaching our younger girls what it means to be a varsity volleyball player.”

Even though Lincoln took an early lead in the first set, the Pirates kept within a point or two until midway through the set. Trailing 15-13, the Bucs called a timeout. After falling behind 19-13, the visitors called a second timeout.

Wheatland recovered to pull within three at 21-18, but from there the Zebras pulled away. Yosline Rodriguez and Mackenzie Eutsey combined for a solid block to end the game 25-19.

In the second sent, middle blocker Dallas Atchley rejected the Pirates’ attacks. Wheatland fell behind 8-2 early on, but battled back to pull within one.

Zamora called a timeout leading 10-9 and Lincoln  quickly went up 18-11

“Any program … you’re going to have your ups and downs and I’m happy to have those ups and downs in preseason,” said Zamora. “It kind of teaches our kids perseverance and endurance to make sure they’re prepared for season.”

The Pirates mounted a mild comeback, but mistakes cost them the second set 25-21.

Starting off 4-1, it appeared the Zebras would end the match in three, but at the midpoint the Bucs reversed the trend to take a 17-15 lead. Lincoln stayed within two of the Pirates, but after Lincoln reached 19 points Wheatland pulled a way to win 25-19.

The Zebras came out strong in set four and jumped out to a 12-6 lead. A Pirates’ timeout did little to help, as the home team increased its lead to 18-7.

Jessica Haskins went on a serving tear and Atchley went back to rejecting Wheatland’s attacks. After a timeout trailing 23-15, the visitors did creep back a bit, but eventually fell 25-19.

“I never like to count my chickens before they hatch, but every year we continue to get better and better and this year I hope to give everybody in the (Pioneer Valley League) a run for their money,” Zamora said. “I’m just super proud of my girls.”

Lincoln has an away match at Rio Linda Sept. 21 before opening PVL play hosting Foothill Sept. 16 and then traveling to Placer for a match Sept. 28.