Lincoln falls to Whitney in five games

By: Russ Edmondson The News Messenger
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Lincoln High’s varsity volleyball team dropped a tough, five-game match to visiting Whitney on Tuesday night. The Zebras won Game 1 and Game 3 but lost the match (23-25, 25-22, 14-25, 26-24, 15-9). Lincoln is now 9-11 overall and 2-8 in the Pioneer Valley League while Whitney is 7-3 in the PVL. The Wildcats also beat Lincoln in five games when the teams battled in the first round of league action. “We played our best game of the year,” Lincoln coach Mandy Retallack said about Tuesday’s loss. “Just tiny mistakes. They have a good hitter and she would get five in a row or something and eventually we would make a passing mistake.” Retallack was proud of her team. “The first game against them last time we lost 25-4, but we showed up to play this time,” Retallack said. “The girls really wanted this and they played their hearts out.” Two more matches remain for the Zebras, today at Placer (6 p.m.) and Tuesday at Mesa Verde (6 p.m.). Lincoln beat Mesa Verde in three games last time but lost to Placer in three games. “I had told (the team), with five games left, that we could definitely win four of the last five,” Retallack said. “And we have lost two and won one since then. I know we can win these last two games.” Lincoln’s Shannon Kellar had a personal-best 44 digs against Whitney while Brittany Browand collected 18 digs and 17 assists. Teammates Shannon Fagan (eight kills), Hailey Balli (10 kills) and Rebekah Brumbaugh (11 kills) also starred for the Zebras. Balli is playing in the middle as middle hitter Julia Lathrop has been out with a sprained ankle. Lathrop is on crutches and Retallack says she may not return this season. Lincoln lost to visiting Colfax (25-13, 25-20, 25-9) on Oct. 22. First-place Colfax is 9-0 in the PVL. Kellar (23 digs), Brumbaugh (11 digs, four kills), Balli (six blocks, three kills), Browand (10 digs, five assists), Emmalee Dornbush (five digs, three assists) and Gabi Edwards (four digs, one ace) were the statistical leaders for the Zebras.