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June 28, 2022

Acorns top Mustangs, fall to Balers

Live Oak keeps its sights on post-season play
Only one thing stands between Live Oak and a Tri-County Athletic
League volleyball championship: The San Benito Haybalers.
On Wednesday night the Balers made it known that they planned to
stay atop the league standing’s sheet courtesy of a 15-10, 15-9,
10-15, 15-12 blowout over the Acorns in Morgan Hill.
Live Oak keeps its sights on post-season play

Only one thing stands between Live Oak and a Tri-County Athletic League volleyball championship: The San Benito Haybalers.

On Wednesday night the Balers made it known that they planned to stay atop the league standing’s sheet courtesy of a 15-10, 15-9, 10-15, 15-12 blowout over the Acorns in Morgan Hill.

When it was over, the Acorns had slipped to 4-2 in league play and 25-5 overall.

“The only way to beat them is to grow taller,” said Live Oak volleyball coach Laura Coleman with a chuckle after Wednesday’s contest. “We played really, really well, but they are just too big; that is really the difference.”

Despite the loss, the second-place Acorns appear to be a lock for post-season play. But even if they do get into the Central Coast Section playoffs, Coleman doesn’t believe anybody from her league will go deep into the tournament.

“The problem is that Mitty and St. Francis are now competing in the same division (Division I) as us,” said Coleman. “At the start of the season, St. Francis was ranked No. 1 in the country.”

Earlier in the week, the Acorns looked as though they could have competed with anyone.

After dropping the first game 15-10 to Gilroy High, the Live Oak girl’s volleyball team made a dramatic turnaround Monday night.

And by the end of play, not only had the Acorns sent the Mustangs to the showers with loss in hand, Live Oak put on a clinic in the process.

The Acorns won the final three games by scores of 15-3, 15-8 and 15-2.

As impressive as that sounds, Live Oak Coach Laura Coleman wasn’t pleased with her team’s effort.

“I’m a little upset with our play,” said Coleman. “We were awesome against Notre Dame (previous game) but tonight we were flat-too many hitting errors.”

What cost the Acorns the opening game was poor serving-and a rule set by Coleman.

“I sat out a lot of my best players in the opener,” she said. “If you miss practice, you don’t start and that hurt us in the beginning.”

From the opening serve of the second game, it was apparent that Gilroy was outmatched. As play went on, the Acorns got stronger and stronger.

“Gilroy had a poor night passing,” said Coleman. “They also don’t have a very good offense and we were able to take them out of their game.”

Two players for Live Oak who were instrumental in the victory were senior Kristina Conrad and sophomore Juliette Bowers.

Conrad led the Acorns with 23 kills and Bowers played outstanding defense with 23 digs.

With the loss, Gilroy is now 6-5 overall and 2-3 in league action.

“We played OK,” said Coleman. “Our defense was average but our server-receiving passing game was good.”

Even though Gilroy has struggled and is not a playoff-caliber team like Live Oak, Coleman was happy to pick up the win.

“You can’t take anything for granted in this league,” she said. “Gilroy plays the game correctly, not sloppy, and they get better each year.”

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