FAIRFIELD — Sometimes a pep talk has a lasting effect. Just ask the Vanden High volleyball team.
After the Vikings dropped their first match during a weekend tournament to Enochs of Modesto, coach Cindy Scolavino lit into her charges. They rebounded in a hurry, closing out the tournament with wins over Cosumnes Oaks, East Union and Rodriguez.
The wave carried into Tuesday’s Solano County Athletic Conference match at Jim Boyd Gym with American Canyon, which the Vikings won 25-12, 25-17, 25-17.
“The fire was lit,” Scolavino said of the talk she had with her team. “There wasn’t anybody on the court that was going to beat them. They finally found their pace. From this point on, it’s going to be fun.”
Aside for a brief challenge in each set, the Vikings (13-4, 9-2 SCAC) were in control throughout.
They led the first set 12-9 before Meghan Herout served up seven straight points as Vanden won 13 of the last 16 points to close things out.
American Canyon enjoyed its only lead of the match at 16-15 of the second set before Vanden tied it with a Herout kill. The junior middle/outside hitter then served seven straight points, four coming on kills by Kamra Jackson, and Vanden won 10 of the last 11 points.
Herout was 22 of 22 on serves with two aces, adding 15 digs and nine kills, while Jackson had 11 kills, nine digs, two blocks and was 12 of 14 with five aces.
That Vanden had coughed up a 9-1 lead didn’t sit well with Scolavino.
“Sometimes we put on the brakes and pace,” the coach said. “That’s something we want to get out of. We want to go full throttle. It’s a bad habit we want to break, which I attribute to being a young team.”
The Vikings never trailed in the third set, jumping to leads of 3-0, 7-1 and 13-4 before closing things out with a kill by Jennifer Roberts.
“I’m really pleased,” Scolavino said. “We’ve been struggling to gel this year. We have a lot of young players, very talented, no question. Gelling as a team is a little harder this year.”
Also for the Vikings, Mackensie Murphy was 6 of 6 with an ace, two kills, two blocks, five digs and 14 aces, Mia Pau had three kills and five blocks, and Annalyse Silva was 10 of 10 with one ace, one kill, two blocks, three digs and three assists.
Vanden won the junior varsity match 25-14, 25-23 as Malia Johnson was 8 of 9 with one ace and 10 digs, Onnie Walker was 5 of 5 with two aces and six kills, and Victoria Coleman was 6 of 7 with three aces and three kills.
The Vikings’ freshmen team fell 25-19, 25-9, with Tiarra Sukuda 5 of 5 with one kill, and Nyssa Hubbell 6 of 6 with an ace.
Reach Paul Farmer at 425-4646, ext. 264, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/pfarmerdr.