Del Oro dominant in SFL opener

Eagles sweep archrival Granite Bay to win ninth straight match
By: Journal Sports Staff
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A balanced attack was the key to victory in Del Oro High’s Sierra Foothill League opener Monday night. Aly Duffin had nine kills and four blocks to lead the host Golden Eagles in a 25-19, 25-18, 25-17 sweep of archrival Granite Bay. Duffin was also near-perfect from the service line as Del Oro improved to 17-2 overall. Emily Mattevi had nine kills, Belle Obert finished with eight and Hannah Oros added seven of her own. “We had a very balanced attack,” head coach Stu Kageta said. “We knew Granite Bay is a good team. I know a lot of their kids from club volleyball.” Kate Kessler had 21 digs for the Eagles and Bailey Humes tallied 28 assists and 11 digs. Del Oro started slow and trailed for most of the first game before seizing command. “We came out looking a little nervous,” Kageta said. “We got behind and then just controlled the match. It was nice because we didn’t panic. We just relaxed. What characterized this game is we played very smart as a volleyball team and played smart defense. We transitioned a lot of that into offense.” Del Oro and Granite Bay split two matches last year. The Eagles, who finished third in the standings behind Rocklin and Nevada Union, advanced to the Sac-Joaquin Section semifinals, where they fell to Oakdale. Del Oro has won nine consecutive matches since falling to St. Francis in the High Sierra Invitational championship. Their only other loss this season came at the hands of Nevada power Damonte Ranch at the same tournament. The Eagles downed Colfax to win the Sheldon Invitational over the weekend in their last SFL tuneup. “They’re really playing smart volleyball,” Kageta said. “Tonight someone asked me, ‘who’s your outstanding player?’ Really, we could not pick one player.” Obert leads the team with 121 kills, while Duffin has 119 and Mattevi is right behind with 117. Kate Kessler is the leader in digs with 105, nearly twice the total of Obert (54). Duffin has a team-high 33 blocks and Oros has 22. Del Oro continues SFL action on the road against Oakmont and Woodcreek next week. In Monday’s junior varsity action, the Eagles won 25-13, 25-20 to improve to 11-2 overall. The Grizzlies won the freshman match in three games.