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Early clash could be key in PVL race

Prep Volleyball
By: Todd Mordhorst Journal Sports Editor
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The Placer High volleyball team has played just one match since Sept. 22. Suddenly two of the biggest matches of the season loom in the next five days.
The Hillgals host rival Colfax tonight to open Pioneer Valley League play, then travel to Bear River on Monday to face the red-hot Bruins. Both teams are trying to wrest the PVL title from Placer, which is seeking a fourth straight crown.
Placer and Colfax have played several heated matches in recent seasons. The Falcons have placed second in the PVL each of the past three seasons. Colfax and Placer shared the league championship in 2006 – coach Jennifer Wright’s inaugural season on the Hillgals’ bench.
Both teams are loaded this season. Placer features senior Michaela Leonard, who has committed to play at San Jose State next year. She leads a talented group of veterans, including Kirstin Schauble, Erin Ellner and Gabby Orteza. The Hillgals also have impressive young players in Kellyn McDonald, Becky Mathews and Lauren Collins.
The Falcons are anchored by a stellar group of seniors. Hard-hitting Iona Lofrano, Kelsey Whittet, Haley Biles, Ashley Scott and Maggie Aubuchon are hungry for a championship. Sophomore Maddi Ittner has come on strong for the Falcons.
The action begins tonight at Earl Crabbe Gym at 6 p.m.
Placer defeated Center 25-12, 25-9, 25-13 Monday night in its PVL opener at Sacramento. Kirstin Schauble had nine kills and 14 assists to lead the way while Kailey Gaffney sparked the defense with 13 digs.
Lauren Collins and Becky Matthews added seven kills apiece for the Hillgals.
Colfax 3, Foothill 0 at Colfax — The Falcons had no trouble in their league opener, hammering the Mustangs 25-7, 25-7, 25-10.
Iona Lofrano led a balanced Colfax attack with eight kills. Maddi Ittner had five kills while Katy Thomas and Maggie Aubuchon added four apiece.
Haley Biles dished out 16 assists and was perfect serving, scoring 23 points.
The Falcons were coming off an excellent showing at the Carmichael Invitational Tournament on Saturday. They took second place, falling to Lodi in the title match in three games. Colfax posted wins over Bella Vista, Rio Americano, Ripon, Carson, Nev. and Terra Linda.
Bear River 3, Lincoln 0 at Lake of the Pines — The Bruins cruised past the Zebras 25-8, 25-10, 25-15 to open PVL play at home.
Kirsten Pereira led the way with 12 kills and Nicole Nattrass tossed in seven kills for the Bruins (15-4 overall). Haley Brown dished out 12 assists.
Granite Bay 3, Del Oro 1 at Loomis — The Golden Eagles lost a duel for first place in the Sierra Foothill League 25-13, 25-27, 25-21, 25-22 Tuesday nig ht.
Del Oro (2-1 SFL) got eight kills, 11 assists and 11 digs from junior Morgan Lees, but could not keep up with the league-leading Grizzlies (3-0). Stephanie Solich served up 10 points with three aces and Laura Hunt scored seven points with two aces for the Eagles. Megan Hentschke hustled for 30 digs and Tatum Jungsten came up with eight blocks for Del Oro.

Forest Lake 3, Delta 1 at Clarksburg - The Falcons battled through a long road trip and sickness to drop the Saints 25-14, 25-18, 22-25, 25-22.

Aly English had eight kills, 11 assists and two aces while sister Emily English had eight kills and a block to pace Forest Lake (4-1 CVCL). Megan Gauthier added 11 digs and four aces while Morgan Koch tossed in six blocks, 10 digs and three aces.

Victory Chrisitan 3, Foresthill 0 at Sacramento - The Wildfires fell to 3-2 in the CVCL with a 25-22, 25-21, 25-19 loss on the road.

Caitlin McCann had 12 kills and 12 assists for Foresthill while Sadie Stroup added six kills, 17 digs and four aces. Kayla Sutton chipped in with seven kills and Cheyenne Williams had 10 digs.