The Santa Ana Dons lost to the Irvine Valley Lasers in three sets on Friday, Sept. 30. The Lasers made their dominant presence known throughout the three sets with bits of hope in between from the Dons.
In the first set, the Lasers built a comfortable lead early on. The Dons tried to come back but could not prevail in a 25-14 loss. The girls came into this game with confidence sporting a 9-1 record. That confidence slowly drifted away as the game progressed throughout the three sets on Friday.
The second set looked more promising as the Dons built an early lead of 12-6 causing the Lasers to take a timeout. That lead slowly went away as the Lasers came back and won the set 25-16. There were also times during the set when the ref would stop the game between points to talk with the teams regarding what was being said on the court. This set was the most heated out of the three as trash talk was at its highest.
The third set suffered the same fate for the Dons as they tried to get back in the game. They lost this set as well in a 25-17 loss. Throughout the set, the team struggled with serve receive which affected how they wanted to go on the offensive.
Some highlights in the game were sophomore libero Ines Lopez who led the team with 9 digs Another was sophomore outside hitter Matilde Teixeira who led the team with 12 kills. Even with these highlights, the Dons energy as a whole deteriorated as the game began to slowly progress in the Lasers’ favor.
“We did well with our serving in this game,” said sophomore middle blocker Kassandra Zavala. “We struggled in keeping the energy up throughout the game as well as playing with a clear mind.”
The Dons were unbeaten on the court with their only prior loss being a forfeit. They now hold a record of 9-2, as well as 2-2 in their conference. Both the Dons and Lasers have been doing well this season as both teams are ranked going into this matchup according to the CCCAA Rankings. To get the team back on the winning side, Zavala acknowledged that there will need a few changes to get the team where they want to be.
“We have to not play with any tension amongst the team, as well as play with our heart rather than individually.”
The Santa Ana Dons next game will be on Wednesday, Oct. 5 against the Fullerton Hornets. Their next home game will be on Friday, Oct. 7 against the Orange Coast Pirates.