In the first round of the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoffs, the Oakdale Lady Mustangs volleyball girls found themselves as the number seven seed. The defending Valley Oak League champions hosted 10th seeded El Camino in first round action on Tuesday night, Nov. 1. Oakdale’s season came to a close in four sets; 27-25, 18-25, 25-27, 7-25.
In a thrilling first set Oakdale faced a 24-20 deficit before rallying for the victory. Helping lead the way for Oakdale down the stretch were Samantha Nickerson, Abigail Matoso, Isabella Cobarruvias and Kailee Whorton, as defensive dives set up aggressive defense for Oakdale.
Oakdale’s momentum could not carry over to the second set as they were once again facing match point situation. The Lady Mustangs were down 15-24 before scoring three straight to bring it to 18-24. El Camino regrouped and closed out the second set moments later to even the contest.
Much like the first set the two teams went down to the wire in the third. Tied at 13 and a time out taken by the visitors, El Camino made adjustments and took a 20-16 lead. Oakdale quickly made adjustments of their own as they closed the gap, trailing 22-21. Nickerson got the Lady Mustangs even as she tapped the ball over the net and in between two El Camino girls to tie the game at 22. On the next possession, Alyssa Cogburn gave Oakdale the lead 23-22 as she slapped the ball close to the line, just to fall in fair. El Camino took another timeout and like they did before, made the needed adjustments to tie. A couple of possessions later, the teams were tied at 25. El Camino would score two quick points to win 27-25 and take a commanding 2-1 series lead.
The fourth set saw a sluggish Oakdale team come out on the court, who fell behind 7-2 before taking a timeout. With the score at 9-4, El Camino would go on an 8-2 run to force an Oakdale timeout. El Camino closed out the game on an 8-1 run to win the series and advance to the second round.