Lady Jacks still on the hunt for first conference win of the season
The Humboldt State Lady Jacks put up a good fight in their 3-0 loss against the Cal State Dominguez Hills Toros on Oct. 11 in Lumberjack Arena.
The first set was the most competitive set with nonstop action after Dominguez Hills started off hot on a 8-4 run. The Jacks rallied back to tie the set at 22-22 with kills by Lauren Reid and Savannah Horton before calling a timeout. The Toros rallied and were able to score three straight points to take the first set 25-22.
“We keep fighting until the very end of every set,” junior middle blocker Emma Flewell said.
Dominguez Hills then scored three unanswered points to take set one, 25-22.
The Jacks marked the first kill in the second set, but it was hard to get Dominguez Hills out of a groove as they came out hot again and took a 6-1 lead. The Toros led most of the second set comfortably, but a run by the Jacks held a 18-15 lead. The run came a little too late as the Toros regained control and took the second set with a score of 25-22.
“We all hustled, but I liked Natalie on the outside. She brought it,” Flewell said. “MVP honestly goes to [her], she hit the highest percentage on the team and we need that.”
Jacks outside hitter Natalie Picone was an issue for Dominguez Hills on both offense and defense but the Toros responded with confidence as they rushed to set their lead at 12-6 in the third set.
“I was fired up and ready to go,” Picone said. “I’m ready to fight for it and I want to bring all the energy I can.”
The Jacks bent but did not break as they got within three points at a 13-10 score. However, the Toros completed their sturdy set with a 25-19 win and posed their best offensive set of the night by hitting .378.
“It’s hard to see us lose, we’re just proud as a team,” said freshman opposite Madeline Woods. “Our outside Natalie Picone does it all and serves as a great role model.”
Picone had nine kills, most coming very timely in the third set for the Jacks, and Lauren Reid led the way with 14 kills. Juliana Bertolucci led the team in assists with a whopping 34 total.
“There were too many unforced errors and we need to stay focused at the end of those close games,” said Picone. “We’re still learning and it’s late in season but we need to start games strong. Once we come out with fire, we’re unstoppable.”