Owls lose in close five-match game

Owls come out with a 0-3 loss against the Santa Monica Corsairs. Number 4, Cassandra Freitag, jumps up to the net to hit the ball right back to the Corsairs. (Stacy Slaughter/Clarion)

By Cameron Wisdom & Careesa Campbell | Staff Writer

The Citrus College Owls continued their five-game losing streak Wednesday to the Ventura College Pirates, adding to their total of eight losses out of 11 volleyball games this season.

The Owls started off strong in the first match, beating the Pirates 20-25, with only making one error in the first 19 points of the set.

Nevertheless, opposite hitter Alyssa Tarango said she thought overall, the team still performed poorly.

“It wasn’t a good win,” she said.

In the opening of the second match, the Owls took the lead yet again, scoring the first four points by kills from sophomore Kyla White and freshman LeAna D’Aquila.

The Owls fell short midway through the second match when the Pirates took a 12-6 lead, but the Owls kept fighting until they eventually came back with a lead of 22-20, after an ace by freshman defensive specialist Jacqueline Medina and a kill by freshman middle blocker Samantha Jape.

But the Owls took another stumble when Ventura scored five points in a row, ending the second match.

Freshman Hailey Pontes, defensive specialist, said after the losing their momentum from the first game, the team was overcome with frustration.

“We lack a lot of heart,” Pontes said. “Sometimes it’s there, sometimes it’s like ‘oh whatever who cares’ but we need to have it all the time.”
After losing two consecutive matches to the Pirates, the Owls came back with a win in the fourth match, beating the Pirates in a close-point set of 25-23, though at the start of the match it looked like the Owls were headed for another loss.

Ventura scored early in the game leading the points with 9-5.

It wasn’t until sophomore Kaylee Johnson made four straight kills that brought that Citrus in the lead at 10-9.

Though it was a close battle for the win, the Owls never lost the lead and beat the Pirates 25-23.

Head coach Shin Jung said the team’s serve-receive is still one of their biggest weaknesses, especially in the final match to 15 points.

In the final match, Ventura started off strong, leading the game 6-0 off of Citrus’ mistakes. The Owls couldn’t return three kills by Ventura hitters Kirra Drury and Meghan Lambert.

Freshman setter Kristen Fox and Jape also contributed to Ventura points with bad sets.

“We just weren’t able to get out of that rotation,” he said. “We let ourselves make a lot of mistakes…It gave [Ventura] a six-point lead.”

After Citrus took a timeout, the Owls attempted a brief comeback with two kills by White, following two mistakes by the Pirates making the score 7-3 but never got closer than three points to the Ventura lead.

Pontes said after the win in the fourth match the team got complacent.

“I just don’t think we were focused,” she said. “I don’t think we were like ‘okay we’re going to kick their butts, let’s win.’”
The loss came as a tough blow to the returning sophomores, who last season, beat Ventura in 3 matches.

“For [Ventura] it’s a payback, which is good for them,” Jung said. “But collectively we didn’t do too well. It is what it is and that’s why we lost.”

The next game is today at 6 p.m. against College of the Canyons. Admission is free.

We probably need more stats from the players but I don’t feel like putting them in right now
And idk if you wana add in the quote below in or not but take a look:
Pontes said the team needs to learn how to overcome their mental mistakes.

“I think we are a way better team and we have the capacity to be better but we just aren’t,” Pontes said. “We had glimpses of good digs, passes and hits and good drive but then we would just go downhill again.”