Both teams started off strong with Cypress dropping some key winning points, but also making some miscommunication errors during the first set.
Hornets freshman outside and opposite hitter Camille Castillo made several kills winning crucial points for Fullerton with middle back sophomore Jade McIntyre taking lead on the court throughout the whole game.
Cypress dominated and won set three, 25-18, with Fullerton missing a lot of easy plays that helped the Chargers take over, showing that the Hornets had some communication problems on the court.
“Starting with a big roster and becoming a small one, nobody ever complained, we just pushed through. We need to maintain energy,” said Hornets head coach Niloofar Mojab. “My players are mentally and physically more tired than the other teams, but it doesn’t justify [losing this game].”
The Hornets exuded a sense of strong teamwork on the court. The Chargers tried to fight back with outside and opposite hitter Kaelyn Arnold making some hard-hitting kills but came up short with set one going to Fullerton with a score of 25-16.
“We were pretty nervous. We should have never dropped the first [set]”, said Cypress Head Coach Nancy Welliver. “We were playing 70% of what we normally do, hopefully, we’ll come better next time”.
Cypress looked to come back from the first set with hard spikes. Middle back Jubilee Allen had a kill that helped Cypress’ lead.
“I think we need to be more consistent offensively”, said Castillo.
Both teams fought hard going back and forth with Cypress leading the set but made mistakes that could have ultimately been a win for the Hornets. Cypress won set two with a score of 25-22.
Fullerton looked like they found the energy they had on the court during the first set, but starting set four with a four-point lead ultimately wasn’t enough to beat Cypress.
“We’ve had so many up and downs during the season, losing players for different reasons”, said Mojab.
Kills and unpredictable sets from Cypress libero Victoria Reza allowed the Chargers to keep the lead when the Hornets were just about to pass them up in points during set four.
“We had a great start, we just need to finish,” said McIntyre, agreeing with her teammate. “We just needed more consistent offense, better serves, and we’ll be good.”