Riverside didn’t start well. Their spikes kept hitting the net and they were making bad calls from their defensive side. It looked like Fullerton was en route to winning the first set with a 5-0 lead.
The Tigers made a comeback, catching up to the Hornets in points. They kept the defense on their toes until they took the first set 25-21.
“We had a little bit of issues in the first set with putting the ball down and not communicating well,” said Head Coach Niloofar Mojab. “We shouldn’t have given Riverside even one set.”
The Tigers looked to have given up in set two, making it easy for libero Anne Mayfield to serve several times, acing once, ending the set 25-14 Fullerton.
Set three ended with a competitive rally for a full minute, but several violations and drop balls from Riverside gave the Hornets victory, with Mayfield ending the set with a kill.
“Consistency is probably our biggest problem right now,” said Riverside Head Coach Clara Lowden. “When we’re up, we’re up and when we’re down, we’re down.”
This time, the Hornets made sure their drop balls and offensive mistakes didn’t catch up with them, opening the second set with a 4-1 lead advantage.
Set four mirrored three, with both the Hornets and the Tigers making the same mistakes throughout. All players stayed competitive, showing that both teams have the same defensive and offensive problems on the court.
“I think we can always be a little more aggressive at the net and take a few more risks,” said Mayfield. “Every time we take risks, it always comes out with a good outcome.”
The Hornets kept giving free points to Riverside, allowing them to take the lead 7-4 in the last set. However, Mayfield made several critical points for the team in set four, leading the squad to victory 25-23.
The Hornets (5-7,1-1) will be playing the Saddleback Bobcats (7-1, 0-1) in Mission Viejo next on Friday, Sept. 23, at 6 p.m.