SACRAMENTO, Calif. – In a rematch of the Sac-Joaquin Section championship from a season ago, the St. Francis volleyball team flipped the script with a 24-26, 25-13, 25-11, 20-25, 15-13 five-set win over Oak Ridge at home on Wednesday. The Troubadours improved to 4-0 on the season with three wins over teams ranked in the Sacramento Bee Top 5.
"I think it is early season between two very strong teams," said Head Coach Alynn Wright. "Both teams are trying to figure out who they are. The sets that were lost were filled with a lot of errors. It is what you would expect early season. But I am proud of the girls for digging deep, especially playing back-to-back, and going five and coming from behind to win."
St. Francis, the top-ranked team by the Sacramento Bee, lost the first set to the No. 2 Trojans 26-24.
"We had a slow start," said junior Lauren Patella. "We picked up the energy at the end of the first set but it was not enough to come back."
St. Francis got back in the match by winning the second and third sets, 25-13 and 25-11, respectively. But SF was unable to close out the Trojans as Oak Ridge forced a decisive fifth set with a 25-20 win in the fourth.
In the final set, the Trojans took the first six points of the set, looking to complete the second straight five-set win over the Troubies. Oak Ridge won the section title in a tightly-contested, five-set match last fall.
Carli Padilla got the rally started with her serve as SF rallied to tie the game at 6. The teams would go back and fourth with four ties over the next eight points. The last came at 11 before St. Francis took a 14-11 lead with three straight points, closing it out 15-13.
Senior Alexa Edwards led the team with 25 kills and 23 digs to be named the TroubieTV Player of the Game. Sophomore Kamryn Carter had a career-high 10 kills with Danica Nelson, Ellie Eichhorn and Lauren Patella all recording double-digit digs. Eichhorn led the offense with 37 assists.
"We are very happy we were able to come together as a team at the end and enjoy the win," said Lauren Patella. "We fought back by playing together. We were playing as individuals. We finally came together, started talking and never gave up."
St. Francis will play in the Central California Classic in Merced on Friday and Saturday. The open play at 4:30 p.m. in pool play with Hughson, Sonora and Beyer.