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Colfax volleyball leaves Placer sick

After dropping Game 1, Campbell, Falcons rally to take key PVL showdown
By: Todd Mordhorst Journal Sports Editor
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Cassandra Campbell sat in the corner of Earl Crabbe Gym, changing her shoes and asking herself, “Where did that come from?” The Colfax High senior was just as stunned as everyone else who witnessed the Falcons’ remarkable rally at Placer High Thursday night. After getting pounded 25-16 in Game 1, Colfax flipped the switch, cruising through the next three games 25-22, 25-14, 25-18 for a big victory early in the Pioneer Valley League season. “We got our nerves out and then we just kept the intensity up,” said Campbell, who led Colfax with 16 kills and eight blocks in the match. “Yesterday we had a three-hour practice and we practiced as hard as we possibly could all week. We tried to push it as hard as we could and we knew they only had one practice this week.” Placer showed signs of wear late in the match. The Hillgals were playing their third PVL match in as many days after the team was forced to postpone two matches last week when nearly the entire team was suffering from the flu. “I’m not going to make excuses,” Placer coach Jennifer Wright said. “We made a ton of errors and when you give them that many free points, it’s not hard to win.” Placer looked like the team ready to take control of the PVL title race early on. Senior Christina Francis sparked he Hillgals (3-1 PVL, 6-3 overall) in Game 1. She finished the match with 10 kills. The Falcons (4-0 PVL, 5-4 overall)) jumped out to an early 7-2 advantage in the second game and never let up. Erica Heikila served up a key ace late in Game 2 and Campbell came up with a big kill to help tie up the match. Sophomore Iona Lofrano came up big in Game 3, collecting two aces, three blocks and two kills to lead Colfax. Nearly all of the Falcons chipped in to lock up the match in Game 4. Senior Holly Klang came through with two kills, Amber Cramer had a couple of key blocks and Haley Biles ran the offense beautifully at setter. Biles finished with 23 assists to go with seven digs. Heikila served out the final four points of the match and added a key kill in the late-going. She finished with eight kills and four blocks. Klang had seven kills and served up 15 points. Gutierrez had nine digs and served for 16 points while Audrey Lewis hustled for 11 digs. Kathryn Reale led Placer with 11 kills while Stafford added 10. Kelsey Lardner added 23 assists, but the Hillgals could not grab the momentum after Colfax’s early answer. “In that first game we were exceptional,” Wright said. “I don’t think the rest of the match was a true showing of who we are. I’m disappointed, but I’m not worried.” Colfax coach Vicky Satterlee was thrilled with her young team’s performance in stunning the defending PVL champions. “We came out a little panicked,” Satterlee said. “I said, this is just another team. It’s time to play. We did exactly what we worked on. “I’m proud of the girls It’s been a while since we came to Placer and did this.”