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Oakdale ends Golden Eagles' spike season

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Del Oro’s bid to reach UC Davis and the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Div. III volleyball finals fell short on the road at Oakdale Tuesday, Nov. 18. Despite playing host Oakdale tough for the first three games, the Lady Eagles dropped a 24-26, 25-22, 25-20, 25-17 semi-finals match in front of a packed Oakdale High gym. It was the second straight year that Del Oro’s season ended in the semifinal round. “The whole night we just weren’t playing the way I’ve seen us play all year, and it’s too bad,” said head coach Stu Kageta. “We definitely felt it was a team we could match up with. We knew what we’re capable of doing and we just weren’t ourselves tonight. I told the girls it felt like there’s unfinished business.” Del Oro led 7-1 in the first game before Oakdale (29-3) mounted a quiet, steady comeback to tie the score at 14 and again at 16 before taking a 20-17 lead. Using her powerful jump serve, Emily Mattevi rattled off four consecutive aces to reverse the deficit and Oakdale four-hit to end a long final rally. Del Oro had a height advantage and balanced firepower, but looked out of sync after the win. The Eagles scored the first three points in a back-and-forth second game. Del Oro last led 15-13, tying the score at 16 and again at 20 on a Mustang error before losing on an unforced error of its own. “Our consistency was off,” Kageta said. “Unforced errors were huge. We could never get in a rhythm because we’d miss a serve by 10 feet or we’d make a good sideout and then give it away.” Del Oro rallied to tie the third game at 18 before letting it slip away. The Eagles looked lost on the court in the final game, when the Mustangs built an early 13-6 advantage and led by as many as 10 late. Rachel Vetterlein had a team-high 10 kills and Russell added six kills and three blocks Jess Lehner had 24 assists and Maddie Shelby finished with 11 digs for Del Oro, The Lady Eagles took third in the SFL behind Division I Nevada Union and Division II Rocklin and finished the season 23-11.