The Salinas High girls volleyball team held off Hollister in four games Tuesday afternoon to kick off Monterey Bay League Gabilan Division play and extend their unbeaten league streak.
Salinas prevailed 25-19, 23-25, 25-21, 25-19.
The defending champion Cowboys extended their league unbeaten streak to 30 matches in a row, but this came with some pressure from Hollister, one of the top teams from last year.
After Hollister grabbed the second game, Salinas stormed out of the gates in the third game, going up 7-1 with kills from Emily Cook and Jen Giraudo and service aces from Cook and Erin Reineking.
Hollister chipped away and then used a 9-1 run to eventually take a 14-11 lead. Salinas was reeling, but it found solace on a kill by Cook to get back on serve. Her cross-court kill sparked an 8-1 run to give the Cowboys a 19-15 lead.
Salinas built a 24-17 lead, but Hollister didn’t go away, using blocks and kills by Erica Chapa and Allee Smallwood to close to within 24-21. Salinas ended the third game on a surprise kill from Reineking.
Hollister pounced on Salinas early in the fourth game and kept the Cowboys at an arm’s length, holding the lead until 15-14, when Salinas went on a 6-1 run to go up 20-16 and leave little doubt about the finish. Abby Mendoza had three blocks, with two of them coming in that final stretch.
“It was great,” Cook said of the win. “We all played together as a team and as a family.”
The match lasted almost 2 1/2 hours for various reasons, aside from the two teams trying to match each other on the court. On game point in the first game, Cook fired up a kill that was untouched. A Hollister player, who tried to block it, went down in a heap, and the match was stopped. Paramedics were called to the Salinas High gym, and the girl was carted off on a stretcher on her side as medics tended to one of her lower limbs.
Then in the fourth game, red cards and yellow cards flew as if they were the official game ball trying to be kept in the air by both teams.
Despite losing a player, Hollister rallied to grab the second game when a four-point burst late gave the Haybalers a 21-19 lead. Salinas tied the game at 22-22 before a kill by Smallwood turned the tide back in Hollister’s favor.
“We played well, but all credit to Salinas,” said Hollister coach Dean Askanas. “We had a lot of fight in us, but we have to go back to the drawing board a little bit.”
Reineking had 38 assists and 14 digs, Cook had 18 kills and 12 digs, and Mendoza had 16 digs.
Giraudo, who had 14 kills, mentioned the team’s goal after the match.
“This was our first league game, and the goal is to go undefeated.”
Salinas returns to action Thursday at home against rival North Salinas.
* Alisal 3, Pajaro Valley 2: At Alisal, the Trojans opened up Pacific Division play with a 24-26, 25-18, 25-14, 18-25, 17-15 win over the Grizzlies.
Vanessa Guzman had 12 service aces, and Ebony Maldonado had 20 digs and three service aces.
Alisal returns to action Thursday in Watsonville against Monte Vista Christian.
* Monterey 3, Alvarez 2: At Monterey, the Toreadores rallied from two games down to prevail 13-25, 14-25, 25-20, 25-19, 15-12.
It was the Pacific Division opener for both teams.
Carina Welch had eight kills, 11 digs and a service ace, Crissy Almorade had 28 digs and two service aces and Geneve Hernandez tallied 26 assists, three kills and six digs.
Alvarez next plays Gilroy on Thursday.
* Monte Vista Christian 3, North Monterey County 2: At North Monterey County, the Mustangs played their first Pacific Division match and prevailed 25-19, 25-17, 21-25, 21-25, 15-6.
The loss ended an 11-match skid in league play for the Mustangs.
Monte Vista Christian next plays Alisal on Thursday, while North Monterey County plays at Pajaro Valley.
* Gonzales 3, Soledad 1: At Soledad, the Spartans continued their winning ways by topping Soledad 26-24, 18-25, 25-21, 25-19 in the MTAL opener for both teams.
Gonzales is 8-0 overall.
Andrea Navarro had 14 kills and two blocks for the Spartans, Cassandra Leon had 24 assists and Norma Verduzco had 10 kills and eight service aces.
* Santa Catalina 3, King City 1: At Santa Catalina, the Cougars prevailed 25-20, 25-17, 25-27, 25-20.
Chase LeeHong had 31 kills and 31 digs, Tatumn Satow had 31 digs, Rene Kausin had 29 digs and Lizzy Tardieu had 56 assists.
Catalina is 1-0 in league, 9-1 overall.
* Carmel 3, Anzar 0: At Anzar, the Padres won 25-11, 25-23, 25-12 in the MTAL match. Emily Papenhausen had 22 digs for Carmel.
* Christopher 4, North Salinas 0: At Christopher, the Vikings fell to the Cougars 25-11, 24-26, 25-13, 25-16.
For North Salinas, Hannah Harper and Kaitlyn Siaz each had five kills. The Vikings (1-13, 0-1) host Monterey on Wednesday.
* Notre Dame 3, Seaside 0: At Notre Dame, the Spirits won their league opener 25-12, 25-13, 25-6.
Mikki Des Erpa had 16 kills, Anneke Banda had five kills and four aces and Emily Cunanan had eight kills.
The Spirits are 10-3 overall.
Pacific Grove 243, Notre Dame 312: The Breakers beat the Spirits in a non-league match at the First Tee of Monterey County. Medalist was Lauren Molin of Pacific Grove with a two-over 33.
For Notre Dame, Kyleigh White led with 50.
Santa Catalina 7, Gonzales 0: At Santa Catalina, the Cougars swept singles and doubles.
Singles: Butterworth (SC) def. Mercedes Andrede (G) 6-0, 6-0; Gobel (SC) def. Chantel Zarate (G) 6-0, 6-0; Grace Russell (SC) def. Kimberly Herra (G) 6-0, 6-0, and Samantha Fung def. Sarah Gandert (G) 6-4, 6-0.
Doubles: Asley Sercia-Katherine Kamel (SC) def. Sasha Lujon-Barriero Olivia (G) 6-1, 6-0; Kaylaa Kawaski-Isabelle Redfield (SC) def. Ajondre Ureno-Fahno Pehino-Brenda Ortiz (G) 6-1,6-2, and Julia Clark-Maiya Shoemaker (SC) def. Cechlia Trujillo-Chaynamaree Deanzo (G) 6-2, 6-1.
Boys water polo
Salinas 9, Hollister 4: At Hartnell College, the Cowboys rose to 5-1 in Monterey Bay League play with the win over the Haybalers.
For Salinas, Nat Hunsdorfer had four goals, Jackson Thomsen two and Michael Robertson, Joel Vargas and Nic Clark had one each. Zach Hunsdorfer had five saves.
The Cowboys are 5-2 overall, 5-1 in league.
Girls water polo
Aptos 9, Santa Catalina 8 (OT): The Cougars suffered their first loss of the year. Allie Loomis scored six goals while Colleen Boensel and Chloe Barney had one each. A.J. Diakon had eight saves.
Hartnell: Sophomore Michael Ramirez moved closer to the names of some of Hartnell College’s fastest runners in history. With his sixth place overall performance last Friday at the Lou Vasquez Invitational in San Francisco, only two previous Panthers have run faster at Golden Gate Park. Ramirez covered the four-mile course in 20:19. Freshman Diego Leon placed 13th at 20:41. For the women, Linda Delgado was 10th (20:03and Maritza Ruelas 12th (20:07).