The preseason schedule is a time for coaches to evaluate players and for teams to get back into rhythm.
St. Francis girls’ volleyball coach Guy Putnins said what he’s noticed so far is an inexperienced roster that’s having trouble closing out games.
“We’re young, we can’t finish,” he said.
The Sharks lost a tough battle at home against Oakwood School on Wednesday in five sets, 25-18, 22-25, 25-22, 14-25, 9-15, in non-league competition.
The Sharks, who play in the Pacific Coast Athletic League Cypress division, have played in back-to-back five-set matches.
Putnins said the team was also without the full services of senior Grace Kovacs, who rolled her ankle during warmups on Saturday and partially played on Wednesday.
“She was about 80 percent (healthy) the whole game,” Putnins said. “And she still didn’t want to come out.”
St. Francis junior setter Emma Fitzpatrick came in for Kovacs and Putnins said she immediately had a positive impact.
“(Fitzpatrick) came in and really inspired the team because she’s a kid off the bench,” Putnins said.
Oakwood senior Chandler Buciak finished with a team-high 18 kills. She said they started off slow but managed to focus as the game went on.
“We got our energy up, honestly. That’s one of the main things,” she said. “We didn’t let them get in our heads and we just pushed, confidence.”
Buciak said the fourth game was one of the best they played throughout the night and all they had to do was keep that momentum going into the fifth.
“We were all exhausted and it was some hard games but we managed to pull it together,” she said.
Ashley Bruning finished with 12 kills, while libero Maddy Hagen racked up eight kills for the Hawks.
Next up, the Sharks (0-2) play at Live Oak of Morgan Hill on Monday at 6 p.m.
Watsonville 3, Pacific Collegiate 2: The Wildcatz defeated the Pumas on Thursday in five sets, 25-14, 26-28, 25-18, 15-25, 15-9, in non-league play.
Watsonville is off to a hot start this season and it has won two straight games, including a victory against North Salinas on Tuesday in three sets, 25-23, 25-22, 25-15, in non-league play.
Next up, the Wildcatz (2-1) will host the Watsonville Varsity Tournament on Saturday with a time to be announced.
M.V.C. 3, San Lorenzo Valley 0: The Mustangs defeated the Cougars on Thursday in three sets, 25-15, 25-20, 25-16, in non-league play.
M.V.C. bounced back after it came up short against the Pirates on Tuesday in three sets, 25-19, 25-14, 25-17, in non-league play. The Mustangs (1-2) play at Scotts Valley on Monday at 6:30 p.m.
St. Francis (Mountain View) 3, Aptos 0: The Mariners were defeated by the Lancers on Thursday in three sets, 25-16, 25-18, 25-12, in non-league play.
Aptos was fresh coming off a pair of non-league wins against San Benito and Salinas, a team it had not beaten in four years.
Next up, the Mariners (2-1) will compete at the ninth annual Chris Chandler Invitational at Menlo School, which begins Saturday at 8 a.m.
Mount Madonna 3, Watsonville 0: The Hawks defeated the Wildcatz on Aug. 30 in three sets, 25-18, 25-12, 25-12, in non-league play.
Pajaro Valley 3, Pacific Collegiate 1: The Grizzlies defeated the Pumas on Aug. 29 in four sets, 25-11, 25-23, 22-25, 26-24, in non-league play.
Christopher 3, Mt. Madonna 1: The Hawks came up short against the Cougars on Aug. 29 in four sets, 26-24, 23-25, 28-26, 25-20, in non-league play.
Mt. Madonna junior Savanah Campbell finished with a team-high 36 assists, while senior Paola Jacobs finished with six kills.
Sophomore Lina Kitchell finished with a team-high 12 kills, while freshman Mariah Cohen racked up 10 kills for the Hawks, who will host Scotts Valley on Sept. 12 at 6:30 p.m. for their Santa Cruz Coast Athletic opener.
Coaches are encouraged to report scores, stats and highlights to [email protected] following games or call 831-761-7335. Please include your name and a contact number in the email.