Tigers sweep past Panthers

Will host Oakmont in SJS playoffs Tuesday as eighth seed in Div.-III

By David Witte
November 4, 2011 

The Los Banos volleyball team clinched a Western Athletic Conference co-championship Tuesday with a 3-0 sweep over crosstown rival Pacheco.

The Tigers jumped out to an 8-0 lead in the first game and showed no mercy from there, winning 25-7, 25-9 and 25-7.

"We served well. We've been trying to work on our serving," LB coach Greg Soliz said. "We've been working on the same things -- the transition from our defense to offense, every day in practice."

Kassandra Gaxiola, Madison "Mad Dog" Fullington and Colleen Allen each had four aces for the Tigers, while Jade Fachin and Mattea Clarke each racked up seven kills.

Los Banos and Central Catholic split the WAC championship, with 11-1 league records. The Tigers have been undefeated, except for a single loss at the Edison tournament over the weekend, since the halfway-point ranking came out with LB eighth, in line to host a playoff game.

"We've been playing really well. I like our chances in the playoffs," Soliz said. "For us to go 3-1 at that tournament was big."

Pacheco kept it close in the second game, tying it 7-7 before Allen took over from the service line to lead LB on a 10-0 run.

The section released its Division III brackets Thursday, with LB seeded eighth and hosting Oakmont in the first round. Game time is 7 p.m. Tuesday.

"That helps us, being at home. It gives us a good fighting chance of winning a game," Soliz said. "Teams have made the playoffs in the WAC, but we tend to be seeded 15th or so, and we have to go all the way up to Sacramento.

"With us hosting, we'll at least be playing a team of the same strength."

Pacheco ended its first varsity season with an 0-12 WAC season.

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