Lady Dogs stay perfect in league play, win in straight sets

Sterling Parker (pictured above against Clayton Valley) had nine kills in a win over Concord on Oct. 11, 2016. (MARK FIERNER / Martinez Tribune)
Sterling Parker (pictured above against Clayton Valley) had nine kills in a win over Concord on Oct. 11, 2016. (MARK FIERNER / Martinez Tribune)

By GERARDO RECINOS
Martinez Tribune

No team has managed to do it yet this season, and with half the league campaign done, it doesn’t seem like any one will be able to.

It’s not that the Bulldog girls haven’t been beat. They haven’t even been challenged. Take their 3-0 win over Concord High School on Tuesday, Oct. 11. They jumped out to 9-2, 8-3, and 9-3 leads in all three sets.

Willie Marchesano’s team will qualify for the playoffs easily, but the difficulty of their league campaign, or lack there of, will likely hurt them in seeding.

Clayton Valley, the only team who could possibly challenge the Dogs, went 23-11 in the regular season, and only lost a single game in the now defunct Diablo Valley Athletic League. They got the number six seed despite the strong record, and were dumped out in the second round.

However the Bulldogs, who only got a single game in the playoffs last year, would probably take that. The way they’re playing at the moment however doesn’t lead you to believe they will come up short.

Sure they haven’t had much competition, but even great teams can fall short when they are expected to dominate. And to their credit, Alhambra has yet to slip up.

If you ask Marchesano, he isn’t taking anything for granted, and to him, the Diablo Athletic League title is only the first goal he has set for the team.

And the team knows it. Because they haven’t let up. A quick 7-0 run fueled by a pair of Rachel Thompson aces and Erin Silva kills.

The set win was fairly easy, impressive kills by Gabby Chase and Makenzie Salva, and a key ace by Mackenzie Goulding. That helped them jump out to a 23-9 lead. The Bulldogs slipped up a bit, but because they put themselves in a place of safety, they could close out the set.

After a quick battle in opening points in the second set, the Bulldogs went on a 7-1 run. Sasha Marshall had a pair of kills, and Gabby Chase did so as well in the run. The spurt from the Bulldogs was capped by an ace by Maddie Gray, who also had 20 assists in the match.

A flurry of kills came from Sterling Parker and co. (Parker had nine to lead the Bulldogs0 in the final part of the second set. A thunderous kill from Salva and a well-place shot by Marshall secured the second set win.

The third set was similar to the first set. The Bulldogs had an onslaught that allowed them to take a huge lead so that by the end of the set, even a small hiccup wouldn’t cost them their 100 percent record in all sets in league play this season.

About Gerardo Recinos

Gerardo Recinos is a journalist currently living in Concord, Calif. He is a recent graduate of San Francisco State University, with a degree in Journalism (History minor). Gerardo covers sports throughout Martinez and Pleasant Hill. It's his lifelong mission to get people in the U.S. to stop calling football "soccer," and to call American football "handegg."

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