DANVILLE — Senior Maclaine Fields made her presence known Thursday night at Monte Vista High School, blocking six shots and assisting on two others as the Mustangs’ girls volleyball team rallied from early first-set deficit to secure a 3-1 match victory over visiting Foothill.
“She had a lot of one-on-one blocks,” Monte Vista coach J.J. Utchen said. “The different of the match was, we took control of the net.”
Asked about memorable moments in the East Bay Athletic League match, Mustangs junior E’lan Riter said simply: “Mac’s blocks.”
Lots of credit goes to Riter, too, since she tallied team-highs of 13 kills, 24 digs and seven aces. Several of her swings added momentum for Monte Vista (12-3, 2-0 EBAL), which coasted in sets two through four but trailed big in No. 1.
Foothill (8-3, 1-1 EBAL) built first-set leads of 15-6 and 19-10 partly thanks to four of senior Erin Page’s six aces.
“They came out with all guns blazing, totally fearless,” Utchen said, lauding the Falcons.
A block by Fields edged Monte Vista within 19-14 and induced a timeout from Foothill coach Dusty Collins.
“They turned us on our heels very quickly,” Collins said. “And that’s what it felt like for the rest of the match.”
The Mustangs tied things up at 19 and 23 — boosted by another Fields block, two aces by Ava Patterson and a pair of kills by Morgan Burroughs — but Foothill prevailed on a service error and a block by sophomore Hana Okuhara (6 aces, 9 digs).
That first-set surge, though, spilled into the second set. Monte Vista pulled away midway through the second set and coasted to a 25-18 win.
In the third set, Monte Vista took an early lead largely because junior Alex Nickerson accomplished the volleyball version of a hat trick: ace, kill, block. And again the Mustangs galloped to a 25-18 win.
Foothill fought off a fourth-set deficit of 23-16 with the help of Andrea Paduraru, who totaled 16 kills two days after missing a match because of flu-like symptoms. Also integral was senior libero Taylor Campbell (15 digs).
The Falcons inched within 24-21, but Burroughs buried a swing to end the match.