The Tracy High volleyball team got past one of its toughest Tri-City Athletic League opponents Wednesday, taking a 3-1 win over Lincoln High of Stockton.
The Bulldogs (15-3, 2-0 TCAL) won the first, third and fourth sets, 25-18, 24-26, 25-22, 25-18. They held the advantage through most of the competition, but the Lincoln Trojans wouldn’t let them get comfortable with the lead.
“We have been hearing that Lincoln is a really good team and we’ve had high expectations for them, and they really showed up,” senior Leila Sardinha said. “We were thinking that we had to put our hearts in this game and we understood this wasn’t going to be an easy team, or that this wasn’t going to be an easy win.”
In the first set, Lincoln cut Tracy’s lead to 2 points, 17-15, before freshman Chloe Lemons went to the service line for a string of points to put Tracy back in control.
The second set was tied 8-8 when Tracy junior Dharshini Sridharan led a scoring run. But Lincoln kept it close, and when Tracy was just a point away from clinching the set, with a score of 24-20, Lincoln made a successful scoring run to take the set 26-24.
The third set was close as well, and the Bulldogs proved dominant at the net with sophomore Kylie Van Os and Sardinha putting up effective blocks. The Trojans were still able to take a 22-21 lead before Sridharan went to the service line to help her team score the points the Bulldogs needed at the end.
Tracy finally led for the entire set in the fourth set, and scoring runs led by Lemons and junior Natalie Laiolo gave the Bulldogs a commanding lead at the end.
Laiolo was Tracy’s attacking leader for the night with 20 kills. She said the key was to not underestimate Lincoln.
“Going in, we knew that they had a really big middle, so we knew to watch out for her and arrange our defense,” she said. “They are a great team and have some really good hitters and defense, so we really did play our hearts out. It was a really intense game for us.”
Sardinha scored 15 kills for the night. Senior Teia Magaoay had 24 assists, and Lemons had seven kills and two serving aces.
Tracy has the Tiger Cup Tournament in Belmont on Saturday and will face St. Mary’s of Stockton in a home match Monday to continue with TCAL play.
“We know St. Mary’s has always been our biggest competition,” Sardinha said. “We’ve always gone to five (sets) against St. Mary’s. We all have this anticipation. We want it to come sooner than later. It’s so exciting because we know we’ll have a great competition and a great experience.”
Tracy’s junior varsity and freshman teams both beat Lincoln 2-0.