The competition in Lone Pine volleyball’s Desert Mountain League was intense this year with the final seeding for CIF playoffs coming down to a coin toss.
Unfortunately, the coin did not flip in the Lady Eagles’ favor, nor did their final DML league game Wednesday evening.
The Eagles hosted the Mammoth Huskies who needed the win to end the season in a three-way tie for league champion with Desert and Desert Christian. Mammoth got the win, 3-1.
The Eagles needed the win for a lone fourth-place league finish and a berth in the playoffs. They didn’t get it, ending in a four-way tie with Silver Valley, Boron and Vasquez then losing the series of coin tosses that determined the final playoff berth.
The Eagles went into the critical match blasting away at a strong Huskies team. The lead see-sawed between the two teams until Lone Pine went ahead 14-13, then sprinted to a 25-21 win.
The Huskies went on to take the next two games, 25-16, 25-12. The Eagles looked poised to take the fourth game, sending the match into the tie-breaker. Ahead by as much as 5 points in the early going, Lone Pine was nearly flawless. Then Mammoth came back with a vengeance for a 25-19 win.
“We played with heart and determination,” said coach Mel Joseph. “We never gave up, we just could not put all the right things together at the same time. This team was a very cohesive unit and got along well with each other which makes a coach’s life much easier and enjoyable.”
While Joseph is losing seniors Maureen Cariou, Shawni Patton and Julia Gaytan, he will have five strong returning players and those moving up from junior varsity.
Joseph expressed his appreciation to school staff Victor Hopper, Kasey Ray, also his assistant coach, Mike Button, Brenda Lacey, the transportation department and custodians, scoreboard operator and book keepers as well as student manager Ryan Cappello. volunteer assistant Staci Ayers, middle school coach Nicole Tweedy and the community for its support and funraisers.
Shawni Patton: 11/11 serving, 32 assists, 9 digs
Maureen Cariou: 18/19 serving, 1 ace, 10 kills, 3 blocks, 22 digs
Katelyn Button: 8/9 serving, 11 kills, 3 blocks, 15 digs
Katie Lacey: 10/12 serving, 2 aces, 3 kills, 4 digs
Abby Southey: 12/14 serving, 2 aces, 8 kills. 7 digs
Lena Cariou: 11/12 serving, 11 kills, 8 digs
Emma Howe: 5 digs