CLOVERDALE -- Cloverdale's volleyball team absorbed a narrow defeat Thursday, losing to Monrovia 28-30, 20-25, 25-22, 26-24, 15-10 in a well played West Central Conference match on the Clovers' floor.
"What a disappointment," Cloverdale coach Kathy Moore said.
Cloverdale's sorrow came in several packages. It's homecoming week and several former players and managers were in attendance. It also was the Clovers (9-4, 1-2 WCC) first loss at home this season.
"The positive note was it was nice to se a lot of former players and managers," Moore said.
The Clovers expected it to be a close match against the Bulldogs (6-10, 1-1 WCC).
"When we play Monrovia, it's always a rivalry," Moore said. "We knew it was going to be a fight."
Cloverdale held off three game points in the first set, finally taking it on a kill by Bradanne Toney and a well-placed soft shot into an unguarded area for a 30-28 win.
The Clovers broke open a close second game by scoring six straight points for a 22-15 lead.
Monrovia made a 5-0 run to get within two points, but the Clovers closed out the game with the final three points and a 25-20 margin.
Cloverdale was defending and passing well and getting strong net play from Toney, Mariah Oetken and Taylor Jones and all-around play from setter Bristy Skiles. The Clovers kept the ball in play and the pressure forced the Bulldogs into more mistakes in the second game.
"Cloverdale digs a lot better than we do," Monrovia coach Celina Clements said."
But Monrovia began attacking better late in the third game. Trailing 19-16, the Bulldogs out-scored the Clovers 9-3 to take the third game 25-22.
Cloverdale battled back from a 20-15 deficit to tie the fourth game, 20-20, on Toney's kill and it was still tied at 25-24. Monrovia won the final two points to force the fifth set.
Monrovia led 10-9 in the final game when it went on a 5-1 run to win the match. Four of the points were powerful kills and the final point was a well-placed push shot into the corner.
"They (Monrovia) got hot," Moore said. "Once they started hitting, we had difficulty digging up the ball."
Toney was outstanding. The junior middle hitter had 25 kills, two blocks, two digs and four points. Oetken, a senior middle hitter, also had a productive match with 13 kills eight points and five digs. Jones had 10 kills, 10 points and 10 digs in a strong all-around effort. Skiles was superb setting with 28 assists and added three kills, five points and 11 digs.
Monrovia 28 20 25 26 15
Cloverdale 30 25 22 24 10
Cloverdale: Kills -- Toney 25, Oetken 13, Jones 10, Patterson 4, Skiles 3, Robson 2; Assists -- Skiles 28; Points -- Jones 10, Jordan 9, Oetken 8, Gruener 6, Skiles 5, Toney 4, Fulkerson 4; Blocks --Toney 2; Digs -- Skiles 11, Jones 10, Gruener 5, Robson 5, Jordan 6, Oetken 5, Fulkerson 2, Toney 2.