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Gonzalez, Sims propel Sonora to victory over Sunny Hills
FULLERTON - Sonora’s girls volleyball team earned a crucial Freeway League win Tuesday, defeating second-place Sunny Hills, 25-19, 14-25, 25-21, 25-20, at Sunny Hills High.
Sonora (14-10, 4-4) didn’t have sophomore Ariana Gonzalez and senior Kyra Sims when they teams met in league play on Sept. 28, which Sunny Hills (14-14, 5-3) won in five games.
This time the two centers gave the Raiders the edge they needed to beat the Lancers.
“We didn’t have either of those girls when we played Sunny Hills last time, and I really feel like they made all the difference,” Sonora coach Andrew Johnson said of Gonzalez and Sims.
Sims said she entered the match determined to help her team win.
“I’m not going to let us lose, and I’m going to make sure the team works together and gets the win,” said Sims.
During all four sets, it was clear the Raiders knew which player on the Lancers to shut down, as junior Brittany Zavala was restricted to 11 kills.
“They have a really good player, No. 25 (Zavala), who had 30 kills against us in the first round (of league)," Johnson said, "and we knew we had to key on her and make the other girls beat us.”
It was an important game for both teams, as they try to secure CIF-SS playoff spots. Sonora sits in fourth place and is looking to move up and earned one of the league's three guaranteed playoff spots.
The playoffs begin Oct. 29.
Sunny Hills coach Amanda Donaldson said her team became too comfortable after beating Sonora in the first round of league play.
“We got way to casual, it’s round two," she said. "We definitely felt comfortable with beating them the first time and that ruined us.”
Donaldson said that sometimes it’s a good thing for a team to be humbled before the playoffs.
“It’s good sometimes for a team to get a little bit humbled, its unfortunate now, but hopefully this will make them get back on the grind.”