Lady Highlanders sweep rivalry series with four-set win

By Jason Burch
La Habra Journal

La Habra traveled across town to Sonora High School to conclude the season series in volleyball and walked away with a

La Habra's Marina Pilkington tries to his a shot past Sonora's Sophia Kane and Kyra Sims Thursday at Sonora.
La Habra’s Marina Pilkington tries to hit a shot past Sonora’s Sophia Kane and Kyra Sims Thursday at Sonora.

nearly identical performance as the previous meeting, taking three-of-four sets in convincing fashion Thursday night.



Senior Marina Pilkington wasn’t available a couple weeks ago when the two teams met at La Habra, but she certainly made her presence felt with 10 kills and a host of blocks, including an emphatic spike for match point and the 25-16 victory.

La Habra Head Coach Adrianne Spear said she was really pleased with the way the girls responded after a tough five-set loss to Troy.

“We came off a tough loss to Troy, we took them to five and I was hoping that wouldn’t affect us, but take all that energy from the previous game and carry it over to tonight,” Spear said. “I think the girls saw their capability from that game, came out and said we can do this.”

La Habra's Carly Richter helps lead the Lady Highlanders on the court during their 3-1 win over Sonora Thursday.
La Habra setter Carly Richter helps lead the Lady Highlanders on the court during their 3-1 win over Sonora Thursday.

Spear had high-praise for Pilkington and freshman Carly Richter, who she said are the catalysts for the team.

“Marina for sure gets us going when she is out there, and so does Carly Richter,” Spear said. “With those two paired together, it’s what keeps us going.”

Richter’s maturity and understanding of the game at such a young age has impressed her coach this season.

“Carly sees the game really well, and she has a really high volleyball IQ, she sees things that a lot of people don’t see, so we coach her up, but we also let her do her own thing out there,” Spear said. “It was funny, even the referee said, ‘wow, she really runs the show out there doesn’t she.’”

Carly Richter finished with 17 digs on the night.

Junior Taylor Richter lead the Lady Highlanders with 11 kills.

The Lady Highlanders (10-11, 4-3) took the first set 25-14 and looked to be cruising along in the second set with a 16-12 lead midway through.

However, Sonora (13-10, 3-4) roared back to tie it at 18, and then took their first lead on the next serve. La Habra fought back to tie it 22-22, but the Raiders closed out the set with three straight winners to bring the sets even.

Lad Highlander Kimberely Gamez fires one at Sonora's Sophia Kane and Arianna Gonzalez.
Lady Highlander Kimberely Gamez fires one at Sonora’s Sophia Kane and Arianna Gonzalez.

“Sometimes we let teams sneak back up and take us,” Spear said. “We still need to learn how to overcome that.”

The third set was a total back-and-forth battle. Neither team could extend more than a three-point lead until La Habra closed out the set exactly like Sonora did in the second, scoring the sets final three points for the 25-19 win.

Both teams next game will be on Tuesday. Sonora will be at Sunny Hills (14-14, 5-2) while La Habra will be back home to take on Buena Park (2-10, 0-7).

Started in 1995, the La Habra Journal is an independent community news source serving the cities of La Habra and La Habra Heights.