The exhibition match doesn’t count toward the Tigers’ regular season record. Instead it was a chance to raise money through admission fees to support the Sac-Joaquin Section’s scholar-athlete awards. In 2011-12, the section gave more than $35,000 in scholarship money to 50 student-athletes.
Volleyball teams start each season with foundation-game fundraisers for the scholarships, which are announced at the end of each school year. Admission costs are split between participating host schools and the section, which also has foundation games during the basketball season.
Although Patterson fared well in stretches on offense Monday, the Tigers fell to the Redskins 25-22, 25-19, 25-20.
The good news for first-year Patterson head coach Tarah High is that her team still has a clean record.
“I think that there is room for improvement in all areas,” she said. “Right now, we’re not taking that extra step. We need to start communicating better and being more aggressive.”
High remains optimistic, despite many of the girls beginning the season never having logged a minute of varsity playing time.
“This is a good experience for the girls,” she said. “Many of them are still learning their positions. I am expecting a lot from them, and they are expecting a lot from themselves.”
Patterson never led in the first set and couldn’t overcome Gustine’s strong front line, despite some spirited rallies.
While the Tigers played better in the second set, the Redskins recorded another victory and seemed to gain momentum entering the third set.
Aggressive hitting and serving led Gustine to its third win.
“What we’ve been doing in practice is just the fundamentals, starting from the beginning: bump, pass, set or hit,” High said. “Of course the nerves were there (Monday), but that’s also part of the varsity experience.”
Patterson’s leaders on the court Monday included junior Kiara Job, who had five kills and eight assists, and sophomore Bailey Boschi, with two kills and five aces. Mele Tupouata, a junior, and Mariele Schut, a sophomore, both contributed four kills, and sophomore Lucero Vargas provided five digs.
“We’re trying girls out at different positions and testing their skill levels,” High said. “Soon we’ll know our starting six, and we can go from there.”
The Tigers continue their season at 6 p.m. today, Aug. 30, when they host Merced’s Stone Ridge Christian High.
Contact Marc Aceves at 892-6187, ext. 28, or firstname.lastname@example.org.