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Hawks show great improvement in volleyball
Central Valley High School's varsity volleyball team faced a tough opponent on Senior Night.

The Hawks didn't get embarrassed as they improved each game while dropping their Valley Oak League finale, 25-12, 25-15, 25-17, to undefeated Sonora Wednesday night.

"We did what we could," Central Valley head coach Tauheedah Gaines said. "It could have been worse."

The Hawks tied for fifth place with Manteca in the VOL standings at 7-9.

Sonora won all 16 of its matches.

Central Valley almost doubled its conference win total (4-10) from a season ago. The Hawks also contended for playoffs before being eliminated down the stretch.

"The girls were driven this year," Gaines. "They had more team unity. I just wish we ended as strong as we started. We know we should have won more games. We didn't take advantage."

"We've never had a shot at playoffs until this season," senior Amanda Lopez said. "I'm pleased. We've gotten better. I think it's motivation for them next year, knowing they have a chance."

Added sophomore Jenna Mills: "We just need to get more consistent."

Central Valley challenged Sonora in the early going.

The Hawks trailed 10-8 in the first two sets, and 13-11 in Game 3.

Alyssa Long led Central Valley with five digs, four blocks and one kill.

Vicki Ochoa had eight assists and one ace.

Seniors Valerie Uti (one kill, one ace) and Gigi Sahota (one block) contributed as well.

Sahota, Uti and Lopez were recognized and presented flowers before suiting up for the Hawks for the final time.