Holy Family volleyball Coach Robert Bringas couldn't quite put his finger on the reason his Gaels lost, 25-16, 25-22, 25-21, to host St. Anthony on Tuesday night in the first round of the CIF Southern Section Division 4-A playoffs other than the simple fact that, "it didn't click."
"We were there," said Bringas, whose team won a share of the Horizon League title and ended its season at 14-9-3. "We had various opportunities to close out and we didn't."
Tied at 15 in the opening game, Holy Family relinquished a 7-0 run to St. Anthony (13-8), the second-place finisher out of the Santa Cruz League.
In the second game, the Gaels were tied at 22 before allowing the last three points of the set and, in the final game, they sped out to a 6-1 lead before faltering.
"I do really think we could've competed with them," Bringas said. "It was just an off-night for us. Tonight just wasn't our night."
Alicia Marquez had 26 digs for Holy Family, while Alexa Sandoval had 21 assists and eight digs, Ashlee Sandoval had eight kills and 16 digs and Rianne Sanchez added six kills and five blocks.
Sanchez is a sophomore, but the aforementioned three, like all but one of the Gaels' starters, are seniors. Holy Family will graduate nine seniors from its roster.
"It's just another one of those cycles," Bringas said.
Oddly enough, despite sharing the league title with Alverno, Holy Family was sent on the road for the first round. But Bringas was hardly blaming that factor or surprised by the draw.
"We just couldn't get certain things with the offense going," he said. "Am I surprised by CIF? No. It was just we had to step up and tonight St. Anthony had the better of us."
After back-to-back appearances in the second round in 2006 and 2007, the Gaels have not made a second-round appearance since.
Still, Bringas was more than pleased with the accomplishments of his graduating group.
"They won back-to-back league titles, there's nothing that can be taken away from them in that regard," he said. "They had a great season."