The Frontier volleyball team made things tough on itself at times on Wednesday night. However, the Titans were even tougher on Garces for the majority of the teams' non league match.
Despite twice letting big leads nearly or completely slip away, Frontier turned in an overall impressive performance in sweeping the host Rams 25-15, 25-19, 25-23.
"(We were) a little bit up and down," Frontier coach Amy Parker said. "...We made our job a little bit harder than we had to."
Senior outside hitter Krista Rymer had 19 kills and 11 digs for Frontier, which won for the fifth time in six matches.
"I think we just came together as a team, coming off of our last game," Rymer said. "We knew Garces was going to be a good team so we brought our A-game."
Keely Palla paced Garces with 13 kills. She also had five digs and an ace.
After winning the first game easily, the Titans dominated early in both the second and third games.
But in both instances the Rams were able to come back and make things competitive.
After Frontier stormed out to a 17-9 lead in the second game behind the strong play of Rymer and co-captain Katie Cornford, Garces rallied and cut the deficit to 23-19.
That was as close as Garces got as it committed a net violation and then Torie Poulton served an ace to close out the game.
The third game was even more hotly-contested. Two straight kills by Rymer put Frontier out in front 14-6 as it looked to close out the Rams quickly.
That didn't happen. Instead, Garces went on a 10-2 run to take a 21-19 lead. Later, Lauren Mattler's spike made it 23-22 Rams. But the Titans answered with three straight points, including an ace by Cornford, to seal the win.
The win wrapped up a long and tough preseason slate for Frontier (20-4).
"We had a long stretch where we played four matches in three tournaments in two and a half weeks," Parker said. "After our last match in Valencia we had eight days off and we needed it. And so I was pleased with our performance tonight."
Cornford had 13 assists and two aces. Casey Hulsey, who shared setting duties with Cornford, had 17 assists and three aces.
"We came off really strong at the beginning of all our games but toward the end we kind of letup a little bit and let them get back in the game," Cornford said. "We just need to do a better job of finishing. But overall it was good play by us"
Other than failing to control Rymer's strong play at the net, Garces' biggest struggle was with ball-handling. The Rams made numerous unforced errors, several at crucial times.
Still, the Rams (9-6) demonstrated strong resolve.
"I'm proud of my team for sticking in the match," Garces coach Kim Harper said. "They came out hard in Game 3. They never quit, so I'm very proud of them from that standpoint. No, obviously not the result we wanted, but there were moments and little things that we did well that we can carry into the rest of our season. I have to give credit to Frontier. They played really well tonight."
Both teams' next matches are league openers. Frontier begins Southwest Yosemite League play against Centennial on Tuesday. That same night Garces will face Southeast Yosemite league rival Highland.