The Calaveras High School varsity volleyball team took its first step on the marathon journey to a Mother Lode League championship with a victory over Amador on Thursday evening in San Andreas.

On the opening night of MLL play in the first of 15 league matches – each team will go head-to-head three times in MLL play – Calaveras held off a tough early challenge from Amador to win 25-21, 25-12, 25-19 at Mike Flock Gym.

The teams were evenly matched early on, going back and forth in a tightly-contested first set, but Calaveras took control of the match with more consistent play from the service line. Calaveras served better than 90 percent for the match and had 10 service aces, while Amador struggled from the service line with 16 errors.

Offensively for Calaveras, junior Ava Saiers led a balanced attack with five kills, five assists and two aces, serving 20 for 21. Also for Calaveras (1-0 MLL), junior Kylie Remus had three kills, two aces and eight assists; senior Anna Allain had three kills; senior Muriel Strange had three kills and three blocks; junior Jenna Brotherton had three aces and 10 digs; and senior Keelie Koepp had nine digs.

For Amador (4-9, 0-1 MLL), senior Bailee Monson had seven kills; junior Jasmine Foosum had five kills; and junior Jamie Daneri served two aces. Foosum and junior Ella Feist also had two blocks each.

Calaveras is headed to Sonora on Tuesday for a big showdown with the defending league champion Wildcats. Sonora, which has won the past five MLL championships, opened league play with a 25-12, 25-9, 25-19 victory over Argonaut on Thursday in Jackson. No statistics were provided.

Amador hosts Bret Harte on Tuesday and Argonaut plays at Summerville.