By Julian Prime
Photos by Matt Scholtz
The powerful boys’ volleyball team has adapted seamlessly to their new setup after winning their second straight game over the La Salle Lancers in three straight sets. The boys, now at 2-0, are still adjusting to new positions and additions, but have shown no signs of less production. Junior Max Luck moved from outside hitter to setter, leaving junior Greg Luck and senior Richard Yu on the outside. Junior Matthew Ng and sophomore Gunther Vaden have proven to be strong additions from the JV squad as well, holding down the net with numerous blocks. Freshman Cole Schroeder showed some great promise setting the ball as well.
The Tigers quickly forged a 17-7 lead for themselves in the opening set, shutting down La Salle’s offense early and often. Most of the Lancers’ points came from Tiger errors, including poor serves and mishit balls. Greg Luck brought the gym alive with a huge kill to widen the gap. The Lancers answered with two straight blocks, but the Tigers were too strong to stop. Despite a large lead, South Pas had difficulty icing the set, and let the Lancers bring the score to 23-19. With a Yu kill and ace, the Tigers made up for their sloppy play and took the first set 25-19.
“It wasn’t the cleanest of games,” coach Ben Diaz said. “But we got the job done. Besides that, we need some more consistency, and a little more sense of urgency. That could’ve helped us.”
It was all smiles for the Tigers as they opened up the next set 2-1 following another Yu kill. La Salle was keeping the game close, however, and began forging a comeback. This was silenced with a booming hit from Yu that the Lancers failed to corral. The Tigers then broke away, putting the score at 14-7. The Lancer middles began to lose their impact, and the Tigers were sitting pretty atop a 20-13 lead. The team then got a bit complacent, and the Lancers took advantage of this with another comeback attempt. With the score sitting at 24-21, the Tigers brought an end to the opposing team’s efforts yet again with another thunderous kill. The second set went to the Tigers again, with a score of 25-21.
Max Luck opened the third set with a huge stuff right off the bat, giving his team the early 1-0 lead. As subs started coming in for the Tigers, the third set was the closest of all. The players seemed to know the outcome of the game, however, and both teams lost the intensity they began with. Vaden briefly reignited the Tigers’ fire with a nice block, which was followed by an Ng block of the same nature. Both of these plays brought the Tiger bench to their feet as the new transfers from junior varsity showed what they had in store. South Pas closed out the set and game with a score of 25-20.
The game had a distinct lack of intensity compared to the Tigers’ previous game, in which they upset San Marcos on the road.
“[This win] doesn’t affect us at all,” coach Diaz said. “I think San Marcos is a different kind of team. Today was a little slow, a little different.”
The Tigers’ next game is at the Dos Pueblos Tournament this Saturday, March 14.
R. Yu: 21 kills, 2 blocks, 1 ace
G. Luck: 9 kills on 10 attempts, 2 blocks
M. Luck: 30 sets, 2 blocks, 2 aces