SLV boys volleyball vs. Santa Cruz High on March 28, 2018
For the first time in months, a hazy heat lingered over the valley, the unprecedented change in climate dazed students and forced them to endure a sluggish day in the heat. According to the Weather Channel, the valley reached a peak temperature of 76 degrees, more than a 10-degree increase from the past weeks. But even amidst the dreaded heat, volleyball must go on.
The Cougar JV volleyball team was set to play Santa Cruz High despite the conditions. The game was to start at five o’clock, amidst the heat accumulating inside the walls of the gym. As the intensity and superstition began to build, both teams prepared for a battle.
The Cougars started the game with the advantage, having the first serve. Charlie Ussat quickly rallied up three points for the team with his consistent serving. Unfortunately, just as things started to look promising for the Cougars, Santa Cruz got on a roll. With a combination of teamwork, communication and overpowering skill, Santa Cruz led a tight first match, winning 23-25.
SLV still had one chance to redeem themselves in the next match, if they could win, the game would go into overtime. The experienced Cougar team came out with a controlled energy that they hoped would help them defeat the Cardinals. Since Santa Cruz started off with the serving advantage, SLV quickly fell into a 5-0 hole. After their energy was completely crushed, middle hitter Quinn Herzon came up to serve. He used a special combination of a spin/float serve to confuse the Santa Cruz Defense. With a newfound hope, SLV re-gained the lead.
Going deep into the second, game deciding match, SLV held onto the threads of an 18-16 lead. It was at this point that the Cougar defense fell apart. Serve after serve pounded the laminate as SLV struggled to pass the well placed and powerful serves from the Cardinal offense.
Unfortunately for San Lorenzo Valley, the serving streaks continued, and Santa Cruz came away with 25-20 win in the second match. This win sealed their victory and allowed them to walk away without a dent in their record.
San Lorenzo Valley looks forward to improving their defensive skills and gaining the confidence to win against upcoming opponents. The team will play Soquel, Mount Madonna, and Aptos in the coming weeks, and if they can pull off some victories, they may have a shot at the top three for the season.