Before heading to Vegas, the boys had two away matches as they near the end of their league season, with the first one at University City. The boys snatched senior night, taking the win in 4 games. Jackson DeWitt passed an excellent 2.29 against some of the toughest serves of the season. He added 19 digs, including one off his face Scott Sterling would surely be proud of. He fired 2 aces back at the Centurions. Mark Tankersley had a 94.4 in percentage at the line and also put 2 aces on the board, one of which ended the match.
Offensively, our boys battled with a big block, but still managed to put plenty of balls away. Ben Sheres had 3 kills and a block, and Billy Harrington set up another block trifecta. Nick Gustafson was the third member of Team Two Aces. He passed a 2.22 and had 9 digs, narrowly missing the double double. His 26 kills included some great bic attacks, including key ones in Game 4, because, as Nick said in the huddle just before “let’s go home. We don’t want to go to five.”
Adam Nussbaum clinched the double double with 46 assists and 13 digs. He again made all of his serves, and added 5 kills on a 714 average. Might we add that these kills were over on two and somehow came through a well-formed block, because Adam is just that good. Bijan Sagart was the other half of the Three Block Twosome, with 3 of his own. He had a 100 in percentage at the line, and picked up 11 digs. Bijan’s 8 kills demonstrated a beautiful variety. A few were down the line, a couple into the hard angle, and one or two just over the block (and he wasn’t even too fine with it). What we’re saying is, somebody’s got shots...what are you talking about, Wills? This match was another wonderful display of resolve, determination, and focus from our team. They were able to come back after a loss in the first game and a few UC leads to seal it in four. Because of their strength as a team, when things get close we can say sincerely “I’m not worried” (see footnote).
After a great win on Wednesday, the boys were dealt their second league loss at Cathedral, where they were defeated in 3 games. The Lancers were missing some key players—it was Nick’s turn to go be impressive somewhere else, and Bijan was at Coachella—but still did a lot of good things. Mark Tankersley passed a 2.32 and ran down 5 digs. Despite an injured thumb, Jackson still passed a 2.27, sent out an assist, and dug up 9 digs. Andreas Cardenas-Maroof (spelling intentional) returned to the opposite position, where he contributed a block, 3 assists, and 6 digs. Suraj “The Sniper” Srinivasan did what he does best, sending an ace and picking up a dig. Fellow serving sub Chris Nawrocki had a bench-clearing dig (we dig those).
Our middles stepped up, with Ben putting away 5 kills for a 364 average, and Billy putting up 2 blocks. Adam again did not miss a single serve, and notched another double double with 23 assists and 10 digs. Rodrigo Gallardo came alive on the outside. He had 9 kills for a 333 hitting average, passed a stellar 2.50, and got 5 digs. Spencer Thoene played his first match back, a product of his hard work in recovery. He had a block, logged 3 aces (he used to be a serving sub), also passed a 2.50, and got 11 digs (he used to be a Libero). We’re so glad to have you back on the court Spencer!
Thank you for tolerating my butchered Migos reference in paragraph three. A recap for both days of the Vegas Tournament will come soon. Our correspondent has been otherwise preoccupied with watching the NCAA Men’s Volleyball Conference Tournaments.
Thank you to everyone who cheered us on this week. Your support has been much appreciated in our league run. Our last two regular season matches will be this Wednesday and Friday. On Wednesday, we will play La Jolla at La Jolla, and Friday will be our Senior Night against Point Loma at home. Both matches are scheduled to start at 5:15. We hope to see you there, go Parker!
Gustafson, Nicholas “Nick” Franke. “End of Season Tournament” Quarterfinal Match, Beach Season, 2018. Nick will say this when his team is down by a fair amount. While it can have a precarious nature, such as when it precedes an eventual defeat to Spencer (See “End of Season Tournament,” Semifinal Match), used in the context of this recap, it evokes the reserved confidence Coach Sam has in her boys. In the scenario in which it was originally used, it followed an amazing comeback colored by a confidence from Nick that was...less reserved.