*Disclaimer: this recap will include some Game of Thrones references since it premiered the day we arrived, and our correspondent couldn’t think of any for Day 1. She is aware that some people do not watch and or appreciate this masterpiece of a show (Nick), thus there are only two. Thank you for your patience, onto the recap!
The boys’ next challenge was a power pool with some of Vegas’s toughest competition, starting with Green Valley High School (let’s go Gators), which was another two-game win. Jackson DeWitt started off strong, passing a 2.29 with 2 assists and 5 digs. Mark Tankersley was also great in the back row. He again hit all of his serves, passed a 2.50, and had 3 digs. Ben Sheres had 3 kills and 2 blocks. Adam Nussbaum had 2 kills, 4 digs, and sent out 21 assists. Spencer Thoene passed a 2.30 and picked up 6 digs. Bijan Sagart did not miss any of his serves, which included an ace, and also had 4 digs. Nick Gustafson again did well all around. He rattled off 2 aces, passed a 2.17, had 3 blocks, 9 digs, and put away 14 kills for a 478 hitting average.
Their second match was a San Diego showdown against Classical Academy. The boys fended off a Caimans comeback in Game 1, avoiding the 27-point cap and winning 26-24. Suraj Srinivasan delivered an ace, had a 100 in-percentage, and got 2 digs. Jackson fended off the Caimans’ pins with 5 digs. Mark tied him in digs and passed a 2.20, also contributing an assist. Billy Harrington had 2 kills and brought the block party to Vegas with 5. His co-host was Bijan, who also had 5 blocks, many of them momentum stealing. His other notable stats included an ace within a 100 in-percentage, 3 digs, 10 kills, and a beautiful assist to Nick. Speaking of Nick, he had 11 kills, passed an impeccable 2.71, put up a block, and had 4 digs, and returned the favor to Bijan by giving him a nice assist. The boys did a great job of focusing and applying feedback to play a much cleaner second game. Particularly impressive was their ability to minimize errors; they went from 18 in the first game to 3 in the second. A Lancer always pays his debts.
They concluded pool play with a two-game loss to a strong Centennial team. Play of the day, went to Rodrigo Gallardo for his solo block of Centennial’s right side, who was about a head taller than him. Jackson passed a 2.50 against some tough serves. Mark again was error free at the service line, and picked up 8 digs. Ben had 3 kills for a 750 average, and 2 blocks. Billy put away 2 kills and tied Ben in blocks. Nick passed a 2.30, got a block, a dig, and 9 kills. Bijan had 4 kills, 2 blocks, 7 digs, and kept his service in-percentage at 100. If only his theories about the fate of Westeros (you thought) were as accurate as his serving.
Their last match of the day was a close 2-game loss in a rematch against Cimarron. Our seniors took the match off so they could cheer on our younger guys, and yell “whoa!” every time a Cimarron player did anything remotely resembling a lift or a double. After a not so close first game, the boys decided to heed Adam’s words from the Centennial match: “they’re gonna be shocked by this comeback,” and put up a great fight in Game 2. They lost by just one point because of the 27-point cap. Jackson had a great match in each of the Libero stat categories. He had 3 aces within a 90.9 in-percentage, passed a 2.38, and had 10 digs. Rodrigo had an ace, 3 kills, and 4 digs. Ben and Billy brought back the middle block tie and the middle kill tie, with 1 and 2 each. Ben added 2 digs, and a moment of comic relief when the ref interrupted his, I guess you could call it dancing, next to the bench. Andreas Cardenas-Marouf took control of the offense and contributed to it himself. He had a kill, 2 blocks, and 12 assists. He claimed dig leader with 15. Chris Nawrocki had 2 digs and 2 kills, the last of which was a joust that ended an extremely long rally, lasting almost as long as his tenure on the top square in pre-game four-square, and was followed by a victory lap from Chris that left everyone smiling.
The boys ended up finishing 12th out of over 40 teams. It was nice to see how they always supported each other no matter the circumstances. They played some great volleyball, and well deserved the 37 cookies they had at the hotel.
We would like to thank the parents for their continued support, and in particular Mr. Gustafson for braving dangerous bleachers to help us shag. We very much appreciate it. We would like to congratulate Adam for being named to the All-Tournament Team. We would also like to congratulate Suraj and Mark for beating Nick and Billy in bowling (they lost by two points).
*We end with a word from our sponsor. In recognition of the stellar blocking the boys had this weekend, this recap was brought to you by the letter B! yes Yes YES! The capitalizations indicate an increase in pitch.