Matadors top San Benito, next up No. 1 Bellarmine
Going into round one of the CCS boys volleyball tournament, MVHS was ranked behind their opponents.
But the scoreboard told a different story.The No. 9 Matadors beat out the No. 8 San Benito Haybalers in a decisive and quick 3-0 win.The 25-15, 25-16, 25-15 wins were a result of consistent hitting and well executed serve-receive that prevented the Haybalers from gaining momentum and getting into the game. MVHS was in control throughout all three games. There were few lead changes and the only times that MVHS was trailing was within the first 10 points of the game. MVHS outscored the Haybalers by nine points or more in each of their games. Sophomore setter Derrick Chiu placed the ball well throughout the match and consistent passing allowed him to run all of his sets. Besides being undersized, the San Benito front row had trouble setting up their block because of the variety of angles and shots the Matador hitters were taking.Freshman Ryan Manley, a JV player who was moved up to the varsity squad for the CCS tournament, led the MVHS offense with 10 kills. Manley played outside hitter on the JV team this year and was integral to their successful one loss season.Senior outside hitter Ryan Michelfelder and senior opposite hitter Zachery Lamm had eight kills apiece and contributed to a well balanced MVHS attack.The Matador defense played equally as well. MVHS held San Benito to sixteen points or less in all three games. Junior middle hitter Avery Hua and senior middle hitter Jason Hodges played well above the net. Both worked well with the outside and opposite hitters in putting up well timed double blocks that prevented the Haybaler hitting game from getting very far. The San Benito hits and lobs that did get by the Matador front row were passed well.Overall, MVHS was scrappy in the back row. Junior libero Edward Wang’s digs kept the ball alive in several long rallies that ended as MVHS points.With a win over San Benito, the team will face the number one seeded Bellarmine Bells on May 12, 7 p.m. at Bellarmine in the quarter final round of CCS playoffs. The Bells were 10-2 in the West Catholic League this year and 36-6 overall. “I think they are ranked fifth in the state and tenth in the country,” Chiu said. “It’s is going to be a tall order and we aren’t favored going in to that match. But as long as we stay relaxed and compose like we did today, we should play well.”As the first seed, Bellarmine had a bye in the first round and a week since their last game to rest and prepare for the CCS tournament. MVHS has a one day gap in between in the first and quarter final rounds, and even though the Matadors are the clear underdogs (having finished the season 5-7 in the Santa Clara Valley Athletics League), Chiu has no plans on making and significant adjustments to the line up or game plan.“Whether we win or lose on Thursday, our seniors will get a shot at them and get a chance to compete. And for the kids who are coming back next year I want them to get use to playing at that level.”