Boys volleyball: Matadors lose to Spartans 1-3

Sophomore+Ryan+Manley+goes+up+for+the+kill+in+the+varsity+boys+volleyball+match+against+Mountain+View+on+March+28.+Though+the+game+was+close%2C+the+Matadors+lost+1-3+%2823-25%2C+26-24%2C+23-25%2C+23-25%29.+Photo+by+Christophe+Haubursin.
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Boys volleyball: Matadors lose to Spartans 1-3

Sophomore Ryan Manley goes up for the kill in the varsity boys volleyball match against Mountain View on March 28. Though the game was close, the Matadors lost 1-3 (23-25, 26-24, 23-25, 23-25). Photo by Christophe Haubursin.

Sophomore Ryan Manley goes up for the kill in the varsity boys volleyball match against Mountain View on March 28. Though the game was close, the Matadors lost 1-3 (23-25, 26-24, 23-25, 23-25). Photo by Christophe Haubursin.

Sophomore Ryan Manley goes up for the kill in the varsity boys volleyball match against Mountain View on March 28. Though the game was close, the Matadors lost 1-3 (23-25, 26-24, 23-25, 23-25). Photo by Christophe Haubursin.

Sophomore Ryan Manley goes up for the kill in the varsity boys volleyball match against Mountain View on March 28. Though the game was close, the Matadors lost 1-3 (23-25, 26-24, 23-25, 23-25). Photo by Christophe Haubursin.

Jacob Lui

Sophomore Ryan Manley goes up for the kill in the varsity boys volleyball match against Mountain View on March 28. Though the game was close, the Matadors lost 1-3 (23-25, 26-24, 23-25, 23-25). Photo by Christophe Haubursin.

On March 28, the varsity boys volleyball team stepped up against the challenging team from Mountain View High School. But the Matadors were ready to present a formidable game against the reputable Spartans.

“Coach wanted us to serve hard today. [And] against tougher teams, you have to go for it. If you give them nice [serves] they’re just going to crush you,” senior Jeffery Zhang said.

In the end, the Matadors lost the match 1-3 (23-25, 26-24, 23-25, 23-25), putting up a strong fight in a series of four extremely close games.

The first game consisted of strong kills by Mountain View, while the Matadors struggled to save the ball. Swift hustling by senior Edward Wang displayed good effort in multiple plays but could not save the team from a rain of spikes from the Spartans. Sophomore Ryan Manley and junior Cory Low started the game off strong with a series of quick kills and saves. Opportunities for points were lost through chains of unsuccessful blocks.

MVHS trailed the entire game, with the exception of the first foul serve by Mountain View, but brought the game close towards the end with successful blocking by Low and senior Alex Balus, drawing the score 22-23. The game closed with a Spartans in the lead 23-25.

The second game was highlighted by improvement in MVHS’s defense through impressive blocks by Zhang, Low, senior Avery Hua and junior Derrick Chiu. The team put up a solid wall against Mountain View, scoring a good portion of points from knocking down the Spartans’ plays.

“After the first game … our defense was getting a lot better. In the end, that was the main difference,” Manley said.

Offense improved throughout the second game as Manley continued making kills past Mountain View’s defense. Zhang’s jump serves contributed to the improvement by frequently hitting the Spartan side with striking force. Two aces in a row by Chiu brought the Matadors to their first lead of the game 13-11. Accompanied by the first four kills from Chiu the attack by senior Brandon Tiongson, bringing the score to 14-12. From there, the two teams had 14 sideouts, as the score remained tied from 15 all the way to 24. Skillful passing by Zhang to a sharp spike by Low kept the momentum going into the extra points. Mountain View’s final hit out of bounds ended the game with a purple and gold win 26-24.

With the score tied at 1-1, the Matadors entered the third game in hopes of securing a lead. Speedy hustles from Wang and Manley saved many of the opponent’s spikes. Rallies were longer and better played by both sides during this game. The hard serving method suggested by coach Paul Chiu seemed to sustain the Matador score.

“I think [the serves were] pretty good because we got them out a lot,” Zhang said.

Occasional jump serves from Hua and Zhang compensated for the Matador’s missed serves later in the game. Tips from Manley and Derrick Chiu and hits from Tiongson eventually decreased the Spartan’s lead 22-23. Skillful passes and minimal mistakes from the MVHS were main reasons for a tight game despite the loss 23-25.

“I think we stayed disciplined really well. If you noticed, they made a lot of errors but we minimized ours,” Zhang said.

The fourth game started with Chiu and Manley working hard to bring many kills and trick tips, which gave the Matadors a lead 4-2. Continuing kills by Tiongson and an ace by Hua maintained the lead 10-7. The Matadors played tough all the way until the end, but they found Mountain View’s frequent kills difficult to counter. With a final hit out of bounds from MVHS, the score ended with a Spartan win 23-25.

In spite of the Spartans’ victory, the Matadors fought through tight individual games – none of which they lost by more than two points.

“Mountain View’s a pretty good team, so I think we played pretty well today,” Tiongson said.

The Matadors will face the Homestead Mustangs at home on April 6, 5:15 pm.