Sports

Men’s Volleyball Takes First in NCS Finals Against Northgate

By Sarah Westergren, Online Editor in Chief

// Seeded fifth place heading into North Coast Sections (NCS), the men’s volleyball team has managed to beat all odds, taking out first ranked team Campolindo High School in the semi-finals with a tight score of 16-18 in the fifth gameand Northgate High School in the championships following a hard-fought fourth game of 24-26.

  The dons started off strong in their first few points against Northgate, leading with a score of 2-8 before the Broncos called their first timeout of the night. With co-captain and junior Colin Kirbach on the line to serve, and then freshman Austin Kinnear, the Dons had every right to feel confident in their playing ability.

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By Sarah Westergren

  Unfortunately, the Broncos quickly gained speed, coming back with a score of 7-10 as the Dons began to choke under pressure. The team was then forced to call a timeout of their own as the score tied up to an even 16-16.

  The game remained close, with the Dons pulling ahead 20-23. A beautiful line shot by Kinnear brought a close to the first game, with an ending score of 21-25.

  Confident in their abilities, the Dons again came out strong with a dig by Kirbach and kill by junior and middle Alex Franke. Pulling ahead five points for a score of 5-10, the Broncos called their second timeout of the match.

  After losing four consecutive points, the Dons called a timeout at 13-17. It was ultimately junior Ethan Browne with a massive block who helped re-energize the team. A back-one by Kirbach to Franke drove the crowd wild as the score came to a close 20-22. Closing in, a kill by number seven on the Northgate side tied it up to 23-23. In a heated point, the Dons won 26-28 with a mishit by the Broncos.

  Finding their stride, the Dons touched off with another strong hit, bringing the score to 0-1 in the third game. With Kirbach on fire, the Broncos called their third timeout of the night, and then a second as the score rounded out to 17-22.

  With one point to go, the Dons called a timeout of their own. The ball just couldn’t find its way to the Bronco’s side, bringing the score to 24-24. Browne managed a brilliant roll shot to the back left corner, tying the game at 26-26. It was ultimately Kinnear with a mishit that brought the Broncos their first win of the night, 28-26.

  Clearly shook by the loss, Acalanes called a timeout in the fourth game after five consecutive kills on the Northgate side. The Broncos continued to take a lead of 11-8 as all eyes fell on the men’s team.

  Browne hit a sharp angle shot to tie it up 15-15. Points flying back and forth across the board, the gym fell quiet as the score hit 24-25. In their match point, the Dons had a powerful block to bring the score to a whopping 24-26. Finally victorious, the Dons rushed the center of the court in cries and cheers.

  “Northgate was a very tough team to beat because, like us, they were also underdogs. They were an extremely young team and showed great determination and resilience,” Kirbach said.  “We had to overcome a lot of nervousness, as this was our biggest game of our careers. We are all feeling very proud of ourselves, yet we aren’t done yet.”

  The Dons now face a long road ahead of them as they work towards the state championships, playing an away game against Aptos High School on Tuesday as the fifth seed.

  

  

Categories: Sports

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