APTOS — The Aptos High Mariners had to scratch and claw their way throughout the entire game, but when the match was all set and done they came away with the five set win over the visiting Harbor High Pirates, 25-22, 25-19, 25-20, 27-25, 15-13.
It was a prototypical four versus five seed match between the two Santa Cruz Coastal Athletic League teams.
After Harbor won the first set, Aptos took the next two. The Pirates kept their season alive by winning the fourth to send it into the fifth and deciding set.
In the fifth set the Pirates came out with authority. They struck down three kills, two of them coming from senior Garret Fonseca, and forced Aptos into an error to take an early 4-1 lead.
The boys in blue dusted themselves off and tied the game at five, but Harbor extended their lead back to two points.
Aptos battled back and with the game tied at 12 they took the sixth and final lead change of the set and went on a 3-1 run to end the match.
Cole Welle led the Mariners with 15 kills and five blocks on the night.
The Mariners came into Tuesday night’s game with two regular season wins over the Pirates. The first win was the season opener nail-bitter that also went to five sets. The second came much easier for the Mariners, as they beat the Pirates in three sets at Harbor High School.
That’s what the Mariners will try to do next, come away with a win at Harbor High, but it won’t be the Pirates who they’ll be facing.
They’ll be meeting up with the number one seeded Mount Madonna Hawks today at 7 p.m. The Mariners have yet to beat the Hawks this season.
The Pirates dominated the first set until the midway point when the Mariners made a 6-1 run to cut the lead down to just one point, 18-17.
The Pirates stretched their lead to three, but they then committed two unforced errors and allowed the Mariners to stick their nose right back into the match.
The Pirates took a timeout to regroup, and they finished the set on a 4-1 run for the 25-22 win.
Cole Welle set the tempo of the second set in the opening moments with three straight rejections.
The Mariners jumped out to an eight-point lead at 15-7 and they kept the Pirates at arms length the rest of the set for the easy 25-19 win.
The third set was much of the same for the Mariners as they jumped out to an early two-point lead that grew to eight.
The Pirates came back with a 5-0 run, but the Mariners finished the set with a 5-0 run of their own to win the set 25-20.
The Mariners were halfway home to a four set win midway through the following set, but the gritty Pirates made their final attack. They went on a gut wrenching 8-0 run to take the lead 19-15.
Aptos did well to eliminate the Harbor lead quickly and they tied the game at 22. After both teams traded points a Welle block gave the Mariners the late set lead and forced the Pirates to call a timeout.
Harbor received two gifts from the Mariners coming out of the timeout. They committed two errors to give the Pirates a one-point lead.
They traded points once again to make the score 26-25 and with the set on the line, the Mariners set Welle, but Harbor’s Scott Sanborn denied him at the peak and the Pirates took the 27-25 set win.
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