WATSONVILLE — The Watsonville High Wildcatz had no problem dispatching the visiting Christopher High Cougars in three straight sets, 25-16, 25-15, 25-20, to continue their run for a Monterey Bay League title on Wednesday night.
The Wildcatz once again were their dominant selves, and they showed why they went 16-0 in MBL play during the regular season.
Christopher held the lead just three times all match, their largest lead only being two points.
Watsonville High head coach Derrick Moore didn’t find out until Tuesday night that his Catz would be matched up against the Cougars. All week long the thought was that Watsonville would be playing Palma and even Moore was preparing his team for the Chieftains.
“It was tough,” said Moore. “The last time we faced this team we almost lost. We walked into their gym and thought that we had already won, but today they came out and knew that it’s one-and-done from here on out. It was a different team than we expected and prepared for, but we will adapt very quickly.”
The first set started a little shaky for the Wildcatz as the Cougars made them work for every point that they scored. The Catz were in a tight one, but they gave themselves some breathing room when they made a late run to put themselves up 19-13.
They Cruised from there to a 25-16 win.
The second set was more of the same, as the Cougars threatened the Wildcat lead throughout the set. Six different times they had the lead to just one point, but every single time they came close the Catz would answer and extend their lead back out to three.
The Catz never trailed in the set, and they went on an 8-1 run to close it out with a win 25-15.
The third set was not a walk in the park for the Catz either. After jumping out to a slim 3-1 lead the Cougars forced the first of five ties in the set at four points each.
The two teams swapped points and with a Watsonville error the Cougars took the lead at 6-5.
The Wildcatz came back to tie, but another error gave the Cougars back the lead.
Watsonville battled against itself for the next three points until they went on a 5-0 run to take a 12-9 lead.
However, the Catz committed three more errors and let them back into the game. The Cougars then took a slim one point lead at 13-12, but the Wildcatz defense finally came to play and they regained the lead and forced the Cougars to take a timeout with their season flashing before their eyes, at 16-14.
They came back from the break and scored a point to cut the lead to one, but just like he has all season, Torres struck a blistering kill down that fired up his teammates. They Wildcatz pushed their lead to four points and kept it there for the rest of the set for the 25-20 win.
“We haven’t played very well since the last time we played Hollister,” said Moore. “So we’re just getting back our mojo. It was a good match to prepare us for whoever we face on Friday.”
Watsonville will face Hollister in the final on Friday at Watsonville High School. They faced the Haybalers earlier in the season in a battle of unbeatens, and they took them down in four sets.
“If we lose, so what?” Said Moore of Friday night’s match. “We’re still going to CCS, we’ve still accomplished big things regardless. I know the boys want that rematch, so it’s going to be a great game regardless. It’s going to be a great game for both teams, because CCS is going to be very tough. We need to take advantage of the match and grow from it and be a better team.”
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