SAN JOSE — “Like Heaven”
Those were the words Mount Madonna Senior Willy Bryan used to describe what it felt like to win a Central Coast Championship after the agony of defeat in back-to-back years.
Bryan finished with nine kills, and capped off his final year as a Hawk with a CCS Division II Championship, the second in school history, in a four set 25-18, 25-20, 25-21, 25-18, romp over the Leigh Longhorns.
“It’s just overwhelming,” said Jake Getz, who had a team-high 18 kills. “The only thing that’s keeping us from tears is the fact that we still have NorCals coming up.”
That’s where the powerhouse Hawks will look to next, the NorCal Championships, that will start next week on Tuesday. The Hawks will most likely have home-court advantage and will play at Pajaro Valley High School.
But first comes the celebration.
“It feels so good,” said Bryan of the championship. “To have been playing since freshman year, to have lost in the finals two years in a row, it really is indescribable. I don’t really know what to say about it. It’s just so amazing.”
Although the Hawks had blasted their way through the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds without losing a set, there was no doubting that it would be a dog fight coming into Tuesday night.
“Leigh is a heck of a team,” said Getz. “We lost to them once and we beaten them once before tonight, and they played a really solid match. We were confident coming in, but not over confident. We just came in and relaxed.”
After the Hawks jumped out to a one set lead, the Longhorns came back and won set two. That would be the Hawks’ only slip up of the night. They regained their stranglehold of the match in the following set with a 25-21 win.
The Longhorns never made a run at the Hawks after that, and they lifted the first place trophy at the end of the night.
“We knew that after we won that first set we tensed up,” said Getz. “We just felt like we could win this game. It’s just good to play tensed up like we were. In our huddle we just said, ‘look this is just another volleyball game, play it point for point and settle down,’ we did and we were able to pull it out.”
The Hawks started the first set with an impressive 7-2 run that forced the Long Horns to call an early timeout.
Try as they might, they Long Horns could not come any closer than four points and the Hawks cruised to a 25-18 set win.
In the second set it was Leigh who jumped out to an early lead. They used five uncharacteristic Hawks errors to gain a 7-3 lead.
Mount Madonna fought back to within two points on two separate occasions, but with the score 17-15 Leigh took a timeout to regroup and halt the Hawks’ final push.
They rallied and took the 25-20 win to tie the game up at one set apiece.
From that point on, it was Mount Madonna’s game. They started the set with a big kill from Bryan and they never relinquished the lead once in the set.
The Long Horns did threaten by muscling their way back to within two points, but the never came any closer than that as Mount Madonna went on a 5-1 run to stretch their lead back to seven on their way to their second set won.
Again the Hawks started quickly in the final set. Roger Hooker’s kill put the Hawks up by five early, and all but sealed the Long Horns’ fate. The Hawks ended up leading by as much as 10 points in the final set in route to the championship.
Pedro Aguirre had 33 assists and three blocks. Daniel Fust finished with 10 digs and Rudy Hooven had seven digs.
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