WATSONVILLE — Mount Madonna seniors Willy Bryan and Jake Getz will both be heading east next year. Getz to the Big Apple to continue volleyball at the University of New York, and Bryan to Ireland, a requirement for his first semester at Northeastern, where he will not continue volleyball.
But first they’ll be heading north to face second-seeded Whitney of Rocklin in the second round of California Interscholastic Federation Northern California Division II Championships.
Getz and Bryan combined for 33 kills, 16 and 17 respectively, and the Hawks beat the visiting Vista Del Lago Eagles in four sets 25-20, 25-20, 27-25, 25-20 to continue their dreams of finishing the season with another championship to add to already impressive resume.
“Making it to the semifinals in any tournament is fantastic,” said Getz. “Especially in this kind of tournament. If we win we’ll be the first team ever to win Northern California boys volleyball. There’s nothing like knowing that you’ve done something that no other group at your school has ever done before.”
After matching their coach Elliot McDonald, who won a Central Coast Section title with the Hawks in 2002, by winning a CCS title of their own on May 14, the Hawks earned an opportunity to compete for the first ever CIF NorCal Championship, and judging by the performance they gave against the Eagles, they have as good a shot as any team left.
“It’s pretty special,” said Bryan, “but, honestly, we’re just thinking about the next game. We’re not focusing on anything that has been done before, so right now it’s all about the next match. “
The next match against the Whitney Wildcatz will be a slugfest. The three-seeded Hawks will be facing a Whitney Wildcat team that has only lost three times this season. They’re coming off a demolishing win over the Washington Huskies, of Fremont, in the first round of NorCals. Before that win, they easily dispatched the Eagles in three sets of the Sac-Joaquin Section DII Final.
The Hawks won the first two sets decisively by jumping out to early leads of seven points and eight points respectively, but in the third set Vista Del Lago showed some fight and took their first lead of the match at 21-20 with a 7-1 run powered by Griffin Galvin’s blistering serves.
Bryan tried his best to will the home team back into it by scoring all five of the last Hawks’ points, but the Eagles kept themselves alive and won the third set.
“They’re really fantastic,” said Getz. “They have several players who play year round. They really took it to us in the serves and I think we were definitely surprised to see such a high level of jump serves, because we don’t see that around Santa Cruz.”
The fourth set was a heavyweight match, as both teams exchanged blows back-and-forth until the Eagles took a slight three point lead at 13-10.
However, Mount Madonna, and their experienced senior class, was not to be denied. They regained the lead at 18-17 and never looked back going on a 7-3 run that was capped off with a Bryan kill to give the Hawks the win.
“We just have a lot more resilience and mental toughness than past teams at Mount Madonna have had,” said Bryan.
Bryan added six blocks to go along with his game-high 17 kills. Daniel Fust smacked down 12 kills and tallied eight digs. Pedro Aguirre was solid as always leading the Hawks with 39 assists. Rudy Hooven had several clutch digs and finished with 14 in total.
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