The Aptos Mariners had a lot of emotions going before their game with the Mt. Madonna Hawks Tuesday.
They worked through them, and secured the win.
Aptos swept visiting Mt. Madonna 25-18, 25-23, 25-19 on its senior night to improve to 12-1 in Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League play Tuesday.
“I thought we played well overall,” said Jenna Belton, who finished with 14 kills and 13 digs on her senior night. “Our emotions were pretty up and down throughout the match. It takes a lot out of you to go through the whole ceremony and then play after, but we got through it.”
Their three seniors Belton, Taylor Guy and Lisa Ikeda, all played from start to finish and the Mariners fought off the scrappy Hawks in three sets.
After the Mariners took the first set by a decisive seven points, the Hawks used a past Mariner to their advantage.
With her team down 20-14, sophomore Sophie Ortiz, who played for Aptos last year as a freshman, snuck in two aces to make it a four-point game.
The Mariners gave the Hawks a gift by smashing a ball into the net, and Ortiz served up another ace that caused her former team to call a timeout.
Ortiz hit yet another ace to bring the hawks within one point, but Aptos’ senior leaders Belton and Guy both chipped in a kill to push the lead back to three.
That small lift is all they needed to hold on to their slim lead for the second set win.
The Hawks opened the third set by keeping pace with the Mariners, and eventually taking the two-point lead at 12-10.
But the Mariners went on an 8-0 run to build a six-point cushion, and they kept that distance between themselves and the Hawks en route to the three-set win.
Guy finished with 11 kills and nine digs. Ikeda had 12 digs and three kills. Elise Coash set up 39 assists. Maddy Bol hammered seven kills and tallied four rejections.
The Mariners will travel to Santa Cruz to play their final regular season game against the Cardinals at 6:30 p.m.
If they are able to come away with the win they will have earned a share of the SCCAL regular season title with the Soquel Knights.
The outright title will be decided in the SCCAL end-of-season tournament, which starts Nov. 4.
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