As the ball slowly hovered above his head before captain Matthew Kreutter slammed it over the net for a serve, it took no time for the intense silence to break into cheer– the Mavericks had earned yet another ace.
Boys’ volleyball won against Kinkaid 3-0 Sept. 19, with set scores 25-14, 25-17 and 25-11. The team had a huge stride from start to finish, with no close points to threaten their lead.
In preparation for the game, the players drilled diligently during their practice sessions and familiarized themselves with an effective game plan.
Senior and team captain Justin Bernard described the opposition’s playing as “scrappy and odd,” with an especially unpredictable manner of hitting back the ball. Nevertheless, SJS stepped onto the court each time with poise.
“We really handled them fairly easily, and we were in control the whole time,” Coach Mike McCrary said. “It was kind of expected.”
A number of players shone in the highlight moments. Sophomore Marcus Manca exhibited an impressive performance, playing all seven kills and some of the five aces along with Kreutter. Sophomore Paul Labanowski had four blocks, and junior John Armstrong eight digs.
“Manca actually had a very aggressive, dominant serve; it’s something we’ve been waiting on all year, and he scored a lot of points with that,” McCrary said. “Passing from Kreutter and Armstrong was strong. All of our hitters had solid, balanced attacks. There was no real stand out because it was a team effort.”
With SPC adrenaline ready to torrent in only a few weeks’ time, the victory served as an encouraging sign for success.
“We know we’re one of the top teams, and we know in our minds that we should win all of our SPC South matches,” McCrary said. “We’re the dominant team; this game is just one of the stepping stones to our main goal for SPC.”
“I’m really proud of how our team has come together as the season has passed, and our game against Kinkaid serves as a testament to that,” Bernard said.