949 rallies to top SCVC in three sets
HOUSTON – The 16 Open championship saw the 949 16Black team rally in three sets to take down SCVC 16 Quicksilver, 22-25, 25-13, 15-13, at the Boys' Junior National Championships.
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SCVC led in the early goings, 9-2, but the 949 crew patiently chipped away to make it a 10-14 ballgame to start. 949 came back to tie it at 18-all and take a brief lead, 19-18, by which time SCVC already used two timeouts. SCVC pulled ahead 21-19, which was just enough room to stay out of reach despite a great advance by 949, who dropped the set 25-22.
Not to be outdone, 949 jumped on a 5-0 run to open the second stanza. SCVC caught a break on a long serve to halt the 949 streak, 8-1. Not too long later, a huge 949 block gave the team an 11-point lead, 14-3, which didn’t allow SCVC much opportunity to get back into the set.
“Between the first and second sets, we cut down on our hitting errors and even came back to take the lead 19-18,” 949 head coach Kelly Caldwell said. “In the first set we were giving them points. Game two we came out and believed that there was no doubt we could win this.”
Rolling at an unstoppable pace, 949 found itself at the end of the frame right as SCVC reached double digits, 25-13.
949 held strong, opening the third set 3-0, forcing SCVC into an early timeout – which they answered by closing the lead, 3-4. With not much time to work with, a 949 lead at 8-4 made SCVC feel the pressure. Staying close, 10-8, 949 couldn’t shake SCVC for a clean runaway. Where one team came through, the other responded. The only difference maker seemed to be 949’s early two-point advantage. That proved to be what they needed to cap the frame and the set, 15-13.
“I told the team to take deep breaths, once we had that lead late in the match we were only two, three side outs away,” said Caldwell. “Don’t take those hero swings. We embrace who we are and the errors we make. We played our game and I am so proud of our boys right now.”