Tuesday, September 2, 2014

DHS boys give surging Grant a good volleyball test


DHS junior Milton Hong parks under a ball while teammate Nick Simons, left, gets set for one of his 12 kills in the Blue Devils' three-game loss to Grant on Tuesday at The Cage. Fred Gladdis/Enterprise photo

From page B1 | April 30, 2014 |

The Davis High boys volleyball team knew it was in for a challenge on Tuesday night at The Cage.

That’s because visiting Grant came into the Delta Valley Conference matchup with an unblemished mark in league play, and a 15-1 record overall. In fact, the Pacers hadn’t even dropped a game in their six DVC victories.

And although the Blue Devils put up a fight, they, too, fell victim to the Grant juggernaut, dropping the match, 25-22, 25-15, 25-15.

Despite the loss, DHS (11-5) remains the second-best team in the conference with a 5-2 league mark.

The locals made the Pacers earn the first set, as the Devils fought tooth and nail for every point. The three-point differential in that game is actually the closest any team has come to taking a set from Grant in DVC play.

“I thought we played tough,” Davis co-coach Jordon Friend said after the match. “I don’t think any other team in our conference has played them that tough.”

DHS found itself in a hole early in the opening game as the Pacers jumped out to a 7-2 lead. The Blue Devils clawed their way back into contention, however, by manufacturing four straight points to close the gap to 7-6.

The two teams then traded blows and runs for a stretch, until eventually some Grant mistakes and strong play by the locals gave Davis an 18-17 advantage.

But the Devil lead was short-lived, as the Pacers righted the ship and made sure it was the only time they would trail all night.

DHS didn’t go quietly, though, as the Blue Devil players continually hit the floor in attempts to save points, prolonging rallies time and time again.

“We played really tough (Tuesday),” Friend said. “That’s all you can ask for sometimes.”

Davis sophomore Nick Simons was especially effective, utilizing his height and power to make 12 kills.

“Nick played really well (Tuesday), all the way around,” Friend added.

Devil junior Evan Meerscheidt also made his mark on the match by running the offense, which was operating at a higher tempo than most nights.

The last two sets were remarkably similar to each other, with the Pacers winning the first couple of points, followed by a response from the locals. In both sets, the visitors eventually pulled away from DHS.

The Blue Devils now look ahead to a Thursday home match against Laguna Creek. Davis easily defeated the Cardinals  (2-15, 0-6) last time the two teams matched up, but Friend said his squad won’t look past LCHS:

“They run a slower offense so sometimes when you play a team like that it’s easy to slow down your game and try to play to their game style. We’re hoping we can control the pace… hopefully we can beat them in three (sets).”

— Reach Spencer Ault at sault@davisenterprise.net





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