Following a preseason filled with turmoil, it would be understandable if the Davis High boys volleyball team stumbled a little coming out of the gates. After all, a coaching change only a couple of weeks before the team’s opener does not often lend itself to success.
The Blue Devils have done just the opposite, however, opening the season with wins in their first four matches. The most recent of those victories came Thursday night as DHS beat McClatchy, 25-17, 25-17, in a shortened contest at The Cage.
The Devils actually got off to a rough start, falling behind 6-1 in the first set. But they quickly battled back into contention, finally taking the lead for good after a strong serving run by senior Andre Foster.
“I think they came out (Thursday) a little complacent,” coach Jordon Friend told The Enterprise. “They realized they had to pick it up, and once we started playing our game we held the momentum on our side and really just took control of the court.”
The locals never trailed again after Foster’s serving performance as they capitalized on a number of McClatchy mistakes, while avoiding many of their own.
Sophomore Nick Simons played a big part in Davis’ success, leading the team in kills for the second straight game. He was a big presence at the net as he utilized his 6-foot-4 frame to his advantage.
Junior Richard Lu supported Simons’ efforts with an excellent all-around performance of his own, and earned praise from his coach.
“I think Richard played really good defense, and he served really tough,” Friend said. “(Lu and Simons) kind of led our offense (Thursday).”
Riding the momentum of their Game 1 victory, the Blue Devils roared out to a 12-2 advantage to start the second set. They never relinquished the lead, but had to hold off a couple of charges from the Lions. One such rally brought the visitors to within three points, but that was as close as they would come.
The height of the Devils — Foster at 6-3 next to Simons is an imposing front — really came into play in Game 2, as McClatchy found it difficult to get the ball over Davis’ blockers.
Serving was another key factor in the Blue Devil victory.
“I thought we did a really good job serving,” Friend said. “That really helped keep us in the game.”
DHS will put its undefeated record on the line Tuesday when it travels to take on Union Mine. First serve in El Dorado Hills is set for 6 p.m.
— Reach Spencer Ault at firstname.lastname@example.org