After losing in the first meeting of the season with Redondo, Mira Costa came into Tuesday night’s boys volleyball match with an increased focus and with something to prove.
Thanks to the inspired play of senior Sam Collins and sophomore Ben Coordt, The Mustangs (21-5, 6-1) swept Redondo 25-22. 25-19, and 25-22 to earn a share of the Bay League title in a match played at El Camino College.
“We didn’t play with a lot of energy last time, but tonight with it being Senior Night and having all our friends here it pumped us up,” said Collins who had a match high 14 kills with two blocks and two aces. “We served and passed much better than the first time and that helped us a lot tonight. This win was very important because it put us in a higher seed for CIF Playoffs.”
The first set saw Mira Costa jump out to an early 11-7 lead thanks to three early kills and an ace by Collins. Redondo rallied to tie the set at 14 behind senior Rees Barnett who had five kills in the set. Down the stretch Mira Costa got key kills from Coordt and Collins to close out the set with a 25-22 victory.
In the second set it was more of the same for Mustangs as they jumped out to a 15-10 lead behind the hitting of Coordt and the blocking of senior Dain Johnson who had four blocks in the set. Again Redondo (25-5, 7-1) rallied behind Barnett and Gabriel Miranda who’s kill cut the Mustang lead to one at 18-17.
Mira Costa again was up for the challenge as Coordt and Johnson delivered back-to-back kills followed by two service aces by senior Thomas Kretschmer to make it 22-17 in favor of the Mustangs. Coordt then finished off the set with a resounding cross-court kill to give the Mustangs a commanding two set lead.
“We were so excited to play this game. We really wanted another shot at them after losing the first match,” said Coordt who had 12 kills three blocks and two service aces. “We were much more prepared tonight for this match and we executed very well.
“Everyone played their hearts out and we all wanted to win for the seniors in their final home match. It was such a good win for us. I am just so stoked that we did that.”
The third set was very tight again as both teams exchanged leads throughout the set.
With the score tied at 20, Mira Costa made one final push forcing two Redondo hitting errors followed by an Adam Sevier block and a Collins kill to give the Mustangs their first match point at 24-20. Two big kills by Barnett brought the Sea Hawks within two points, but Coordt finished it off with a kill off the Redondo block and Mira Costa had its revenge.
“We didn’t play as well as we have in the past. It’s something we will need to fix in the upcoming days before CIF,” Barnett, who had a team-high nine kills. “No one is perfect, you will have up and down matches. Unfortunately tonight it did not come out in our favor. The season is not over so there is no point in looking back on it. We just have to refocus and move forward.”