“Let’s get Ready to Rumble” blared in Cabrillo’s gymnasium as the boys’ varsity volleyball team warmed up for their final home game of the season. The team competed against Fillmore High School and won 3-0 with individual set scores of 25-18, 25-14, and 25-22.
After the Flashes served the ball, sophomore Jerod Frederick scored the first point of the game, giving the Dragons a 1-0 lead over Fillmore. However, the Flashes immediately bounced back and scored, tying the game 1-1. The teams took turns scoring until sophomore Chad Talaugon scored the first of five consecutive points, bringing the score up to 9-4 and sending the teams into a time out period.
Sophomore Dylan More blocked the ball and won another point for the Dragons. Immediately after, sophomore Kyle Cobian scored with an ace, driving the score up to 14-8. After a Fillmore blocked the ball, junior Ian Overton dove for the ball, saving it from hitting the ground. Sophomore Tanner Nodolf scored another point for the Dragons, creating a 24-17 lead. The Flashes suffered from two unforced errors which resulted in a Dragon win for the first set, 25-18.
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Frederick served the ball to signal the start of the second set. However, the Flashes scored the first point of the set. Sophomore Collin Weaver brought the score to 2-1 as he scored the first of what would be seven consecutive points for the Dragons. Cobian later attempted to dive for the ball but was unsuccessful. However, he managed to score another point for Foothill when he scored 10-4.
The crowd gasped as Frederick spiked the ball over the net, winning another point for the Dragons. Towards the end of the game, Overton jumped to save the ball from going out of bounds. After the ball flew into the stands and the score was brought to 22-11, Frederick served an ace. The Dragons ended the set with a 25-14 win.
Cobian believes that the team played a “very strong” first and second set.
“The team is so good at scrambling and keeping the ball up and just getting it over and they [are] all moving really well together” Cobian said.
Talaugon also felt that the team had a “really good and strong” first and second set. However, he felt that their energy “died” during the third set.
“The energy kind of died out in the end and we weren’t connecting at all,” he said. “I think everyone including me was getting kind of timid.”
The teams returned to the court for the third and final set of the night. Fillmore served the ball but Foothill was able to score the first point of the third set. Frederick slid across the ground to save the falling ball. Later, sophomore Tommy Hurley scored three consecutive points, driving the score up to 10-4. The Dragons lead decreased when the Flashes scored four consecutive points, bringing the score to 19-18.
Overton leaned backwards to save the ball, however the team was unable to get the ball over the net, causing the score to riseto 22-20. After Fillmore scored another point, Foothill’s fans began to chant and cheer on the Dragons. Despite this attempt to boost the confidence in the players, Fillmore scored another point, tying the game at 22-22.
Hurley was rewarded with another point when he dove for the ball and saved it from touching the ground. Fillmore attempted to spike the ball, however Frederick blocked it and earned the final point of the game. The Dragons won the first set with a close victory of 25-22.
Cobian was “most proud of” the third set because they “pulled it off.”
“We got caught off guard a little bit in the third set, but like I said, I’m just really proud of them for pulling it off, because you know, it could have easily gone the other way,” Cobian said.
Cobian feels that the team has improved since the beginning of the season. The Dragons ended their 2015 season with a record of two wins and ten losses. However, they finished their 2016 league season with ten wins and four losses with a secured spot in CIF. According to Cobian, they “totally flip flopped and improved” since last year’s season.
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Hurley has “enjoyed learning a lot about team camaraderie and a lot of friendship” as well as “excelling with [his] teammates” throughout the season.
Cobian hopes the team “learned just how wonderful it is to be a team and play together and be successful.”
“Just that feeling of being on a court and not just winning but just working together and seeing the improvement. It’s all life skills that they can take,” she said. “It’s all teamwork, chemistry, working hard, defeat, […] winning, humility, composure.”
Hurley believes that the team “played well” and has “come a long way” since the beginning of the season.
“[We] worked together really well, we have a lot of team chemistry and I think that worked really well for us,” Tommy said.
According to Cobian, the team had a “great” and “enjoyable season.” The team “worked hard” and will continue “practicing hard” for their upcoming CIF games.
“It’s been a great season, it’s been fun,” she said. “It went fast [and] these boys enjoyed, I enjoyed watching these boys and they deserve everything they’ve gotten.”
Background Photo Credit: Chloe Hilles / The Foothill Dragon Press