Boys’ volleyball bested 3-0 by Laguna Blanca

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Kami Kada

Chase Nielsen ’22 and Brayden Jones ’22 block the ball from coming over the net.

Sam Noah, Reporter

The Foothill Technology High School boys’ volleyball team played one of their first returning games against Laguna Blanca High School Owls on April 28. It was their second match in over a year, with their first one coming a week earlier in a loss against Bishop Diego. 

Coach Tim Coonan was relieved to finally return, saying, “it is so good to be back in the gym, we were absent a full entire year […] but getting back in our gym feels so good […] and we are so grateful to be here.”

Cole Dinkler

The Dragons took the court with a starting lineup of Matt Kyle ‘22, Chase Nielsen ‘22, Brayden Jones ’22, Owen Houston ‘23, Tyler Jorden ‘23 and Myko Petraitis ‘24. Kyle and Houston are the lone returners from the Varsity team last season.

The Dragons got off to a rocky start and immediately went down 5-0. Laguna came out strong with a block and an ace to set the tone for the match. 

The Dragons’ first point came on a hit from Petraitis, but was followed by ten more consecutive points for the Owls. The Dragons struggled to return serves from the Owls, giving up another ace and not getting their returns back over the net.

Further into the set, the Dragons found themselves in a 24-6 hole when they were able to string together four points to pull within 24-10. Blocks from Jones and Jorden, as well as hits by James Sokoloski ‘24 and Petraitis gave the Dragons hope.

However, the set came to an end after a Laguna hit got past Jorden, giving the Owls their first set victory with a score of 25-10.

The Dragons started out the second set much more motivated, jumping out to a 2-0 lead. The Dragons again took the lead 5-4 after Petraitis pulled off a diving dig that led to an emphatic hit from Kyle that roused the team.

Myko Petraitis ’24 sends the ball over the net. (Kami Kada)

The two teams went back and forth for the next 14 points, which ended up in the set being tied 12-12. The Owls then pulled off an 8 point run that was enabled by the Dragons’ hits falling short and into the net.

The Dragons attempted to get back into the set following this run but were not able overcome their deficit, losing the set 25-19.

With their backs up against the wall and down two sets, the Dragons came out on the first point of the third set with a resounding highlight. Libero Scott Hixon ‘22 was able to miraculously dig a ball just off the ground, setting up a forceful kill for Petraitis. 

Foothill Tech had two more impressive plays just several points later, with a Petraitis ace, Kyle slam and another Petraitis ace all happening in succession. 

These points gave the Dragons a 5-4 lead but numerous errors allowed the Owls to capitalize on the mistakes and take the lead 11-10 before Petraitis had yet another stand-out play with a one armed dig setting up his own slam.

The Dragon offense began to falter after this point with numerous long hits and failed blocks resulting in the third set finishing 25-15 in favor of Laguna Blanca, shutting the Dragons out with a 3-0 win.

Despite the loss, Coach Coonan is optimistic about the teams’ future, saying, “We have a very young team, we’re returning two varsity players and that’s it, so it’s young, it’s inexperienced, but there’s some real talent out here.”

The Dragons got their first win the following Friday, April 30, defeating Ventura High School 3-0.

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