by Makeen Yasar
After a disheartening 3-1 loss to the Quartz Hill Rebels this past Wednesday, the Bulldogs rebounded in a strong fashion as they went up against some of the top competition in California in Sylmar’s annual tournament on April 25th.
This season the Bulldogs— who are currently and imminently headed towards second place in Golden League—are 12-6-2. However, with a tough strength of schedule this year, Highland’s Boys Volleyball team has been ranked 152 out of the top 200 schools in California; and that’s out of at least 800+ schools in the state.
To start off the tournament, the Bulldogs first faced off against the tall front row of North Hollywood, winning he first set easily 25-15, then battling it out in the second set in an intense 31-29 bout, earning them a hard fought 2-0 W against the Huskies.
Up next was another endurance test against the scrappy Narbonne Gauchos, who ended up fighting down the wire in each of the two sets. The Gauchos stole the first 27-25, but a solid finish by Highland ended the second set at 25-23, with the overall game being a 1-1 tie.
Once Fairfax came around, they were no match for Highland as all players were firing on all cylinders, especially Daniel Ascencio, who passed a perfect 3 rating throughout the game. The game was secured 2-0 with an emphatic 25-13 close.
Even with a 0-2 loss to Division I school Notre Dame, Highland’s performance in pools, as well as the consistent 20 point scoring against all teams, got them into the second round of the Sylmar tournament for the first time in nearly 3 years.
Division II Chatsworth won in the direct elimination match 1-0. Although evenly matched, Chatsworth and their scoring run around the game’s 14 point tie ended giving them an insurmountable lead. The final was 25-20 in favor of the Chancellors.
The team averaged around 30+ kills per game. Middle Blocker Tyler Martin, Setters Mario Patrick and Hunter Douglas, and Outside Hitter Chase Zenter each had a game were they scored at least 6-9 kills. This effective and deadly front row now sets their eyes on the upcoming week, and their final game against Eastside High on Friday, May 1st.