Boys Volleyball: Neuqua Valley holds off Metea Valley in two gamesThomas Stevens (right) of Neuqua Valley flips the ball over the net as Shiv Desai (34) and Chad Martin (23) of Metea Valley attempt to block. | Jon Cunningham~For Sun-Times Media
Games 1 and 2 of Neuqua Valley’s 25-11, 25-23 match win Tuesday couldn’t have been more different, but both scores were adequate to defeat host Metea Valley.
“I thought we played really well in Game 1 but part of the issue was, I think in Game 2 Metea just played the way they were capable of playing,” Neuqua Valley coach Erich Mendoza said. “We were able to build up a big lead and I thought one of the things that we did a good job with was playing defense. We did a good job blocking and digging, and running the offense out in transition. Game 2 was completely different because we missed a lot of serves…and also, Metea just played much better than they did in Game 1.”
The first game saw one tie (at 1-1) but was never in doubt the rest of the way, as the Wildcats (15-3, 2-0 Upstate Eight Valley) closed the contest out with a 4-0 run. In the second game, the Mustangs (14-4, 1-2) trailed 4-1 at the outset but stormed back to stretch its largest lead to six points (at both 17-11 and 18-12).
The Wildcats would not go away, though. Neuqua Valley tied the game at 23-all and did not allow another point the rest of the evening.
“We dug ourselves into a hole a bit into the middle of that second match but we came together,” Wildcats senior middle hitter Connor Richardson said. “We really wanted to win; we didn’t want to embarrass ourselves after that first match. We didn’t want to come back and lose. We dug ourselves out of that and came back and won, so it was good.”
Metea Valley coach John Aister didn’t mince words when asked to explain the difference between his squad’s Game 1 and Game 2 performances.
“We decided to play,” he said. “I think in Game 1, we came out scared and we let them intimidate us and just play us right off the court. In Game 2, we finally kind of settled down and played our game a little bit better.”
Thomas Stevens had eight kills and an ace for Neuqua Valley. Richardson added five kills and Ryan Cahill contributed 19 assists.
Martin Krasuski (two digs) and Adam Miller each posted three kills for Metea Valley. Peter Hebda had two blocks and Chad Martin registered nine assists and an ace.