Scotts Valley’s senior players, captains Brett Turner and Steve Lonhart, along with Bryce Turner, Collin McCann and Jonny Chiu had never taken a set from Mount Madonna in four years playing for the Falcons.
That changed on Tuesday, when Scotts Valley, already down 2-0 after a lackluster second set, came out with a fiery confidence and topped Madonna 25-23 in the third set.
During the winning set, Chiu had several huge blocks, Lonhart set consistently while Bryce Turner served an ace and McCann had a dig on the winning point.
“We were playing against a team known as a top team in league, and we had nothing to lose,” Brett Turner said. “We really just came out with full intensity and just took it to them.”
Mount Madonna, perennially known as one of the top programs in the Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League, topped Scotts Valley 25-20 in the fourth set to finish off the 3-1 win, 25-19, 25-11, 23-25, 25-20.
Lonhart led the team with 21 assists and five blocks, Ryan Rodriguez had 8 kills, Brett Turner and Jonathan Chiu had six kills, Tanner Simonovich had two blocks, Chiu had two blocks and Rodriguez had an ace.
Despite the loss, the team was in high spirits after the game after taking its first set from Madonna.
“This group of seniors, it’s been awesome playing with these guys for four years,” Brett Turner said.
He said as the season has progressed, the team has gotten better at going after every ball and has maintained intensity and dedication to the team.
The seniors have a new coach this year, their fourth coach in four years, Zak Beltz.
“I got lucky enough to have really good seniors who play well together,” Beltz said.
Beltz said that rather than trying to change everything in his first year, he has tried to be encouraging and to ensure that the players enjoy playing the game.
“I tell them that this is for them,” Beltz said. “They need to go out on a strong point.”
Beltz said that along with the seniors, sophomore Tanner Simonovich began the season stepped up and played setter while Lonhart was out for the first portion of the season.
“As my youngest player, he fits right in with them,” Beltz said.
Beltz also said that Bryce Turner moved from the back row to the front this year, and has played very well for not hitting in the front before.
“My main goal is to have my seniors have a good season and leave really respecting the sport and saying they had a really great time,” Beltz said.
Scotts Valley is 2-5 in league as of press-time and hopes to make some noise in the league tournament at the end of the season.
A complete schedule can be found at http://svhs-scottsvalley-ca.schoolloop.com