Fred Mann has seen glimpses of a team that can contend this season.
Unfortunately for the longtime Mountain Pointe boys volleyball coach, most of those moments have happened during practice.
On Tuesday night, however, the Pride played one of its better matches in defeating Desert Vista 21-25, 25-22, 18-25, 27-25 and 15-12 to keep postseason hopes alive.
"We've been struggling," Mann said afterward. "I see what I see in practice so I have high expectations. I want to see them play like they practice. There have been times where we have done it, but we haven't been able to string together long stretches.
"We've had flashes of really good play here and there, but not enough."
The win, which was helped by the strong play of middle blocker Agastya Pandarinath, was needed as the Pride entered the week No. 29 in the power rankings. They need to make up enough ground in order to get into the top 24 for the state tournament.
Desert Vista, on the other hand, has lost two in a row to put a first-round bye out of the equation and need to turn it around in order to secure a first-round home match with three matches remaining.
"It was a tough match," Mann said. "They are a very athletic team with a good setter and libero and a bunch of guys who can put the ball away. They lost an emotional match (to Brophy on Monday) and we were practicing so that was probably to our advantage."
The two teams split the season series with each match going to five games.
Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or Jskoda@ahwatukee.com. Follow him on Twitter @JSkodaAFN.