Sticking to its season-long MO, the Desert Vista boys volleyball team started off slow in a 3-1 win over visiting-rival Mountain Pointe Tuesday night.
The Thunder (15-0) dropped the first game to the Pride and, once again, had to play from behind after losing a late lead.
“We were winning 23-19 and then fell apart,” Desert Vista head coach Ryan Tolman said. “We didn’t pass really well to start the game and that’s really what really triggers most of our offense…so that was a big deal for us early on.”
The Pride (8-6) would tack on seven-unanswered points to take the first game, which coach Fred Mann said he was happy to see.
“We had a lead in the beginning I think, then we lost our lead, then we were tough mentally and we battled back,” Mann said. “That was encouraging, but then Desert Vista just turned it on.”
After losing the first game, Desert Vista played up to its top-ranking, winning the next three games 25-18, 25-12 and 25-17.
Some strong words from Tolman seemed to have done the trick.
“I was pretty fired up after that first game,” said Tolman. “I probably got into them a little bit harder than I have all year long and they responded well.”
Senior middle blocker Ryan Adams and senior middle blocker/opposite hitter Brock Wilson got Tolman’s message, dominating the middle of court.
“I felt that the middle, me and Brock in the middle, today, was a huge factor in why we did so great,” said Adams, who finished with nine kills and three blocks.
“I thought Ryan Adams and Brock Wilson had a tremendous game,” said Tolman of the two seniors. “They won that match for us.”
Wilson added 11 kills as well as three blocks and senior setter Drake Moran chipped in 25 assists.
The Pride would make late surges in each of the last three games, but early deficits would hold them back, especially in the final game.
At one point down 18-9, the Pride would pull to within six. Down 22-16 Desert Vista would score three of the final four points to seal the win for the Thunder.
“The fourth game was a little bit unsettling but I knew we could pull together and pull it off,” Adams said.
While pulling out another win after yet another slow start, Desert Vista will need to address the problem before the playoffs, which are just around the corner.
“(When) playoffs come around, I think we kind of realize at that point that it’s win or go home so I’m hoping that will fix it,” Tolman said.
Smith is a junior at Arizona State studying journalism.