Desert Vista prepares to shake hands with Mountain Pointe after taking all three sets.

By Devin Gooden, Special to Tribune

Cross-town rivals faced off Thursday, the Desert Vista boys volleyball teams got the best of Mountain Pointe in a three-set sweep, 25-16, 25-21, and finally 25-14

Despite the tough loss to their rivals, the Pride did not make this an easy win for the Thunder.

During the second set, the Pride battled with the Thunder (11-5, 1-0 Central Region) overall, even taking the lead a couple times. They kept it close all the way until the end, but lost 25-21.

The Pride (2-11 overall, 0-2 Central Region) tried to pull ahead in the third set and gained some momentum to stretch their biggest lead of three points, but the Thunder quickly overtook them shutting them down to win the match.

Mountain Pointe coach Tim Church felt his team showed the what it is capable of in the second set, but showed weakness that has hampered the Pride all season in the other two sets.

“Game two we played the way we were capable of playing and unfortunately we are a little inexperienced, so game one and game three kind of showed our inexperience,” he said. “We competed in that second set, we passed a little better and cut down our serving errors. We had a lot of serving errors game one and didn’t pass well at all game three, so that’s why that one went pretty quick.”

Desert Vista Coach Clay Webb agreed that the second set was less than ideal for the Thunder with the intense play of the Pride, but he never let his team get down on themselves.

“In timeouts you just talk to them about everyone doing their job so if they don’t do their job then we’re going to make you sit,” he said. “I just talked to them about it and said, ‘Look guys you’re going to be fine - get your serves in the court, let them make the mistakes and go from there.’ ”

He agreed that the Pride did make them work harder on the court, and forced them to pull together to win the set in three matches.

“Mountain Pointe put us in a position in the second game where I had to put some guys back in,” he said. “Overall I think our guys just did a really good job just communicating, and doing what we needed to do to win games.”

He thought that two juniors, Nick Heeres and Jaden Rollins, were able to step up for the team tonight despite the tough match.

“Nick Herres did a really good job, he does a really good job with the serve-receive also he’s a big hitter for us,” he said. “Our middle, Jaden Rollins, is our powerhouse middle hitter so he did really well.”

Rollins agreed with his coach that the Thunder did not compete at their normal level of play.

“Today I think we did well in passing and I think we had trouble in executing our sets and scoring. We let them come back in the game where we could’ve easily taken them out early,” Rollins said. “Tonight I didn’t think we played as well as we normally do.”

Rollins thinks that in order to keep their winning record and make sure that they succeed overall in the season, they need to play to their level and make sure they are doing what they need to do to win sets.

“We need to really execute and keep the energy up the entire game, we fall short in energy,” he said. “The first game we always start off really good, second game we always fall flat.”

* Gooden is a sports journalism student at Arizona State.

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