With a 3-1 Southeast League record coming out of spring break, Green Valley’s boys volleyball team needed to win on the road Tuesday to keep its momentum going.
After dropping the first set at Foothill, the Gators rallied to win three straight sets and earn a 20-25, 25-16, 25-14, 25-17 win.
Green Valley (17-9, 4-1 Southeast) looked sharp early and jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first set, forcing the Falcons to take a timeout.
Foothill (12-16, 3-2) came out of the timeout strong and eventually took the opening set, 25-20.
The same script seemed to play out in the second set with the Gators jumping to an 11-5 lead and Foothill again taking a timeout. This time, Green Valley didn’t allow the Falcons to climb back into it.
“I think our guys just kind of calmed down that second game,” Green Valley coach Emily Baracco said. “We talk a lot about momentum, and it really just takes one play to take away momentum.”
Green Valley won the second set 25-16 and easily won the third set before pulling away in the final set to secure the win.
James Reed had 31 kills to lead the Gators, and teammate Brian Barkemeyer had 42 assists.
“It’s insane that it’s already the start of the second round (of league play), which makes our seniors kind of realize that the end is near. So, hopefully, that will kind of fuel them to step it up and finish their senior year well,” Baracco said. “We’ve been stressing all year it’s a quick season and it goes by really fast. But I don’t think they can really understand it until you’re there.”
Caleb Stearman had 27 assists, 14 digs and four kills to lead Foothill.
“Foothill always puts together a good squad,” Baracco said. “I know that they have a young team and they have great coaching. So, we always are ready for a battle when it comes to Foothill. We always anticipate it being a battle here.”
Before winning the Class 4A state title last season, the Gators entered the playoffs without losing a set in their final month of the season. That momentum was key in their title victory, and they hope to ride a similar wave as they continue in league play.
“Going into state knowing that we haven’t even lost a set for that long I think was really powerful for our team,” Baracco said. “So, we have some kids that were on that team, and I think they remember that feeling. So, that momentum is huge.”