Bishop Gorman boys volleyball coach Kyle Krauss couldn’t pinpoint the reason for his team’s slow start Thursday evening.
“Maybe just lack of focus,” he said. “Maybe being in another gym, on someone’s home court.”
Whatever it was, the Gaels quickly figured it out and their 180-degree turn resulted in a Southwest League title. Trevor Papock’s 29 assists, three kills, two aces and eight digs helped Gorman rally for a 22-25, 25-16, 25-20, 25-15 road win over Durango.
“I thought, at the beginning, we started a little bit slow,” said Krauss, in his sixth season. “Coming off a couple down games (last week) and things like that, we weren’t really focused. But I thought the guys ended up focused towards the middle of the second game today and regrouped and stuck to the game plan.”
In a back-and-forth first set, Durango overcame 11 ties and six lead changes to grab a 25-22 win. The Trailblazers closed the set on a 4-1 run, with Jaylen Clark putting down one of his team-leading 13 kills for the set victory.
The Gaels, however, responded like a team that has dominated league play all season.
Gorman (35-6, 10-0 Southwest), which has only played in two league matches that have gone more than three sets this season, easily ran away with the second set, and took the third after finishing on a 6-2 run.
In the fourth set, the Gaels stormed to a 16-8 lead and never looked back.
Charles Pollnow led the way with 19 kills and 12 digs.
“The guy’s a gym rat,” Krauss said of Pollnow. “He works out really hard and he loves the game. He’s been around it his whole life, so I wouldn’t expect anything less from him.”
Anthony Leach added three aces and eight digs for Gorman, which owns a two-match lead over Durango (20-15, 8-2) with two league games remaining. Should the Gaels lose out, they still own the tiebreaker after having swept the season series from the Trailblazers.
“(A league title) is a huge accomplishment,” Krauss said. “The guys have worked really hard for the last four years. A couple of my seniors have just dedicated themselves to doing this. They prepared themselves for this situation, so all the hard work’s paying off.”
Andre Shabazz had 31 assists, and Filip Bosnajak had eight kills for the Trailblazers.