Most volleyball teams would show signs of fatigue after playing in 12 matches over a week-long span in two states.
Not the Las Vegas Wildcats. Or at least it wasn’t visible to spectators Wednesday.
Shaun Kampshoff had 17 kills, 11 assists, six aces and nine digs, and the Wildcats outlasted host Coronado, 25-19, 21-25, 25-16, 22-25, 15-11 in a battle of Sunrise Region powers.
“The kids did a good job of fighting,” Las Vegas coach Justin Graham said. “Everybody out here has tired legs. We did a good job of sticking together and fighting together. That’s what we’ve got to do all season.”
Just three days removed from playing in the two-day SLO Town Volleyball Tournament in San Luis Obispo (California), Las Vegas got back on track after suffering a five-set loss to Centennial on Tuesday.
Kampshoff, and his older brother, Brandon, were the tone-setters from the onset, and both helped seal the deal for the Wildcats in the decisive fifth set. Shaun Kampshoff put down a kill for the opening point, and Las Vegas (9-3) wound up scoring the first four points to take control.
The brothers alternated kills and key plays throughout the set to help the Wildcats hang on for a 15-11 win.
“They’re both such dynamic players,” Graham said. “So we’re trying to find ways for both of them to be able to have the ball in their hands when things matter.”
Brandon Kampshoff finished with 12 kills and two aces. Jon Sosa added eight kills and 12 digs for Las Vegas, which also got contributions from Kyle Monton (five aces, 18 digs) and Elliott Silveira (two kills, 19 assists).
Graham, whose team gave up plenty of size to Coronado’s front line, said he liked the way his players turned to their defense and quickness to extend rallies and set up better offensive attacks.
It’s something, he says, will need to continue this year if the Wildcats want to win a region title.
“For us, it comes down to whether we’re going to stick together and play defense,” Graham said. “Most teams outsize us, and that’s the way it tends to be. But you’ve got to find a way to fight through that defensively.”
Ryan Garlick had 19 kills and two blocks, and Nik Purser added 20 kills to lead Coronado (5-4).
“I was concerned at first with the way we came out,” Coronado coach Matt Johnson said. “But as the match wore on, I was really impressed how we fought. We started playing better defense throughout the match. We just got to cut down on our errors. We gave away points at crucial times.
“Hopefully, we learned some lessons. Maybe we’ll play them again in a tournament here or there. I don’t know, but I’m sure we’re going to. I hope to play them again.”
Matt Wilson dished out 52 assists, and Stuart White notched four kills and two blocks for the Cougars, who got 22 digs from Andrew Corrales.