A good start is critical in the fifth set of a volleyball match.
Just ask Silverado’s boys team.
The Skyhawks scored the first five points of the decisive set Friday to outlast visiting Centennial 25-14, 23-25, 25-19, 15-25, 16-14 in the season opener for both teams.
“Sometimes in that fifth game, the first couple of points can dictate the momentum,” Silverado coach Eric Drum said. “It was already a close match, and so it was nice to see the guys ride that wave of energy they got off those first couple of points.”
Kyle Devicino led the Skyhawks with 12 kills, but it was a late burst of energy supplied by Jordan Royal, Shawn Steckel and Vince Gomez that helped the home team hold on for the win over last year’s Class 4A state runner-up.
The trio each supplied seven kills, while combining for six in the fifth game.
“We realized that we had to recover from the last game; we didn’t play that good or talk at all,” said Gomez, a senior who tallied three clutch kills in the decisive game. “We decided to come out and just play our game.
“Everything just fell into place, and we got the victory in the end.”
Silverado jumped to an early lead by working the net, as Steven Jex put up three blocks in the first set.
But the Bulldogs rebounded in the second set on the back of senior setter Leo Durkin, who finished with 32 assists, three blocks and three aces — including two aces in the final six points of the second set to help Centennial pull away.
Ryan Ramin supplied 12 kills and two blocks for Bulldogs, who worked the net with 11 team blocks.
“It’s a great win for our program. Centennial is a top-notch program — one of the best in the valley,” Drum said. “It’s nice that it’s our first win, but anytime you beat a team like Centennial, it feels pretty good.
“They’re very strong; they’ve got some very good players on that team.”
Team captain Brian Theophil, who had 33 assists, helped the Skyhawks loosen up and play “to have fun,” Drum said, before the final game.
“It’s nice to be able to just go out there,” Drum said, alluding to the nonleague, no-pressure atmosphere. “But it is the first game; there is a long season ahead of us. There are a lot of things we’ll have time to improve on.
“I think we should learn from it. We played a little bit loose in that fifth game, which was nice.”