Witt steps into light, leads Skyhawks past Cougars

For much of his senior year, Hunter Witt has played a relatively anonymous role with Silverado’s boys volleyball team.

The middle blocker stepped out of the shadows in his final home match on Wednesday.

Witt had 15 kills, four blocks and two aces to help the Skyhawks hold off visiting Coronado, 25-22, 22-25, 25-21, 21-25, 15-12 and clinch their first Southeast League title since 2007.

Witt had two kills as Silverado (16-2, 13-1 Southeast) jumped to a 9-3 lead in the decisive fifth set, and the Skyhawks held on.

“It was just one of the games tonight,” said Witt, who moved from opposite into the middle to replace a pair of ineligible players. “I guess I was on fire today, like one of those lucky games. My setter and I were clicking today, and I ran with it.”

Kyle Divicino added 14 kills for the Skyhawks, and Dakota Relle supplied 45 assists, five kills and three aces — including the dramatic, match-winning setter’s dump on a pass by Divicino — as the Skyhawks completed the regular-season sweep of the Cougars (14-4, 12-2).

Indigo Varela had six kills, three aces and 10 digs to aid Silverado, which earned the league’s top seed for the Sunrise Region playoffs.

“This is a massive win,” Varela said. “Especially last year, when they beat us on their senior night. It’s nice to return the favor and beat them on ours.”

Witt had four kills, and the Skyhawks used an 8-3 run to take a 23-18 lead in the first set before nabbing the win. But Coronado evened the match behind three kills each from Austin Moiseyev and Tyler Cucullu in the second set.

The teams traded the lead in the third set before Witt sparked a 7-2 run that put Silverado up 16-10 en route to the win.

“Hunter’s been working his butt off,” Silverado coach Kevin Schwallie said. “After practice he’s always working on something, begging me to let him serve, begging to do more. But he does it the right way.

“He was struggling yesterday to hit the ball. And then, the first kill of the game, he mashed it across his body. He did it all on his own. But he’s worked his butt off, and he’s earned it. A lot of these kids have.”

Moiseyev had six kills in the fourth set to rally the Cougars back once again and set up the late-match heroics.

But the Skyhawks left little doubt with the strong start to the fifth set, taking leads of 6-2, 9-3 and 13-9 in rolling to the win.

“We’re going to use this to fuel the fire,” Varela said. “This is a huge win for us, and we want to use it to send us into the next match.”

Joey Sharp-Halpin had six kills off the bench for Silverado.

Moiseyev finished with 15 kills, three blocks and two aces for Coronado, and teammate Brandon Dau added 12 kills, 10 digs and two aces.

Connor Stephenson had 40 assists, and Jacob Pankey supplied seven kills and five blocks for the Cougars.

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