The Desert Vista boys volleyball team needed all five sets to come away with the win against Brophy on Wednesday night.
The Thunder started off the first match strong, stringing together five straight kills as they won by a score of 25-21, 22-25, 23-25, 25-17, 15-12.
The Broncos came out clicking on all cylinders in the second match, extending their lead to 6 before Desert Vista came storming back. Brophy held off the Thunder’s late run and won the set.
The teams split the third and fourth matches, pushing the game to a crucial fifth game.
Thunder coach Ryan Tolman called a crucial timeout with his team down 7-9 after giving up five straight points to the Broncos. The Thunder were able to regroup and come out of the timeout to even the score at 11.
Desert Vista eventually won the nail-bitter 15-12 with crucial points coming from their seniors.
Senior Travis Seideman had a game-high 26 kills, willing his team to victory in the fifth game. Senior Derek Hancock had a big game as well, contributing with 15 kills of his own.
“We lacked intensity for the first three sets,” Seideman said. “(We) finally figured out how to create our own. Once we did that we grabbed the momentum and started to play better.”
Brophy coach Tony Oldani said he was proud with the way his team battled, even without the win.
“I thought we established our middles early,” Oldani said. “I think that opened up other spots for us. I was really happy with the way some of our young guys stepped up and played tonight.”
Tolman said the game was a big win for the Thunder as they look to end the season on a high note. Their preparation for the state tournament is crucial in a year that features unprecedented parity, leaving the road to the championship open to nearly any team.
“This is one of the first years in my 13 years where there’s not a top tier,” Tolman said. “There’s Boulder Creek and then there’s ten teams down below there that can give you a game.”
The Thunder look to extend the win streak to seven against rival Mountain Pointe Thursday night.
* Halverson is a Arizona State student taking a sports journalism class.