– Gilroy volleyball coach Craig Martin has a lot of good
basketball players on his volleyball team.
And that was great for the Mustangs basketball team, which made
the CCS playoffs last month.
Gilroy – Gilroy volleyball coach Craig Martin has a lot of good basketball players on his volleyball team.
And that was great for the Mustangs basketball team, which made the CCS playoffs last month. But it caused the volleyball squad to get started a month late – and meant little off-season club volleyball experience as a team.
The volleyball team was legally allowed to begin season practices on Feb. 1. But seven of the 10 members of the Mustangs squad played basketball and couldn’t join practice until the first week of March, when the hoops season ended.
“That’s pure athletic ability at the net,” Martin said. “We have the height and the athleticism, just not the volleyball common sense.”
Those shortcomings have snuck up on the ‘Stangs a few times this season, including in their 18-25, 20-25, 22-25 loss Tuesday night to league rival Monterey, which fielded a club team in the offseason.
“I told the guys, we’re six-and-a-half, seven months behind (Monterey),” Martin said. “Still, we played with them.”
The Mustangs (5-6/1-2) were able to stay within striking distance through most of the three-game match. But 11 missed serves – including four of the last five service attempts in a close second game – and 10 hitting errors eventually doomed Gilroy.
“Our biggest problem of the day was serving,” Martin said. “And we had fixed that against Alisal (Thursday) and over the weekend (at the Leland Tourney).”
“We had more service errors tonight than in all five matches we played over the weekend.”
Martin said not practicing serving in Tuesday’s practice probably contributed to the poor performance from the back line.
Midway through the third game, the Mustangs did put together a 7-2 run to bring them to within 13-14. That run featured an ace from outside hitter Vinnie DeLorenzo (7 kills) and a laser-like kill and two blocks from middle hitter Dominic Jackson (4 kills). But then the Toreadors took advantage of several Gilroy errors to come away with the 25-22 game and the match.
Outside hitter Ryan Chisholm led the Mustangs with nine kills and setter Patrick Largo spread around 19 assists.
“Coming into (the season), we thought we were going to blow away everyone in league,” Largo said. “We beat Monterey in the offseason when they had extra people. We always assume we’re going to take teams in three games and that’s why we lose.”
The Mustangs fared better in the Leland Tourney on Saturday, going 2-1 in the silver division pool and 3-2 overall for fourth place. Gilroy beat Saratoga in the semifinals before losing to Sacred Heart in the following round.