Tri-County Athletic League rival Seaside torched Gilroy at home
on Tuesday, which only served to fire up the Mustangs to take it
out on the next opponent.
Tri-County Athletic League rival Seaside torched Gilroy at home on Tuesday, which only served to fire up the Mustangs to take it out on the next opponent.
Gilroy defended home court Thursday by beating the Wildcatz 25-10, 25-8, 30-28. The victory gave the Mustangs their 15th victory overall (15-9) and an 8-3 record in the TCAL. Watsonville dropped to 3-10 overall, 3-8 TCAL.
“It went as expected,” Gilroy coach Sue Grogan said of Thursday’s contest, noting that Watsonville was missing its setter. Regardless of who was, or should have been, in attendance, the outcome was likely to be the same.
Kevin Bruce led the Mustangs with 15 kills, followed by Paolo Palao who had 10. Michael Leininger was Gilroy’s team leader in digs with 10, and Alfred Medenceles had 23 service points, including 15 straight at one point.
“[That] is pretty amazing,” Grogan said of Medenceles’ streak. “Only one was a definitive ace, but the guys were joking that they ran out of room (on the scorebook).”
Greg Calimpong and Roman Guerrero split the setting duties for the Mustangs as Watsonville never really mounted a serious threat despite extending the third game to extra points. Overall the Mustangs had 40 kills.
The victory was a far cry from the level of competition seen, as well as the overall performance put forth, in Tuesday’s game against Seaside.
Gilroy couldn’t find a rhythm against the first-place team in the TCAL, falling by a score of 15-25, 17-25, 17-25.
“It was a little discouraging,” Grogan said. “The guys wanted to play well, but it just wasn’t coming together.
“Seaside is a great team. They do not let anything drop. That’s part of the strength of their program – their refusal to let anything hit the floor. And, unfortunately, my guys let a lot of things hit the floor.”
The Mustangs have since recovered and now have a day of practice before taking part in the competitive Los Gatos Invitational, which will take place all day Saturday. The tournament features many of the top teams in the Central Coast Section, according to Grogan. Gilroy’s opening pool alone includes volleyball powerhouses such as Leigh, Leland and St. Francis – currently ranked No. 1 in CCS.
“We know we’ve got a tough ride … but I’m hoping these guys are charged up,” Grogan said. “What happens in the tournament could decide if we play at home in CCS (playoffs), or if we play at all in CCS.
“I hope they don’t shrink from the challenge put in front of them.”
It sounds like the first challenge has already been made.