BOYS VOLLEYBALL: Mustangs start off right in three-game sweep of Balers

Nico Sandoval and Dietrich Baumgartner go for the block against

GILROY – The GHS boys volleyball team swept TCAL rival San
Benito on Tuesday night in the Mustangs’ season opener.
GILROY – The Gilroy High boys volleyball team posted a 12-2 league record a year ago. The two losses came at the hands of rival San Benito, who went on to claim the Tri-County Athletic League title.

It only took about one hour for the Mustangs to negate any lingering affects of those defeats, sweeping the Balers 25-19, 25-17, 25-11 in the 2010 season opener for GHS on Tuesday night in Gilroy.

Though highly unusual for a season to begin with a TCAL matchup, Mustangs’ head coach Scott Martin couldn’t help but be pleased with the performance and efficiency his team put forth against the defending league champions.

“It’s a great measuring stick,” Martin said. “I knew they were going to be good. It’s the only team we lost to in league last year, but I knew we were going to be pretty good, too. “It’s good to see an obstacle like this early because it kind of lets us know that we can hang and that we will be OK this season.”

The Mustangs, who lost all six starters from a year ago, return three players from last season’s playoff team, and as captains, the trio set the tone Tuesday.

Junior setter Gavin Menges tossed up 27 assists to go along with five digs and three aces, senior Nico Sandoval ripped seven kills and junior Dietrich Baumgartner finished the night with five kills and four blocks.

“I was actually pretty happy with that,” said returning middle blocker Baumgartner. “We were nervous starting off in the beginning, but I think we finished strong. We were prepared and we wanted to play.”

The two teams played even to 11-11 in Game 1, but a block by senior Pablo Chavez, who had five kills on the night, kick started a 7-2 run to put the Mustangs up 18-13. After San Benito pulled within three at 20-17, the Mustangs closed out the set with another mini run to go up 1-0 in the match.

“I wanted to see how the guys came out mentally,” Martin said. “

Game 2 belonged to Albert Chavez as the senior collected three monster kills and a service ace and the set followed much of the same path as the first – close to begin and a Mustangs surge to seal it.

Albert Chavez led the Mustangs with 12 kills.

The Mustangs took advantage of a tiring Balers team, turning a 10-6 early lead into a 15-5 run to claim the third set and match victory.

“We will see them again and I’m sure they will be better,” Martin said. “We got that one road block out of the way and now keep moving on one game at a time.”

The Mustangs continue league action Thursday night at Seaside.

JV NOTE:

The JV boys volleyball team swept the Balers 34-32, 25-18 on Tuesday night.

Coach Jay Baksa called Game 1, “a barnburner” as the Mustangs blew a 21-9 advantage. However, the home team was able to hang on in the end.

Brad Sigl had four kills to lead GHS, Connor Escobar had seven assists, Charles Walker stood tall with three blocks and Lucas Gravell came away with 12 digs.

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