VOLLEYBALL: Cougars victorious in two straight league matches


Five-set matches have been synonymous with Christopher High
girls varsity volleyball this season. The Cougars picked up two
five-set victories in Monterey Bay League play last Thursday and
Five-set matches have been synonymous with Christopher High girls varsity volleyball this season.

Leading up to last Thursday’s meeting with North Monterey County, four Monterey Bay League matches out of eight went the distance. The Cougars, though, were 0-4 in those contests and found themselves 0-8 in the MBL.

However, on the brink of another five-set loss to the Condors last Thursday, the Cougars turned the tables and rallied for their first league victory, fittingly in the winner-take-all final set.

Down 14-11 in the first-to-15 tiebreaker, the Cougars rattled off five straight points behind the serve of Aly Olvera to steal the victory 21-25, 25-17, 25-27, 25-21, 16-14.

“It was the first real glimpse of that killer attitude,” head coach Larry Nabzeska said.

That attitude carried over to Tuesday’s match against Pajaro Valley, who escaped Gilroy on Sept. 29 with a five-set win over the Cougars.

Payback was in order and the Cougars delivered 15-25, 25-18, 18-25, 25-20, 15-11 in Watsonville.

“They don’t make it easy, but it was fun to win a couple,” Nabzeska said. “As a coach, I am really proud of them. They have made that turn around.”

Junior middle blocker Merrett Brown led the offensive charge in the two ‘W’s’, knocking down 15 kills and 20 kills, respectively, during the win streak. Claudia Ferreira collected a combined 26 kills in that span.

Setter Alex Gerberik dished out 37 assists in the win over Pajaro Valley.

“Alex doesn’t get enough credit,” Nabzeska said. “She was chasing balls all over the court.”

Hanna Tabron had 10 kills against the Grizzlies.

The Cougars have a difficult test for their final home game of the season on Thursday, hosting first-place Seaside (17-4 overall, 9-1 MBL). They wrap up the season on the road at Watsonville next Tuesday – the league’s second-place team.

CHS lost to Seaside 3-1 on Oct. 5 and fell in a bitter five-setter to Watsonville two days later.

“They feel like they can win,” Nabzeska said. “And if you feel like you can win, you never know what can happen.”

First serve Thursday is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at CHS.

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