VOLLEYBALL: Gilroy holds off Christopher

Gilroy's Lucas Gravell spikes the ball over Christopher's Herman Enriquez during the first game of their match Thursday.

At times pressed by its counterpart from across town, the Gilroy High boys volleyball team kept its Tri-County Athletic League record untainted with a three-set victory (25-21, 25-8, 25-20) over visiting Christopher High on Thursday night.
The defending champion Mustangs have yet to drop a set in league play this season. CHS entered the match 3-1 in league and two nights removed from a five-set win over Salinas.
The Cougars (3-2 TCAL Valley Division) had the Mustangs on their heels in Game 1 and led 20-16 late in the set. However, the Mustangs (6-6 overall, 5-0 TCAL Valley Division) worked through a handful of unforced errors and closed the set on a 7-0 run to clip CHS.
“What we always talk about is riding that wave,” GHS head coach Craig Martin said. “A team coming into a place where they want to win, there is going to be a ton of adrenaline on their side. We had some errors in the first and third games. We put it together in the second game.”
That the Mustangs did, taking what was a 4-4 tie and turning it into a runaway win 25-8.
“(Game 1) kind of deflated their emotions, their energy,” CHS head coach Karie Gonzalez said. “But they found it again that third game.”
CHS grabbed a 20-18 advantage late in Game 3 before Gilroy High’s Connor Escobar tied it 20-20 with one of his match-high 13 kills.
Behind the serve of Jonny Lester, the Mustangs rattled off the next five points to seal the match. Lester was a perfect 18 for 18 in service attempts and had two aces  on the night.
“The intensity and our passing got a lot better,” Lester said of Gilroy’s progression through the match. “We cleaned it up in the second game. A win is a win for us, basically.”
Lester added 11 kills, Greg Spellman tallied 24 assists and Lucas Gravell had four kills for Gilroy.
“We are always looking for more consistency,” Martin said. “We have to clean up those errors. If we can put together three games in a row like the second tonight, we should be fine.”
Justin Laveroni paced the Cougars with nine kills – including three in the third set – and CJ Thompson had eight kills and three blocks.
“It’s a tough one. They played well though. They battled,” Gonzalez said.
Gilroy will be at the Hammering and Roofing Seminar at Willow Glen High on Saturday.

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