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June 19, 2021

Prep Volleyball: North Salinas tops Gilroy 3-0

No matter what Gilroy did, it just couldn’t shake off the Vikings. The Mustangs held sizable leads in the first two sets of Thursday night’s contest, but North Salinas came back both times to win in straight sets 26-24, 25-23, 25-18 at Gilroy High.
“I think we did pretty good, but once we get the lead we settled down,” Mustang middle hitter Evelyn Clonts said. “We can’t do that; we’ve got to keep up the intensity.”
Clonts was stellar in Set 2 and notched three kills and a block to aid the Mustangs to a 7-0 lead. The junior kept the offensive pressure on, scoring four more kills as her team build a nine-point lead—19-10—over North Salinas and looked to even the game match at 1-1.
But then the momentum shifted.
A few Gilroy errors seemed to shake up the home team and North Salinas found its way back into the game. Two kills, a block, an ace and a few Mustang errors set-up an eight-point run for the Vikings, which tied the game at 20-all. The teams exchanged leads before Gilroy hit the ball out, giving the Vikings control with their first lead of the set at 23-22.
Gilroy’s Sarah Weiby slammed the ball to an open hole in the center of the Vikings’ defense to keep her team in it, trailing 24-23, but North Salinas answered with its own kill to clinch the set.
“I thought they were picking up our offense really good,” senior and Gilroy co-captain Jenna Clonts said. “We need to work on covering, but I felt really good about our defense, too.”
The teams were locked in a 15-15 tie in Set 1 before Gilroy pulled away. Evelyn knocked down a kill to put Gilroy ahead by two and Jenna served up an ace a few plays later to make it 21-18.
The Mustangs capitalized on North Salinas errors and were one point away from winning Set 1 at 24-20, but couldn’t close the door. Three Gilroy errors allowed the Vikings to gain a 24-23 lead, which they didn’t relinquish.
North Salinas held an 10-point lead and were eyeing set point at 24-14 but Weiby crushed a perfectly placed kill to keep Gilroy in the game. An error and back-to-back Weiby kills kept the Mustangs’ hopes alive. But after a long rally, the Vikings blocked the ball to end the match.
Gilroy (2-5 overall, 1-5 in league) will be back in action at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Everett Alvarez.
“I think we already have our minds set on having better intensity and energy for the future games; that’s really been our goal all season,” Jenna said. “We really pull together well on court sometimes, but we need to work on doing it a little more.”

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