The Nu Delta Chi Vikings fell to the Lanier Falcons in two sets after an intense battle for victory.
Both teams played with a lot of heart and energy. But Lanier’s powerful, accurate hits and serves put them through to victory.
The Vikings started the first set with the serve. Jon Gallant served an ace, but Lanier came back quickly with a nicely placed tip. Lanier trailed behind the Vikings by a few points for most of the first set, despite placing strong hits from Kaipo Sotelo, Rio Oshiro and Nathan Schell.
Although Lanier’s hits were strong, the Vikings’ height allowed them to block many of them. The Viking’s blocks and smart placing of the ball kept them in the lead.
Lanier fought back to tie the set at 12-12. From there, they quickly gained a sizeable lead. With Lanier up by six points, 18-12, the Vikings called a timeout to refocus.
Lanier continued to stay ahead of the Vikings, and the Vikings never gave up, but Lanier took the first set 25-15.
Both teams showed an intense energy going into the second set. The teams went back and forth throughout the entire second set. Lanier started with an early lead, scoring off of many solid blocks and hits.
Sotelo faked out the Vikings’ blockers multiple times by going up for a hit and then only tipping the ball. This did not deter the Vikings’ blockers, however. They adjusted to the ball and were able to block some of the tips.
Towards the middle of the set, Lanier started to make some simple mistakes. This allowed the Vikings to make a small comeback with good serves and volleys.
With Lanier up 17-13, the teams went into a long volley for the next point. Multiple players made impressive plays and saves, but Lanier captured the point with a powerful hit from Oshiro.
The Vikings struggled to get more points on the board. Lanier continued to take back possession, but with only two points left for the win, Lanier served the ball into the net.
The Vikings seized this opportunity to close the gap. Another intense volley ensued. Both teams demonstrated strong blocks, passes, sets and hits, but the Vikings lost the point when a player hit the ball out of bounds.
On game point, Lanier served an ace, winning the game in two sets.