Volleyball Survives Clayton Valley to Advance

Eric Weston

After being crowned DFAL champions, the boy’s volleyball team advanced in their first match of the NCS tournament by defeating Clayton Valley by a score of 3-1 on Friday, May 18.

Clayton Valley surprised early on by winning the first game. Having beaten Clayton Valley 3-0 in the regular season, many of the players were expecting an easy match, but Clayton Valley took advantage of Campo’s lack of preparedness.

“Clayton Valley definitely came out with a strong game plan and they really put a lot of pressure on us. We were a little rusty not having played a match for almost two weeks and for most of the team it was their first NCS match of the season or even their first NCS match ever,” said coach Dave Chen.

“I thought we were a little shaky in the beginning, but we pulled together,” said senior and outside hitter Chad Cook, “We were a little too confident.”

Campo turned the tide in the second game, taking a commanding lead thanks to their height advantage and athleticism. According to senior and opposite hitter William Henrikson, the team quickly adapted, altering their strategy after the first game.

“They had two players, number three and number twelve, who were the only threats against the team and only one of them was in the first row at a time, so we matched up our best defenders against them and shut them down,” said Henrikson.

“We were nervous because it was our first NCS game with a lot of freshmen,” said senior Alec Vigil. “We had to get the nerves out then we played well in the last three games. I’m proud of how everyone played.”

“I was really happy with our performance – we showed we could bounce back after a tough start,” said senior and opposite hitter Ryan Alva.

Having advanced past the first round of NCS, Campo will face a more difficult team in Acalanes on Wednesday night. Henrikson and Chen both identified Dan Kennedy, the league MVP, as Campo’s toughest problem. “We’ve seen them twice in regular season and we know they have the potential to unseat us if we don’t come out ready to play,” said Henrikson.

Chen anticipates a grudge match, noting the close score in their previous match. “Last time they played a very close match with us.  We have to match their intensity, weather the storm when they come out strong, and we have to push back,” said Chen.