Prep volleyball: Nevada Union edges Del Oro in league bout
Special to The Union
Pressure has the potential to bring out the best in athletes and Tuesday night’s Sierra Foothill League clash at Del Oro was no exception.
Leading the Golden Eagles two sets to none, and trailing in the third set 24-20, Nevada Union boys volleyball coach Marco Salcedo issued his team a challenge, “Your whole season is on the line right here and what are we going to do? We have to play some defense.”
NU rose to the task, tightened its grip and rallied against four consecutive Del Oro match point opportunities to eventually overcome the deficit, and end the game on a 6-0 run to clinch the victory, 26-24, 25-18, 26-24.
Senior Logan Kerley made several sensational digs off some hot smashes to keep the ball alive and senior Mason Salcedo set up his teammates beautifully in a tremendous never-say-die finale. The Golden Eagles had many opportunities but just couldn’t slam the door.
“Going into that third game I told the guys we need to take this as though we’re down 2-0,” explained Salcedo. “We’ve got to mentally start preparing ourselves. We’re down 2-0, we got to win this game and have that mentality. Logan stepped up and made two huge digs and that spark turned it around. Steven (Skaggs) went back and served it out. It just doesn’t get any better than that.”
NU senior Skaggs hammered down 10 kills to go with five blocks, which included the game-winning points in the first two games. The Golden Eagles simply didn’t have an answer for him. NU senior Harrison McCormick proved deadly on the attack as well, slamming down a team-high 13 kills and also tallying nine digs on defense. Mason Salcedo finished with a game-high 27 assists, four blocks and an ace.
“Just pretend you’re down two games, like you’re playing for the Section title and really take it to them,” said Mason Salcedo, recalling what was said in the last timeout. “In the end we just really came together as a team. Great defense, great hitting, setting, smart plays.”
It took the Miners awhile to find their ryhthm in the first set, trailing 17-12 before going on an 8-2 run to take their first lead 20-19. However, NU faultered momentarily and had to overcome game-point down 24-23, but again, they dug deep and elevated their play to pull it out. In the second set, NU opened a 23-14 advantage as it coasted to victory.
NU (20-3, 6-1 SFL) returns to action at home Thursday when it welcomes Woodcreek.
Brian Shepard is a freelance sports writer who contributes to The Union regularly.
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With a balanced offensive attack and a strong defensive effort, the Nevada Union football team went on the road Friday night and knocked off Napa, 33-14