Coming off an 11-game winning streak, Aragon’s boys volleyball team defeated Capuchino on Mar. 30, bringing the Dons’ record up to 7-0 in the Peninsula Athletic League and 16-4 overall. After winning the first two sets 25-7, 25-11, the Dons lost the third 15-25, then won the fourth 25-7, giving them the three wins they needed to walk away with a victory.
The Dons’ ability to serve consistently greatly factored into winning the first two sets. Only missing one serve in the first set and two in the second, the Dons did not give the Mustangs many free points. Junior right side hitter and middle blocker Theo Hargis served six points in the first set — two of which were aces — and finished off the second set with eight consecutive serves.
Hargis, along with the rest of the Dons, excelled at serving fast, well placed balls, challenging the Mustangs defense. As a result, Capuchino struggled to gain momentum, never scoring more than two points in a row.
“I think we did well on getting serves and making sure they play us,” says senior co-captain, setter and outside hitter Kiernan Manu. “[But] missed serves should never happen, so I think we still need to improve on that.”
After winning the first two sets, Aragon head coach Diean Hala’ufia allowed players from the junior varsity team to join the varsity players on the court.
“It’s mainly to give my [junior varsity players] experience, but also [to] get them to understand the next level,” explains Hala’ufia. “We don’t do this often — we’re only doing it with the home games against teams that don’t have a JV [team]. Most of [the] league teams [we play] have JV [team], and that’s when JV gets their games, but they don’t have enough [games].”
In the third set, the Mustangs were much more aggressive on hitting.This likely resulted from the shorter JV Dons putting up a weaker block than the varsity players. Ultimately, the Dons lost to the Mustangs 15-25 in the third set.
“The JV and varsity gap is pretty big [since] JV just started. I think all of them are just playing, or beginning to play, [whereas] the varsity has been together for a while, so you can see the experience difference on the court,” explains Manu.
Following the loss in the third set, Hala’ufia returned to her varsity lineup. The Dons came out with a strong offense in the final set. Hargis served six balls, one of which was an ace, and senior co-captain and outside hitter Jonathan Garcia-Rovetta served ten consecutive points, with four aces. Additionally, the Dons hit 11 kills in this set, four of which were hit by junior outside hitter Tim McSheery. Between the aggressive offense and consistently strong block put up by the Dons, the Mustangs’ hitting faltered and they began to hit out more frequently, along with hitting into the next. The Dons finished off the match after winning the fourth set 25-7.
Their game against Capuchino marks the end of the first round of league play; from now on, the Dons will be replaying teams in the PAL. The Dons hope to continue their winning streak in their upcoming match against Hillsdale on April 12.