Thu04242014

Sports

Spartans survive semifinals


Photo By: Town Crier file photo
Mountain View High’s Ryan McLaughlin, left, and Jake Stuebner led their team with 16 and 15 kills, respectively, Saturday.

Living up to its No. 1 seed, the Mountain View High boys volleyball team advanced to the Central Coast Section Division I final by beating Homestead Saturday.

But it wasn’t easy – the fifth-seeded Mustangs (22-12) took the Spartans (28-1) to five games in the semifinals, played at Independence High in San Jose. After dropping two of the first three sets, Mountain View rallied with wins of 25-16 and 15-11.

“We played catch up most of the match,” said Spartans coach M. Anthony Chen, who goes by MAC. “In game 3, we lost one of our middles (Alec Flowers) to an injury. Even though we lost that pivotal game, from that point on, the team played with a sense of urgency and purpose and pulled out games four and five.”

Ryan McLaughlin led Mountain View with 16 kills and 36 assists Saturday. Jake Stuebner added 15 kills and a block; Kurt Dentinger contributed 13 kills, one block and five aces.

MAC hoped to have Flowers back for Tuesday’s final against Mitty (played after the Town Crier’s press deadline), but listed him as “a game-time decision.”

This marks the Spartans’ second trip to the final; they lost a five-game match to defending champ Bellarmine in 2010. Mountain View is considered the favorite this time – the host Spartans swept No. 2 Mitty (26-5) April 5 in a non-league match.

Eagles exit early

Los Altos made the playoffs in its first season, but the team didn’t last long. The 12th-seeded Eagles lost their CCS Division I opener to host Homestead in straight games May 7.

“We played hard and we played well,” Los Altos coach Dave Radford said. “Everyone showed up to give their best and played with school pride, and it was evident with everyone’s effort.”

Alex Blackburn led the Eagles (14-9) with 13 kills, Nathan Smith notched 28 assists and Mathias McAfee posted 22 digs.

Radford doesn’t want the loss to define Los Altos’ season, noting that the team accomplished a lot in its inaugural year – such as winning the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League El Camino Division championship.

“The boys were never satisfied and always looked to improve, and that is what helped drive our successful season,” the coach said.

Bells beat Lancers

St. Francis made it as far as the CCS Division I quarterfinals, defeated by rival Bellarmine in five games Thursday.

The No. 3 Bells topped visiting No. 6 St. Francis 25-27, 23-25, 25-22, 25-16, 18-16.

The Lancers finished with a 22-9 record.

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