by Lou Ponsi
Photo credit: Paul Rodriguez
ORANGE – The Servite volleyball team won most of the battles at the net and were the better hitters in a 25-22, 25-18, 28-26 sweep over Orange Lutheran in a key Trinity League match Wednesday at Orange Lutheran High.
The Friars (14-6, 2-1) also ran down balls and made spectacular plays to keep several volleys alive and prevent the Lancers from scoring.
Servite won the point on most of the long volleys.
Christopher Morikawa led the Friars with 11 kills and Gil Herold had eight kills. But where the pair really made the difference was at the net, where Herold had six blocks and Morikawa had four.
Libero Adam Schulte finished with 18 digs.
"We work a lot on (blocking)," Friars coach Matthew Marrujo said. "When we can pass really well and keeps us in system, it lets us side out and we're a pretty good blocking team so to side out and get to our strength is huge."
The Lancers, ranked No. 1 in CIF-SS Division 2, were led by Taylor Jacobs, who had 12 kills, and Brett Sheward, who had 11.
Sheward also had four blocks and Jacobs had three blocks.
The first set was the most competitive of the three, with the score tied eight times.
Servite was ahead 18-13 when the Lancers scored five points in a row to tie the set.
The Friars led 24-19 when kills from the Lancers' Nathan Kim, Grant Oh and Ethan Moser made the score 24-22. Cole Rasic's kill clinched the set for the Friars.
Down two sets, the Lancers took a 12-5 lead in the third set and seemed on their way to extending the match. But the Friars got kills from a variety of players through the remainder of the set.
The score was 24-24, 25-25 and 26-26 before a hitting error by the Lancers and a kill from Herold closed out the set and the match for Servite.