Unlike last year, Mustang supporters didn’t get a chance to use brooms to sweep aside the Pen High Lakers during the third annual Cross-City Senior Volleyball championship.
The boys team assured that as they defeated the Mustangs 25-14, 21-25 and 15-11 on Tuesday at Pen High in front of a lively crowd.
The championship started with the Mustang girls defeating the Lakers for the second straight year, 25-6 and 25-16.
“They love winning. The city championship thing is really big to them,” said Mustangs coach Shawn Lum after watching his players have photos taken with the championship plaque.
Lum said his group loves the Cross-City Championshp organized by Bo Boxall.
“We played really well. We usually struggle with our emotions on the court,” said Mustang Fernaaz Johal. “We just forgot about who we were playing and where we were playing and we just played for each other. I think that came out. We definitely worked on putting the ball in, playing smart. I think we just came together as a team.”
In talking about playing the Lakers, Johal said it’s always good to have a friendly rivalry between the schools.
“It shows spirit and pride for your own school,” she said, as the Mustangs had a large contingent of supporters encouraged to cheer them on by Mustang boosters, which included their mascot. “We’re hoping to bring it back next year too.”
Lakers coach Rob Gunning said his players were excited to pull off the win for the home crowd. They went through some highs and lows along the way.
“We played a very good first set, but then lost our focus a bit in the second set,” said Gunning, referring to their 25-21 loss. “Maggie brought a lot of energy and intensity and we did not match it. Too many errors at the service line and attacking.”
The deciding set was tight, but Laker Nick Everton had a strong run with his serves to give his team a lead.
“It is always nice to win tight matches in the deciding set. It should help us down the road,” said Gunning. “It was great to see so many people here to watch the match. A very loud and positive atmosphere is always nice to play in front of.”