You just knew that it would be a memorable match and it was.
Servite rallied from a 9-5 deficit in the fifth game, tied the Monarchs at 12-12 and would eventually win the game and the match.
The victory gave the Friars their first league title since 1999, when they were in the Golden West League. I can’t even imagine Servite in the Golden West League.
This match had it all.
Here are some key moments:
The Red Wave. The Mater Dei student section is always in top form. All the way down to their singing. Good job.
Mater Dei leads 24-22 in the second game. Servite comes back with a kill from Madison Hayden and an ace by Brian Mendoza to tie the game. Mater Dei regrouped to win the game, on a kill by Tucker Pikula and ace by Grady Zant.
I think it was in game 2 when Brian Mendoza (I think it was him) went flying to save the ball and actually slid out the door of the MAC. That was crazy.
Game 3 was ridiculous. There is no other way to explain it.
20-19 … Servite’s Blake Mooney appeared to keep a rally alive with his foot … or that’s the way it seemed from my seat. The refs ruled otherwise. Michael Such would get the kill.
Mater Dei served for game point, 24-22. It never arrived. Sam Hunt connected on a kill and followed with a block to tie the game at 24-24.
Later, Mater Dei served for point again at 26-25 again the Friars would survive. Two kills from Madison Hayden and a Mater Dei hitting error sealed the victory for the Friars.
The Monarchs didn’t go easy as they took control of the fourth game early and never relinquished, eventually tying the match 2-2, forcing a deciding fifth game.
It was a wild night.
Player of the night: Madison Hayden (Servite). 36 kills and played a great all-around game.
Finally, I think a match like this can serve both teams well as the CIF-SS Playoffs approach. Especially for Mater Dei. The Monarchs, the defending CIF champions, have been steadily improving this year. Good balance in the attack. Zant running the show.
I wouldn’t want to face Mater Dei in the playoffs.