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Mountain View upbeat despite loss to Salpointe

Citizen Staff Writer



With only one senior returning, the Mountain View High School boys volleyball team didn’t expect much this season.

But with a 19-13 record, the Mountain Lions are finding themselves in position to make the Class 4A/5A Division I state tournament.

Thursday night, Mountain View couldn’t knock off perennial power Salpointe Catholic, but the Mountain Lions took the Lancers to the limit in a 3-2 loss.

Game scores were 25-23, 25-17, 13-25, 24-26, 15-13.

“I think for our kids to compete and (close in) on the state tournament, we feel pretty good,” Mountain View coach Rick Ellis said.

Mountain View dropped the first two games, but rallied to win the next two.

“We started off pretty tough and then we lost our focus in the last two games but then we got it back in the fifth game,” said Salpointe’s Mike Smith who had 11 digs and seven kills.

“We started off pretty pumped up because we knew we could beat them, but they gave a fight in the end.”

Ellis liked the emotion he saw from his team in the loss.

“I thought we were going to win Game 5 with the way they played Game 3 and Game 4,” Ellis said. “That was the most energy we’ve seen. They were actually talking and celebrating. We’ve always told them that volleyball should be fun . . . sometime I think they take it way too serious. So it was nice to see the effort.”

Aaron Esparza, Franc Smith and Bryan LaFrese led the Lancers with 14 digs while Richie Hamm led Mountain View with 17 kills and 11 digs.

Salpointe coach Amy Johnson was pleased with her team’s effort.

“I’m real proud of the way our guys played, they did a real good,” Johnson said. “You know when you get to the state tournament you’re going to play five-game matches so I think it’s good to get a couple under your belt that go your way.”

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