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CIF: John Glenn comes up short in close match with La Serna

By Loren Kopff

The John Glenn boys volleyball team was seeking its second playoff victory in school history, and for most of its California Interscholastic Federation-Southern Section Division IV wild card match against La Serna, the Eagles were in position to make that feat possible. But late rallies in the third and fourth sets came up a combined five points shy and Glenn succumbed to the Lancers 25-15, 21-25, 25-23, 25-22 this past Monday night.

The Eagles, who finished in second place in the Suburban League last season and won a first round match, concludes this season at 13-10 overall.

“They wanted it; you could see it out there,” said John Glenn head coach Davion Jackson. “They never gave up. We got down three or four points but they never gave up. They kept fighting. That’s what I’ve preached all year long. Stay true and don’t give up.”

Glenn opened up a 7-2 lead in the first set only to see La Serna score four straight points. Then with La Serna leading 14-12 after a kill from senior opposite hitter Jovanni Michel, the Lancers reeled off 10 straight points for the easy first set win.

Both teams began the second set nearly trading point for point and when Michel’s third kill of the match tied the set at 10-10, it began a stretch of four straight points from the hosts.

That was enough to give the Eagles that burst of momentum they needed the remainder of the set as they eventually widened their lead to six points at 22-16. Senior opposite hitter Antonio Lucero had five kills in the set while Michel added four kills.

But with the good came the bad as the Eagles were plagued by poor serving and inadequate serve receiving in the first two sets. Glenn served into the net three times and served long once in the first set. Another four La Serna points in the opening set came in the form of aces. In the second set, La Serna had five aces and Glenn had three more serving errors.

“I think we were a little bit caught up in the whole moment of the game,” Jackson said. “After we got down, they got a little shaky. We stopped passing the ball on serve receive. They really didn’t hurt us. We hurt ourselves in that first set.”

Glenn was looking solid in the third set early on, scoring six consecutive points to take a 10-8 lead. Late in the set, the Eagles here holding a 20-19 advantage but the third place representatives from the Del Rio League ran off four straight points capped by an ace from Paul Young. Back to back net violations brought Glenn to within a point before Miguel Arevalo’s kill ended the set.

The fourth set began with seven ties and four lead changes with no lead greater than two points. Down by five points late, the Eagles made one final push by scoring four straight points before the Lancers ended the match with back to back kills.

“A lot of my guys jump serve and I want them to go 100 percent and jump serve but at key points, they weren’t making them,” Jackson said. “I think that was the turning point because we got momentum and we weren’t giving it away with missed serves.”

Senior middle hitter Erich Webb led Glenn with 13 kills along with 22 digs. Michel had 11 kills while Lucero added 20 digs.

“Those are my seniors and they did what they were supposed to do as seniors,” Jackson said.

Glenn slipped to third place in the league this season but two games separated second place Cerritos and fourth place Mayfair. The Eagles were banking on better results with a team of four seniors, five juniors and four sophomores.

“That was my message at the beginning of the season,” Jackson said of exceeding last season’s success. “We wanted to go farther than we did last season. We wanted to go past the second round. Unfortunately that didn’t happen.”