The Berkeley High boys volleyball took its second straight league match into five games against Granada on Tuesday evening. Unlike last Thursday’s loss to Monte Vista, however, the ’Jackets kept their cool down the stretch, coming from a 7-10 deficit in the fifth game to win,15-11.
The match marked the fourth time this season the Yellowjackets have taken opponents into a fifth game – a situation in which BHS is now 2-2. According to head coach Justin Caraway, these types of games can be helpful in developing a team’s clutch instincts, but also heart-palpitating for a nervous coach.
“I certainly think the more five-game matches you have, the better prepared you are to win them,” the BHS coach said after Tuesday’s match. “I don’t like to go five, but (now) I feel pretty confident if we do.”
Though Granada’s most dangerous weapon – blocker Jon Specht – managed to compile impressive stats, the ’Jackets shut down the rest of the Matadors, combining for a sky-high team dig total of 79. Jacob Kardon, still nursing an injured shoulder, registered eight blocks despite seeing his playing time limited.
“(Granada) put up a solid block on the outside ball,” Caraway said. “Realistically, we blocked fairly well, with 35 total blocks. We got eight from Jacob, which was huge.”
Though Caraway was satisfied with Tuesday’s victory, he admits that many of the mistakes made against the relatively weak Matadors will be magnified if they are made this Thursday against league powerhouse Foothill. In the coach’s opinion, Thursday’s home match will be decided quickly – based on who comes stronger out of the gate.
“I think it’ll be won or lost in three games,” Caraway said. “We’re going to have to play a solid, error-free match (to win).”
The BHS-Foothill match starts at 5 p.m. at Donahue Gym.