Men’s volleyball defeated by Rustlers in nailbiter

Despite outshining the Golden West College Rustlers in kills, set assists and defensive digs, the City College mens’ volleyball team was edged out in a competitive four game conference match, March 19 at home in Harry West Gymnasium.

“We could have easily beaten Golden West,” said Coach Jed Stotsenberg. “It was a really emotional match. I am really proud of the guys; they left everything on the floor.”

Game one seemed to be going in the Knights’ favor, but with multiple hitting errors, the Rustlers leveled the game at 15-15. From then on, the cat and mouse chase began; with high intensity rallying through the second half of the game, it was the Knights that fell short finishing at 30-32.

During the second game, the Knights gained some hope as they held the Rustlers to a mere .120 hitting percentage compared to the Knights’ .333 percentage for that game. The Knights took advantage of several hitting, passing and serving errors by the Rustlers and ran with it, ultimately winning the game 30-18.

It was the next two games that were nail biting, both showed it could be any team’s game but the Knights stayed just one step behind.

Stotsenberg was visibly nervous during game three; he stood up several times to cheer the players during great plays, and at other times to instruct the players. After trailing each other in a game that started with the Knights in the lead, yet again, the Rustlers came in to steal the win at 30-26.

Game four was the true tale of the underdog coming up to shine; the Knights were down by seven points at 13-21 and like true warriors, they put on their armor – the battle began.

Outside hitter Skylar del Sol and middle blocker Steve Rindfleisch fired out several slammers and helped bring the score to 27-28. It wasn’t enough; the Rustlers took the final game of the match with 30-28.

“We played at a very high level,” said del Sol. “It was mental mistakes that was our downfall, for our next games we just need to rest.”

Del Sol and setter Stewart Pierce added another double-double to record books; del Sol had a team-high 26 kills and 13 digs, Pierce had 60 assists and 12 digs. Overall, the Knights had 74 kills compared to the Rustlers 62; however, the Knights committed 74 attack errors to the Rustlers’ 62.

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Men’s volleyball defeated by Rustlers in nailbiter