Last Tuesday, the OD and the NI volleyball teams, both undefeated, faced each other on Shad Court 1. At the end of the match, only the House of D remained undefeated, with a straight set victory over the NI team, 15-6, 15-7.
OD player Cyrus Hadidi finally took some time away from his cases to make his season debut on the court, providing the Ds with consistent passing and additional height at the net.
The Ds played a strong, well-rounded match, with a handful of service aces from Cecily Kovatch and Augusto Moronta, big blocks from Richard Jennings, and a powerful offense that even included multiple back row attacks from behind the 3-meter line from hitters Marcus Lo and Mike Ward.
The House of D team jumped ahead with an early 3-0 lead with Mike Ward dishing out a string of serves that included a short service ace to a hole in the NI serve-receive lineup.
Supported by a powerful offensive lineup at the net, Cecily Kovatch soon racked up an additional five points with her low, fast underhand serves to the deep corners, building the Ds a substantial 8-2 lead.
Although strong passing from captain Katie Cunningham helped the NI team capture three additional points, a service ace from OD Augusto Moronta at 10-5 helped maintain the six-point D lead.
Several rotations later, with the D team at its first game point, Mike Ward came soaring out from behind the 3-meter line with a powerful back row spike to win Game 1, 15-6.
Building on the momentum from the Game 1 victory, the Ds continued to play aggressively and consistently to build an early Game 2 lead.
Even OC player Mart¡ Jimenez, who watched the second game, showed signs of concern upon realizing that the OD team would likely knock his team out of the playoffs if the two teams were to face each other in the draw.
“The OD team looked very strong against NI…” commented Mart¡. “…Especially Marcus. He’s damn good.” [Thanks, Mart¡, I’ll give you the five bucks later.]
NI setter Laura Hontoria gave a middle set to captain Katie Cunningham, who spiked the ball off of the D double block, sending the ball out-of-bounds to earn the NI team its first sideout of Game 2.
The NI team took advantage of some OD errors in the front row to capture several points, narrowing the D lead to just four points before Marcus Lo pounded a crosscourt spike down on the 3-meter line to stop the NI scoring run.
With the score at 11-7, Rich Jennings put the iron wall up against the NI offense, stuffing the outside hitter to earn the Ds a sideout. Rotating to the service position, Rich served several points, including a short, down-the-line ace.
On Rich’s third serve, Mike Ward sent a crosscourt bump set to outside hitter Cyrus Hadidi, who hammered the ball through the NI block to give the Ds their first game point.
Despite a huge seven-point D lead, the Ds struggled to close out the match, as both Rich Jennings and Cecily Kovatch made consecutive service errors on game point. The Ds finally captured the game winning point when a NI player shanked a pass, sending the ball out-of-bounds. OD claimed Game 2, 15-7.
The House of D volleyball team seeks it fourth consecutive win tonight when it faces the NG team at 7:00 p.m.