Eagles lose five set thriller to Morro Bay

TEMPLETON — The Eagles may not have won the game on Tuesday night, but they certainly had more fun. Whether Templeton was down a set or down a few points, didn’t matter. The Eagles played like a family that is just happy to be together.

“That is something that we have brought in this year that we feel is very important,” first-year head coach Scott Holmes said. “The chemistry has to be there, the team has to be there and you can see everybody plays as a team now and it makes them have fun, it makes them play well, it gets the energy going and that is what it is all about now.”

The opening set of the game was a perfect indicator for how this match would go. Not one, but two of the games between the rivals needed extra time to be settled. Templeton led for most of the first set but never for more than four points. The game was tied many times, especially toward the end. The Pirates and Eagles tied at 21, 23, 24, 25 and 26 before Lompoc eventually edged out the home team and won the first set 28-26.

The heavy downpour of rain throughout the day kept the crowd to a minimum, but that didn't keep the gym from getting loud in tense moments. Each time the Pirates scored a crucial point their JV team, sitting right behind their bench, would erupt with delight.

After dropping the opening set, Templeton roared out to a 5-1 lead in the second thanks to some precise serving from Zack Kruse. The Pirates never led in the second set as the Eagles won 25-20, tying the game at one apiece.

Early in the third set, Templeton found themselves up five points, in large part due to a serving run by Chase Irwin. The senior blasted back-to-back aces that streaked across the court like heat-seeking missiles locked onto their target. However, the Eagles lost focus late in the set and Lompoc regained control of the game, winning the set 19-25, the most lopsided game of the match.  

Down two sets to one, the Eagles showed their grit in the fourth set. Like the opener, this set would need overtime to be decided and was tied up 11 different times including each point after 20, except this time Templeton held their hands up at the end, winning 27-25.

The Pirates capitalized on the Eagle mistakes early in the fifth set and built up a lead that could not be overcome. Morro Bay won the final set 15-11.

“Well, Morro Bay is very good and they play very well,” Holmes said after the game. “Our kids, they did great, they have been playing great as a team. The chemistry has been wonderful, we just made too many mistakes tonight.”

Templeton is now 3-9 on the season and will look to pick up another win on Tuesday when they welcome Nipomo.


© 2019-Paso Robles Press

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