MiscFull Three Day Recap of the Utah Stingers in Event One Held in San Bernadino, California

May 5, 20210

Day 1, Match #5 

Stingers Start Slow But Defeat Matadors In 4 Sets

Matadors came out hot in the first set and took an early lead, which they kept throughout the first set. OPP Jacob Vander Beek was the spark plug for the Matadors with his 3 kills and defensive digs. Good play by the Libero, Jose Mulero, helped keep the Matadors in system and also helped them play well in transition to secure a 25-20 win. 

In the second set the Matadors continued their strong play early in the set. Kills by Matador MB Martin Petris kept the score close early in the set. But at 9-9 Stingers kicked up their game with strong play from OH Jake Langlois, OH Inovel Romero and OPP Jorge Mencia. Matadors attempted a comeback after a block at 18-17 but a Stingers kills by Romero and Mencia extended the lead to four points and they won the set 25-20. 

In the third set the Stingers’ steady play and service run by Langlois, which included an ace, built a three point lead of 7-4. Then back-to-back Stinger hitting errors and kills by Petris, OH Mauro Issac and Carlos Serrano cut the lead to 13-11. But Langlois’ steady play that included a variety of kill shots kept the Matadors from mounting a comeback. Stingers won the set 25-20.

In set number 4 the Stingers pulled away at 6-6. Setter Leo Durkin, who did a great job setting the ball in good locations for his attackers to hit, continued to share the wealth with his hitters and OPP to close out the match at 25-14. For the Matadors Petis led with 10 kills, Vander Beek and Isaac 6 kills and Serrano 5 kills. Langois led the Stingers with 15 kills, Mencia 10, Romero, 8 and MB Alex Shmelev, 5 and MB Rusty Lavaja, 4. 


Day 2, Match #4

Stingers Shut Down Tornadoes In 3 Sets 

While the Stingers started off well with Leo Durkin setting balls for kills by Jorge Mencia, Alex Shmelev, Cory Metcalf and Novel Romero, the Tornadoes struggled with hitting errors and fell behind early 8-4. The Tornadoes picked up their play with kills by Aaron King and an ace by Luis Vasquez to cut the lead to 11-9. The Stingers answered with kills by Paul Clark and Romero but then a series of Stinger hitting errors relinquished the lead to the Tornadoes at 16-12. After the media timeout the Stingers substituted setter Hamilton Day for Durkin. Unfortunately the Tornadoes’ hitters couldn’t find the court. They committed a slew of errors, which gave the Stingers free points to gain back the lead at 20-13. The Tornadoes only scored two more points on a Stinger hitting error and kill by King. The Stingers scored five of the last seven points from kills by Clark and Carson Henninger, and block by Shmelev. Clark scored a service ace on the last point to secure the set win for the Stingers 25-15.

In set two the Stingers started Chandler Baugh at Libero.  The Tornadoes struggled to find the court and a block by Romero gave the Stingers 4-0 lead. Tornadoes scored their first point on a service error by Clark at 4-1, then followed up with the first real point from a Hernandez kill. A stinger service and hitting error gave Tornadoes two more points. During this stretch Stingers scored points on kills by Clark, Mencia and Shmelev to build an 8-4 lead. After the timeout the Tornadoes continued with their hitting errors. Clark had three consecutive kills that increased the Stingers’ lead to 12-5. The Tornadoes finally started to side out with kills by setter Brady Castillo, Eduardo Hernandez, King and block by Patrick Moscicki but a run of kills by Romero kept the Stingers’ lead at 16-11. At 22-17 the Tornadoes scored their last point of the set on an ace by Vasquez. The Stingers closed the set with three straight points on Tornadoes’ service and hitting errors and ended the set on a service ace by Stingers’ Shmelev to win 25-18.

In set three both teams scored on each other’s service or hitting errors on the first six points. Metcalf scored the first real point to give the Stingers a 4-3 lead. The Tornadoes captured their first lead of the match from a kill and block by Moscicki to 6-4 but the Stingers’ took back the lead from a Tornadoes hitting error, ace by Romero and kill by Metcalf to 8-6. Tornadoes rallied back to tie at 12-12 on hitting errors by the Stingers and kill and blocks by Eduardo Hernandez and kill by Moscicki and then took the lead back at 16-15 on a Hernandez kill. Tornadoes added to their lead on another Hernandez kill to 17-15. Stingers answered with kills by Clark and Shmelev; and back to back Shmelev blocks and tied the set at 19-19. Both teams sided out well with kills by Hernandez, block by King and Moscicki for the Tornadoes; and kills by Clark, Romero and Metcalf and block by Shmelev for the Stingers. Stingers closed out the match with the last two points on a Romero ace and a Metcalf kill for a 26-24 win.

For the Tornadoes Hernandez had 6 kills and Vasquez and King had 4 kills; and team hitting was 29%. For the Stingers Romero led all players with 11 kills, Clark with 10 kills, Metcalf 6 and Henninger 5 kills; and team hitting was 46%. 


Day 3, Match #1

Stingers Scored Points When It Counted to Overcome Valiant Effort by Tyrants

Both teams started the match with error free volleyball. Tyrants established the middle with Ryan Maune who scored their first two points. Stingers countered with middle blocker, Rusty Lavaja and Jake Langlois. Despite Tyrants’ kills by Gianluca Grasso and Anthony Robinson, two Tyrants’ service errors and Stingers’ kills by Jorge Mencia, Novel Romero, Lavaja and a Leo Durkin block gave the Stingers a three point lead before the media timeout 8-5. A string of errors by the Tyrants helped the the Stingers add to their lead after kills by Mencia and Langlois 11-6. But Tyrants rallied back with a block by Robinson and service aces from Grasso and Maune to cut the lead to 13-12. After a Johnson net, the Stingers with strong serves forced the Tyrants to play out of system and increased their lead again with two kills from Romero, one by Mencia and a Langlois block to 20-15. The Tyrants attempted a comeback with a short rally on two kills by Robinson, one by Grasso and Lovett block. Stingers countered with kills and block by Langlois; and then closed out the set with a Lavaja block for a 25-21 win. 

In set two Tyrants started strong and took a 6-5 lead with a Grasso ace and kill and two kills by Robinson. Stingers countered with Langlois, two consecutive middle block kills by Alex Shmelev and kill by Mencia. Stingers struggled with their passing and gave the Tyrants opportunities to score points from a couple of free and down balls. Kills by Johnson and middle blocker Austen Lovett, followed by a Lovett ace and Robinson block gave Tyrants a 9-6 lead. Tyrants sided out well and kept their lead. One of the highlights of the match occurred at 12-9. After a coverage dig on a Stingers block Durkin set Langlois but instead of spiking the ball he jump set back to Durkin for a rare setter kill. Nevertheless, the Tyrants added to their lead before the second media timeout at 16-12. At 18-15 after Tyrants couldn’t side out, kills by Romero, Mencia and Langlois sparked a Stingers comeback to tie 18-18. After both teams sided-out to 25-25, Stingers closed out the set with a behind the head spike by Langlois and Johnson error to 27-25. 

Like set two the Tyrants took an early 8-7 lead in the third set with kills by Grasso, Daniel Jacobs and Robinson. Stringers countered with kills by Langlois, Mencia and Shmelev, who also added a block. At 14-12 consecutive blocks by Shmelev helped the Stingers launch a comeback to tie 16-16. Tyrants and Stingers exchanged leads with kills by Robinson, Grasso and Johnson for the Tyrants; and Mencia, Romero, Langlois and Lavaja for the Stingers. At 19-19 a Tyrants’ error and Lavaja block gave the Stingers a 21-19 lead. Stingers won the match 25-22 after a Lavaja and Langlois kill.

For the Tyrants Grasso led his team with 11 kills, Johnson 9, and Robinson and Jacobs with 6 each. Tyrants had 7 blocks and hit 45%. The stingers were led by Langlois with 14 kills, Mencia 9, Lavaja 7, Romero 6 and Shmelev 5. Stingers had 5 blocks and hit 51%. The Stingers finished the weekend event with a record of 3-0 while the Tyrants finished 1-2. 


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