Stingers Sweep Blaze Close Three Tough Sets
Blaze started strong with kills by #8 Pablo Guzman and MB Pedro Nieves and took a 3-1 lead. But the Stingers quickly countered with consecutive kills by #15 Novel Romero and #9 Jorge Mencia and double block by Mencia and #17 Cory Metcalf and took a 5-3 lead. Both teams traded points until Blaze increased the lead to two points before the media timeout at 16-14. Blaze scored on kills by #1 Steven Morales, #14 MB Jonathon Rodriguez, Guzman, Nieves and Nieves block, #24 Marques Buggs setter dump, Rodriguez block. Stingers scored points on kills by Mencia and Romero. After Blaze increased their lead to 21-18, Stingers launched a comeback on kills by Romero, #8 Storm Tufuga-Fa’agato and Mencia and tied the set 21-21. Blaze called a timeout after a hitting error gave the Stingers a 22-21 lead. Stingers closed out the set with a kill and service ace by Mb Metcalf 25-22.
In set number two the Blaze took the early lead again 4-1 from kills by MB Nieves and two blocks by Rodriguez. After Stingers tied the score at 5-5, they took the lead after two service aces by #1 Paul Clark 7-5. Stingers kept the lead until the media timeout at 16-13 on a service ace by Mencia, kills by Storm, #14 MB Fernandez Lazaro, Metcalf and block by Romero. Blaze scored points from MB Rodriquez, Guzmans and block by Morales. Blaze tied the score at 17-17 a kill by #10 Rafael Cruz and two kills by Guzman. After Stingers called a timeout, they took the lead to 18-17 on kill by Mencia. Stingers kept they lead in remainder of the set. Then at 24-23 the Stingers closed out the set on a kill by Storm 25-23.
Stingers took the early 4-0 lead in the third set from a Blaze hitting error, back-to-back blocks by Metcalf and Romero and Metcalf kill. Blaze finally scored on a middle attack by Nieves. At 10-7 the Blaze cut the lead to 11-10 with a sharp angle kill and service ace by Cruz, Buggs Dump and Stingers’ hitting error. But two Blaze errors killed their rally to tie the score. The Stingers increase their lead back to 4 points thanks to two more errors by the Blaze, a Storm service ace and kill by Romero. At 22-19 Blazes’ #27 Charles Belvin scored on a kill down the line to try to spark a rally. But the Stingers won the set and match after a consecutive points by Storm on a bic and sharp angle kill.
Southern Exposure Defeat the Stingers in a 5 Set Marathon
Without a doubt this match between the Stingers was the most competitive and longest of the 2021 NVA season. It also established two NVA records that may took a long time to break or never surpass. The match unofficially lasted 2 hours, 54 minutes and 47 seconds and all five sets went into overtime.
Another interesting aspect of this marathon battle was that it matched up last year’s NVA Champions the Stingers against Southern Exposure, a team who did not win one match last year.
Stingers and Untouchables entertained the volleyball fans with some spectacular and crazy plays and rallies; a line-up rarely seen in volleyball when the Stingers played set number four with Jake Langlois in the middle blocker position and stayed on the back row in the fourth set; and a very rare ineligible substitution that resulted in a red card penalty for a delay of game at a crucial point with the score tied 27-27, which also occurred in the fourth set,
Stingers’ Jake Langlois #10 scored the first point on a kill to start the match. And Southern Exposure’s Tyler Neil-Hubbard countered with a kill to tie the set. For the first half of the set both teams sided-out well and exchanged one and two point leads. Stingers scored on kills by #9 Jorge Mencia, #15 Novel Romero and Langlois. Souther Exposure scored their points on a block by #16 MB Langston Payne, a service ace by #10 Kyle Dagostino and kills by Payne, Dagostino, #19 MB Evan McDonough. At 14-12 Southern Exposure scored three points in a row on one kill by #6 Tim Lourich a Hubbard kill after an overpass and a service ace by Dagostino for a 17-12 lead. Southern Exposure increased their lead to 7 points after a Stingers’ hitting error and kill by Hubbard to 20-13. Stingers scored the next three points to cut the lead to 20-16 on a block by #14 MB Lazaro Fernandez, Romero service ace and Langlois kill after a Southern Exposure overpass. While Southern Exposure hitters struggled to find the court, Langlois’ three kills tied the set at 24-24. Southern Exposure regained the lead at 25-24 and kept the 1-point lead until 28-28. After a Stunner’s serve Southern Exposures’ overpass led to a Metcalf kill on one. Stingers won the set on a block by Metcalf 30-28.
Southern Exposure committed early hitting errors that gave the Stingers an early lead. The Stingers scored on kills from #11 setter Hamilton Day’s dump, Metcalf, Mencia and Langlois; and double block by Metcalf and Mencia for a 7-2 lead. At 8-3 Stingers donated two points to Southern Exposure on a service error and hitting error. After a Dagostino kill Southern Exposure cut the lead to 8-6. Stingers kept a two and three point lead on kills by Romero, Langlois and Fernandez. At 14-12 two Stingers’ hitting errors and kill by Hubbard tied the score 15-15. Both teams exchanged one point leads throughout the rest of the set. Southern Exposure scored on a block by McDonough, Payne service ace and kill and kills by Dagostino and #8 Storm Tufuga Fa’gata. Stingers scored on kills by # 2 Carson Henninger, Langlois, Fernandez and Romero. At 25-25 Stingers won the set from a service ace by Dagostino and McDonough kill after a Southern Exposure overpass 27-25.
Set number three was the most competitive of the match, in which neither led by more than 2 points. Stingers took the first lead on one of the few Southern Exposure errors 1-0. While the Stingers scored points on kills by Langlois, Metcalf, Mencia and Romero, Southern Exposure scored on points from kills by Dagostino, Hubbard, McDonough and Payne and a block by McDonough and Lourich. At 12-12 Southern Exposure took the lead on a kill by McDonough to 13-12. Both teams continued to exchange leads, in which the Stingers scored on kills by Mencia, Langlois and Fernandez. Southern Exposure scored on a McDonough service ace, kills by Lourich and Hubbard. After Southern Exposure took a 22-22 lead on a Hubbard block, Stingers scored two consecutive points on a Fernandez block and Langlois kill and retook the lead 23-22. At 24-24 Southern Exposure retook the lead after a Hubbard kill to 25-24. Both teams exchanged points to a 28-28 tie. After a Stingers’ hitting error broke the tie to 29-28, Southern Exposure won the set on a Hubbard kill after a Stingers’ overpass 30-28.
Set number four turned into another long drawn out battle. Southern Exposure scored the first point from #15 setter Derrick Sullivan on a dump. But after Langlois tied the set at 2-2 the Stingers scored three straight points two kills by Storm and one by Mencia to 5-2. Stingers kept that lead until Southern Exposure four points in a row from two kills by Lourich, one kill by Dagostino and block by McDonough to 8-6. Southern Exposure increased their lead to 18-13 on a block by Payne and kills by Hubbard, Lourich and McDonough. Stingers scored on kills by Storm, Romero, Langlois and Mencia.
At 21-17 the Stingers fought back to tie and take the lead and scored 5 consecutive points on 2 kills by Langlois, one kill and block by Menica and one kill by Storm to 22-21. While both teams battled into overtime, Stingers kept their 1-point lead until 27-27, when the chair umpire penalized Southern Exposure for a delay of game caused by an ineligible substitution. Because Southern Exposure received a yellow card earlier in the match, this delay of game penalty was a second infraction, which resulted in a red card and change of ball ownership that gave the Stingers’ a point to 28-27. On the next point the Stingers won the set on a Southern Exposure error 30-28.
In set number five Southern Exposure took the early lead 2-0 on Lourich and Payne kills. A Southern Exposure service error gave Stingers their first point. A service ace by the Stingers’ Romero tied the score 2-2. Southern Exposure increased their lead by 2 points after a Hubbard kill and service ace to 4-2. After a Fernandez block tied the score at 4-4 a Mencia kill gave the Stingers’ their first lead of the set. Southern Exposure retook the lead after back-to-back points on a Payne service ace and McDonough block to 7-5. At 9-7 a Lourich service ace increased the Southern Exposure lead to 10-7. But the Stingers retook the lead after 3 hitting errors and 2 Romero kills to 14-13. Southern Exposure tied the score on a Hubbard kill to 14-14. Stingers countered with a Romero kill to 15-14. Then two kills by Hubbard, one on a bic gave Southern Exposure a 16-15 lead. On the next point Southern Exposure committed a service error and tied the score at 16-16. Southern Exposure won the set and match on consecutive kills by Lourich and the last by McDonough 18-16.
Stingers Detain Untouchables in 5 Sets
Untouchables took a 5-0 lead from two Stingers’ hitting errors and two block bsy #16 MB Paul Bilanzic and 1 block #4 Ian Capp. Stingers scored their first point from an Untouchables’ hitting error and scored their first clean point on a kill by#15 Inovel Romero to 6-4. While the Untouchables scored points from kills by #6 Eddie Keesecker, #10 Dan Nugent and #20 MB Matt Buffum, the Stingers battled back with kills by #10 Jake Langlois and #17 MB Cory Metcalf, service ace by Langlois and Untouchables’ hitting error to tie the score 12-12. Untouchables increased their lead to 16-13 after a Bilanzic kill, Capp service ace and two kills by Keesecker. Stingers cut the lead to 20-18 after a kill by Romero, 3 kills by Langlois and 1 kill by Metcalf. But only scored one point the rest of the set from an Untouchables’ hitting error. The Untouchables scored five of the last six points on block by Bilanzic, service ace by #2 Moises Lopez, kill by Keesecker, block by and service ace by Capp and won 25-19.
Set number two mirrored set number one with same score but different winner. Untouchables took the early lead on kills by Capp, Bilanzic, Keesecker, Buffum, #10 Dan Nugent and Lopez block for an 8-6 score. Stingers scored from 4 Untouchables’ errors and kills by Langlois and Metcalf. Stingers tied the score at 10-10 from an Untouchables service error and took the lead on a kill by Romero to 11-10. Then increased their lead on a mini run from a Mencia block and two kills by Romero to 16-12. After a Langlois block, Untouchables’ hitting error and Romero ace the Stingers had a 6-point lead 20-14. Untouchables score the next 4 points on 2 kills by Capp, service ace by Lopez and block by Capp. Stingers scored five of the last six points that started with a monster kill by Langlois, Untouchables’ hitting error, kill by Metcalf and joust by Langlois. The set ended on an Untouchables net call and Stingers won 25-19.
In set number three Stingers took the early lead on back-to-back kills by Langlois and Untouchables’ hitting error to 3-0. Capp scored the first point for the Untouchables on a tool. Stingers kept their 3 point lead on kills by Langlois, Metcalf and Mencia to 12-9. During this run Untouchables scored on kills a block and kill by Keesecker and kills by Buffum, Bilanzic and Nugent. Untouchables started a mini run with a Buffum kill, Nugent block and Capp kill and tied the score 13-13. Stingers countered back with two kills by Romero for a 16-14 lead and then increased their lead to 20-17 from a Metcalf kill. In the next seven possessions the Untouchables committed three two hitting and one service error and only one clean kill by Bilanzic. The Stingers closed out the set with kills by Metcalf, block by Langlois and kill by Langlois for a 25-19 win.
Stingers scored the first point on a Langlois kill and kept the lead until a service ace by Capp gave the Untouchables a 2-1 lead. While the Stingers sided-out well, their service errors allowed the Untouchables to keep their 1 point lead. At 12-11 the Stingers started a mini run that began with a net call on the Untouchables, followed by kills from #2 Carson Heniger and Romero that tied the score 13-13. But the Untouchables rallied back with one kill by Nugent and back-to-back kills by Capp for a 16-13 lead. Stingers sided-out well on kills by Heninger and Romero and then cut the lead to 18-16 from a service ace by Romero. For the rest of the set the Untouchables committed three hitting errors and one service error but hung on for the win. At 24-21 Untouchables scored on a Buffum kill and then won the set on a Stingers’ hitting error 25-21.
Untouchables scored the first point on a Stingers’ service error. Langlois scored the first point for the Stingers and tied the score 1-1. Bilanzic scored the first clean point for the Untouchables for a 2-1 lead. Stinger took their first lead after a Metcalf kill and net call on the Untouchables 4-3. Untouchables sided-out well with kills by Keesecker, Nugent, Capp and Bilanzic and stayed within three points of the Stingers. But the Untouchables also committed service errors that kept them for launching a rally. At 11-9 Stingers scored on a Metcalf kill to 12-9 and then committed a service error to 12-10. The Untouchables only scored two more points. One on a Stingers’ service error and Capp kill. The Stingers scored on two kills by Mencia and won the set and match on a kill by Romero 15-12.
Jake Langlois led all players with 25 kills. His teammates Inovel Romero collected 16 kills and Metcalf 9 kills. For the Untouchables Ian Capp had 14 kills, followed by Paul Bilanzic and Eddie Keesecker each with 12 kills, Matt Buffum 9 kills and Dan Nugent 7 kills. Stingers also scored on 4 aces and 5 blocks. And Untouchables on 4 aces and 12 blocks.