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MX News Update 2024

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Boys volleyball moves forward in comfortable win against Westmont

On Monday night, boys volleyball picked up a win against the Westmont Warriors, winning the match 3-0 to advance in the CCS playoffs. An all-around stellar performance saw the Bears surpass the Warriors as junior setter Peter Chriss connected with senior Andrew Bernardicou and sophomore outside hitter Ben Warner for a total of 20 kills.

The Bears held the lead for almost the entire game. Senior Andrew Bernardicou casually celebrated the win, saying, “I was never really worried in the game. It was always quite quiet. The most they can save us with is one or two. So it was never that concerning. I am confident that we will always bring it back.”

Bears defense prepares to receive servicee

The first set started excitingly, with both teams struggling to break away from a draw. The Bears quickly found their feet and improved to 12-8, forcing an early Warriors timeout. The match remained exciting and each team found important attacking moments. Chriss threatened with a deadly setter dump, and junior middle Millo Skhiri worked his way through the block to find a point. Kills from Bernardicou and Warner highlighted the Bears’ run late in the set to lead 19-14. However, the Warriors responded quickly and found ways to nullify the attack with a strong forward defense.

Westmont clawed its way back and forced an MA timeout with the score at 22-21. A thunderous kill from junior Johnny Kerr seemed to give the Bears the push they needed before a pair of mistakes by the Bears allowed the Warriors back into the match at 23-23. However, the Bears found their footing and secured an exciting first set with two consecutive points won by Carr: final score 25-23.

The Bears started the second set with a bang, with Chriss hitting a powerful ace. MA took an early lead, going up 7-3 after a pair of impressive blocks from junior Aiden Gabriel and Skhiri. The Warriors called a timeout a few points later, putting the Bears up 9-4. Warner continued to pose a threat from the backcourt as Chriss fed him through the middle for kill after kill. The Bears were able to hold on to a three-point lead in the middle of the set before Westmont was able to ramp up their defense, level the score and force an MA timeout.

The two teams kept the score neck and neck, evenly matched, before a series of missed shots by Westmont gave the Bears a three-point lead at 21-18. Bernardicou’s attack and Warner’s constant threat at the back ended the second set, 25-21.

Speaking about the flow of the game, Swartzberg said: “We never expected them to gain strength; that was usually because we lost focus and perhaps relaxed too much. Especially if we communicate with each other, look at each other, play well in our own positions and trust our team, we will be able to regain the momentum and win those crucial rallies to push us through to the next few points.”

Swartberg makes impressive returns

The Bears quickly took the lead to start the third set, thanks in part to Chriss’ powerful jump serves. With a 6-0 lead, every part of the team seemed to spring into action. The Bears remained comfortably in the lead as Westmont would not get within four points before Westmont’s third timeout of the game, with the Bears leading 20–14. The Westmont stands got three points back with their season on the line and rallied to cheers, but MA confidently finished the match, beating the Westmont Warriors 3-0 and advancing to the next round of the CCS playoffs.

Speaking about that night’s performance and his bond with Chriss, Warner said: “Peter and I, we’ve been warming up every day, so we have a pretty solid bond. We are two very good players and we enjoy playing together.”

The Bears’ season came to an end on Tuesday evening with a narrow defeat against number three Cupertino.