Servite rallies to defeat Santa Margarita in Trinity League match


ANAHEIM - Garrett Halsey and his Servite volleyball teammates are no strangers to five-set matches.

Before Wednesday, the Friars had been involved in six five-set matches. They had a 3-3 record.

After the third set against eighth-ranked Santa Margarita, the Friars knew that if they were going to have a chance to move into second place that it would have to be through another fifth-set match.

Mission accomplished.

The Friars rallied all the way back from a 2-1 deficit to defeat the eighth-ranked Eagles, 25-18, 12-25, 22-25, 25-23, 15-8.

“After the second set, it doesn’t matter how much you lose by, you lost,” Halsey said. “But the cool thing about volleyball is there’s another game right after it. The momentum can completely shift, the score is set back to 0-0 and that was the mindset.

“That game was behind us and we had another game right now.”

The new focus for the Friars resulted in a fourth set victory that sent the match to a deciding fifth set.

In the fifth, the Friars jumped out to an 8-3 lead and never looked back.

“It (the momentum) was all on our side,” Halsey said. “We were not going to let another school come into our gym, keep talking through the net …it was fun. The momentum was with us and we ran with it.”

Halsey led the Friars with 25 kills. Jay McGhee added 14.

Even still, it took a lot for the Friars to get a seventh chance. They trailed 17-12 in the fourth set, but went on 5-0 run to tie the set on a Halsey kill.

The Friars would take a 20-18 lead, but the Eagles responded with three consecutive points on kills by Trevor Sperle. Later, at 23-23, Halsey ended the set with consecutive kills, sending the match to a fifth set.

“It was simple, passing break down and they stayed committed,” Santa Margarita coach Justin DeBlasio said. “They stayed with it and I think that’s a trait of all the Servite teams. They’re always mentally going to be in it, so if you give them and inch, they’ll break down the door and go through it.”

The victory moves the Friars, Eagles and Orange Lutheran tied for second place heading into the second half of league play.

“We came out not as strong as we were hoping to, we got punched in the gut a couple of times,” Halsey said. “But this is when we comeback. This is a great win and I think it is going to carry us through the second half of league."

The teams will meet again May 2 at Santa Margarita.

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