BY DAVID DEACON
With the district volleyball playoffs nearing, the Cooper City Varsity Boys Volleyball Team needed a push to guarantee a playoff position. On Tuesday, April 9, our boys played a home game against American Heritage; the last time that Cooper City faced-off against the Eagles, Cooper defeated them with a 3-1 game victory. If Cooper repeated the last result they are automatically guaranteed the fourth seed in the playoffs.
In the first game the Cowboys started off slow, keeping Heritage in the game, until a series of spikes by Dan Heintz got the Cowboys rolling. With momentum on their side, the Cowboys picked up their game and went for more kills. The Cowboys were earning more kills, but the draw back was that they were hitting the ball out more. Soon, this led to a major discrepancy between the Heritage coach and Cooper City’s Coach Denise, where after a couple of no called lifts, Coach Denise called a time out to talk to the referees. This caused more havoc and forced the Heritage coach to call a time out, angering her more, for wasting time. Nearing the end of the game, the Cowboys and the Eagles were within one point of each other. After trading one-pint blow wins, the Cowboys finally broke through the Heritage defense to take the first game 26 to 24. Although the Cowboys won the first game they suffered a big lose when one of the main setters, Eddie Calderin, left the game.
The Cowboys went into the second game expecting the same result as the first game. The Cowboys came out hard with their serves, starting the game on a 9 to 0 run. The Cowboys started to let the Eagles back into the game with unforced errors, but before the Eagles could get a true rally going the Cowboys put the Eagles out of their misery by winning the game of a score of 25 to 17. The Cowboys only needed to win one more game to secure a seat in the playoffs.
The third game started off like a normal game, each team trading points and no team gaining a big lead. It seemed as though they couldn’t get a serve in. Right after the Cowboys would have a great defensive play turning into a hard spike for the offense, it was all for not, because they’d loose the next point off the serve. The missed serves proved to be the X factor in the game, because the Cowboys ended up loosing 22 to 25.
Even with a minor lapse in the third game, it looked like that the Cowboys would come out on top in the fourth. What had succeeded in the first and second game was almost forgotten with the way that the Cowboys were playing in the fourth game. In the first game, the Cowboys had terrific spikes to dominate points and in the second game, the Cowboys had spectacular serves to earn points before rallies could begin, however, in the fourth game, the Cowboys couldn’t get a spike in and were committing unnecessary service errors. Despite all the unforced errors, they managed to get within a point at the end of the game with a score of 23 to 24. Even with a serving slump, Cooper hoped to dig their way out of it; unfortunately, the served sailed out of bounds losing Cooper the game 23 to 25.
In a fifth game of volleyball the score only goes to 15; this requires our Cowboys to start off strong to gain an early lead, which was essential to win the game and the match. Slumping, the Cowboys started off the game in a rout, trailing 8 to 2 at one point. However, the Cowboys caught up quickly evening the game at 14. Then, bad luck struck the Cowboys when the referees called a net touch on the Cowboys giving the Eagles the point. With their backs against the wall, the Cowboys needed a push to win the game. Unfortunately, momentum continued to work against them and Cooper was not able to earn a point and Heritage got a spike to end the game at 16 to 14.
The Cowboys have a chance at redemption to secure a playoff spot with a couple more wins and, if needed, maybe a little tiebreaker luck. The playoffs are approaching soon, with only a couple more games left. The next game, April 10th, Cooper faces one of the best teams in the district, who is predicted to be the number one or two seed, Archbishop McCarthy.