GARDEN VALLEY — The Golden Sierra boys volleyball team hosted its first Sierra Delta League match against Encina Monday, starting off with a bang in taking it in three sets 25-9, 25-15, 25-20.
Grizzly coach Glen Linka is hopeful his team can meet its goals this season which he outlined after the victory.
“Win our league and beat Vacaville which is the strongest of the four teams in the league. And to then go deep into the playoffs,” Linka said.
Golden Sierra is off to a good start. Monday the Griz opened on serve which gave the home team the quick advantage. Led by sophomore libero Eric Yamzon ( six aces, 17 service receives and 13 digs), the Grizzlies took the first set on senior Brian Cann’s killer spike of an assist from fellow senior Anthony Rosas.
On the evening, Cann had six kills, three aces and a block while Rosas had two kills and three aces. Golden Sierra’s strong serves carried it to the 16-point win.
The Grizzlies’ focus faltered in the second set and it was back-and-forth until serves from Yamzon and errors by Encina pulled Golden Sierra ahead. Senior Brandon Susic chipped in a few tough serves for the home squad and also threw down three kills.
Though the Bulldogs hung around, the Grizzlies pulled away and a tough block and smart-placed tip to the middle of the court by Alex Murray ended the set. Murray, a junior, had three kills in the match.
In the third game, Encina bolted to a 6-1 lead thanks to its aggressive serves. After Linka called a timeout, Golden Sierra picked up its play to get the ball back. The Grizzlies regained momentum after Cann passed to setter Skylar Watson (38 assists) who assisted sophomore Brendun Nutt (three kills) on a ground-shaking kill.
Again, serves from Yamzon rallied Golden Sierra but the Bulldogs didn’t let up and took advantage of moments of miscommunication by the Grizzlies. But errors by Encina and a nice ace to the back corner by Susic ended the third set.
“We passed and hustled well. The defense and passing was strong. We can work on the transition from freeball to offense though,” Linka said.
Jon Oules had three kills and two blocks for Golden Sierra; William Cann and Ashton Anderson each had an ace. Joe Webb also had an ace and four kills. Linka sees a bright future for the Grizzlies and thinks the seniors look strong and the newcomers are ready to learn.