SHINGLE SPRINGS — Proving its earlier sweep at Jesuit was no fluke, Ponderosa duplicated the outcome with Monday’s 25-17, 25-21, 26-24 Senior Night win over the Marauders.
Prior to play, the Bruins honored Tanner Charron, Kellen Salluce, Davis Alexander and Eric Jenkins. With two matches left, the victory clinched a share of the Delta River League championship for Ponderosa and ensured it two home playoff games.
While no one hit like Charron Wednesday, leave it to a 2014 State Snowboard Champ in Alexander to turn in clutch plays down the stretch of the third set. Alexander was responsible for three of the last six points while Charron ended the match on a set from Taylor Charron.
“It’s comes down to hitting as hard as you can,” Alexander said. “Jesuit really wasn’t a threat … we were gonna take it in three (sets). Not that they’re down it’s that we’re really up.”
On the evening, all four seniors made plays throughout the three sets.
“The seniors really stepped up tonight … it was a great night,” Bruin coach Amy Stockett said. “We brought a lot of energy to the first set as the team knew a win would make them league champs — the first for the school this (school) year. We knew if we could make less errors and extend leads we’d be OK.”
Sets two and three were tight and back-and-forth. In the second, Jenkins’ deposit and kills from Alexander, Haward Gomes and Tanner and blocks from Taylor and Gomes each broke tie scores. Taylor, the smallest of the aforementioned, had multiple blocks including the set-winner while Salluce put away Taylor’s quick-set for the Bruins’ 24th point.
“It’s big deal defeating Jesuit twice — I’ve never beaten them as a varsity player,” Salluce said. “All the seniors showed up tonight for the last regular season home game.”
Ponderosa had its crowd behind it in the third set. Salluce’s flying tip was a highlight as was Tanner’s kill up the middle that made it 20-16. Tanner’s heir apparent at power hitting, Gomes, was solid all night and mixed in some finesse with several defensive saves.
“We’ve talked about this from the first day of school,” said Gomes whose mom led some of the cheers. “They made adjustments from the first time we played but our coach always tells us to play smart and we did that tonight.”