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Sierra hangs tough in VOL volleyball showdown
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Sierra blocker Cyrus Hunter (14) deflects the spike of East Union’s Alec Alegre.

It was Senior Night Monday for the Sierra High boys’ volleyball team.

“We knew (the Timberwolves) weren’t going to come out without a fight,” said East Union High coach Chelsea Herrera.

They did just that, battling back from the brink of elimination in this Valley Oak League clash by forcing a hard-fought fourth game in the best-of-five match.

The Lancers survived the scare, winning 25-14, 25-16, 24-26, 26-24.

“I was hoping we’d start the game the way we finished,” said Sierra coach Jane Schneider.

East Union (4-1 VOL, 8-3) led from start to finish in the opener, with Alec Alegre and Parmhir Khattra coming up with several key kills. Flavio Mercado helped close things out with a pair of kills and a block.

He led the team with 14 kills to go with four blocks. Khattra contributed with 26 assists, seven digs, five kills ad four aces while Alegre had seven kills, seven blocks, three digs and an ace.

Jonathan Castaneda helped serve the Lancers to eight straight points in the second game.

Sierra (1-4 VOL, 10-12) rallied in the third game behind the serving of Cyprus Hunter, who delivered three aces in the comeback.

The Lancers had a 24-18 lead following Austin Scott’s serving ace -- one of two during the match to go with seven kills and five digs -- when the Timberwolves staged their rally, scoring eight unanswered points.

“We just couldn’t close the deal at the net,” Herrera said.

The fourth game featured nine ties, including a point where Sierra took a 23-21 lead.

“We were hoping to force that fifth game,” Schneider said.

Cameron Torres dropped in a pair of aces including one for the 23-23 tie and the other to give East Union a one-point edge.

Sierra tied it again on Noel Ruezga’s block.

The Lancers took advantage of an unforced error followed by Khattra getting the final point for the game and match.

Carson Hibbs had nine kills, three aces and two blocks for the Timberwolves.

Ruezga chipped in with 20 assists while Brandon Tan came up with 15 digs.

Austin Cook had eight kills and five blocks, Hunter added six kills to go with his four aces and three blocks, and Rafael Beltran delivered two kills, three aces and a block.