by Ryan Sones
Tuesday night, the Supertents were on fire as the University of La Verne men’s volleyball team terminated UC San Diego, along with its No. 2 national ranking for small Division I schools.
Leading the offensive efforts for the Leopards were outside hitters sophomore Chris Peterson (16 kills, nine digs) and senior Rob Sneider (19 kills, six digs, six blocks) along with the defensive bulwarks directed by sophomore outside hitter Sean Douglas passing 57 UCSD serves.
La Verne won in four games, 15-8, 13-15, 15-13, 15-5.
“It was a good game to turn the tempo around on; they are our arch rivals and the team chemistry was there,” said Peterson.
Head coach Don Flora said, “When the team comes first and everyone believes in the team and the goals of the team, the success will follow.”
Last Friday the team got off to a rocky start as it dropped its fifth straight match at Cal State San Bernardino.
The Leopards went down in three games.
“We haven’t played to our potential quite yet; the team hasn’t found it’s style and certain people need to pick it up,” said Flora after the San Bernardino game.
Freshman middle blocker Adam Black and Sneider led La Verne’s attempt with 10 kills apiece.
“We lost the game by the way we executed on the court. Right now we are having trouble finding that rhythm, feeling the flow and lack the team unity on the court that you need to have to be successful,” said Black. “I really feel that the team wasn’t pumped up tonight.”
The only hope in the match was during the third game when the substitution of freshman middle blocker James Klimkoski seemed to change the tide and give the Leopards that needed momentum as they managed to take the game into extra points and lose the third.
“Both middles played really well and we know we are strong at that area of the net. We just need to find a left-side-hitter that about four people are capable of playing; we just haven’t found the one to step it up,” said Flora. “Our passing was poor and that is where each rally begins with the pass. For us to turn it around we are really going to need to take care of our ball control.”