The gymnasium was packed at El Segundo High on March 6 as The El Segundo boys’ volleyball teamfaced off against Loyola High for the first time in history. GUNDO entered the game with a remarkable 19thnational ranking, and Loyola was ranked ninth. This game was special not just because it was
the first meeting of these two nationally ranked schools, but also because many
of the boys from both teams have played competitive club with and against each
other since they were 10 years old.
GUNDO fielded what many believe may be
the best volleyball squad ESHS has ever had, including starting seniors: Nolan
Sharp; Teddy Karrer, Brandon Kurke, Matt Carter, and Nick Rable (who has
committed to play volleyball at Springfield College next year).
From all around the neighborhood, El
Segundo Eagles fans streamed in, excited to face off against the droves of
Loyola fans. Pre-game, the gymnasium was
energetic, a buzz of energy and excitement.
The El Segundo “Ruthless Rooters” arrived en masse- they are the cheering section of GUNDO students who show
up and lead the spirit and cheering; the leaders of the group are the football
players who show up at the other team sporting events to give back the same
level of support as the rest of the school gives to them during football season. Although GUNDO had a varsity baseball game
the same night, there was no shortage of Ruthless Rooters at the volleyball
game, as well as a plethora of other screaming fans.
El Segundo jumped ahead in the first game, 6-5, only to eventually lose the first game, 25-15. The second game was exciting as El Segundo
came from behind to narrow the score to 21-19, only to eventually fall to the
Loyola Cubs, 25-21. But the third game
was where all of the excitement happened.
El Segundo led the third game the entire time, until the score
eventually was tied, 14-14. As the game
progressed, the Loyola fans and the GUNDO fans cheered, and the gym was afire! GUNDO jumped ahead, 21-17. Loyola prudently called a time out, and pulled
together to eventually again tie up the Eagles, 21-21.
Thereafter, GUNDO led in points all the way
up to another tie at 24-24. As the tension in the gym was palpable, for the first
time in the entire third game Loyola went ahead 25-24! What happened next was one of the most
exciting sports battles I have witnessed: The Eagles and the Cubs fought it out,
both showing their persistence and determination, trading points off and on
until GUNDO finally beat Loyola, 33-31.
The crowd went wild! GUNDO had
beat power house Loyola in the third game. Sadly, Loyola dominated the fourth
game, coming out with a victory in game four and thus the match victory, 3-1.
Next up for the Eagles is a match on Wednesday at 5 p.m. against Vistamar,
and then they are off to the Best of the West in San Diego, where the top 32
teams in the West will face off against each other in an invite only tournament.