By Carlo Jimenez ’19
It was round 3 at Patrick Wayne Memorial Gymnasium as the Bells faced off against the Serra Padres for the third time this season with the League Tournament Championship on the line.
The Bells were regular season champions going undefeated in league play and only dropped 6 sets in their 12 wins throughout the WCAL. The Bells were riding their 4th straight league championship and looked to come out hot against the Padres.
Ronan MacRunnels’19 spoke of the Bells’ rivalry against Serra. “Serra always has something of a target out for us, and it makes for great competition [but] this means we need to be ready to go from that very first whistle,” he said.
The first 10 serves were neck and neck as it was 11-10 when Chris Boken ’19 came up to serve for the Bells. With two aces and a couple of won points, the Bells went ahead 15-10 before Serra called their first timeout of set number one.
Serra took the first point out of the time out, but they would only get one more before the end of the set as the Bells closed on a 10-1 run to take set number one, 25-12.
Bellarmine came out with the same energy to start set two as they jumped out to a 4-1 lead. However, the Padres would storm back, taking their first lead of the set 8-7 before Bellarmine called time with the score reading 9-7 Padres.
Serra would hold the lead for the middle of the second set before the Bells would take back the lead 16-15. Bellarmine would extend the lead to 21-18 before the Padres called their first timeout of the set. Justin Eber would get things going for the Bells out of the timeout as he put a “4” in the air getting his fourth kill of the set and making it 24-19. The Bells would take set two 25-20, 25 points away from a league tournament championship.
Ronan said it was big to win the first two sets, but the Bells needed to remain focused. “Knowing we were one set away from another league tournament championship was big. But we needed to stay focused and take set three,” he said.
Down 2-0, Serra knew they weren’t out. Once again grabbing a 9-7 lead to begin the third set, the Padres kept the momentum rolling in the third set taking their largest lead at 12-8. The Bells would be forced to call another timeout as the Padres inflated the lead to 16-10.
Serra kept on the hot streak taking a 20-14 lead towards the latter end of the third set. The Bells would storm back to make it 21-20 Padres, with several points to go. The Padres did not let the comeback waver their confidence as they got back on track and took the third set 25-20.
Bellarmine held a comfortable lead throughout the fourth set. Serra would call its second timeout during this set with their backs against the wall down 18-23 to the Bells. Chris Varseveld ’19 sealed the deal for the Bells with a block, and the Bellarmine Bells who had not seen a 5th set all year in WCAL play would keep it that way.
Ronan said the volleyball team was already focused on the future right after claiming another WCAL title. “It’s a great feeling of accomplishment of to win league again. Now we have to focus on CIF playoffs and continue the season,” he said.
The Bells will begin their NorCal Playoff run at home against Campolindo tomorrow at 7:00 pm.