A loud, though masked, crowd packed the stands at Thursday night's rival volleyball matchup between Terra Nova and Half Moon Bay high schools.
The varsity Cougars beat the Tigers in a lopsided, 3-1 victory at Terra Nova.
“The biggest thing is that they have their offense run from the left side, outside hitting. … So, 90 percent of their offense is on that side. We just need to be stronger next time we see them coming around,” said Terra Nova head coach Kawann Summerville. “Us not passing well created a lot of offense for them. We just need to be able to serve in spots where they are not running their offense correctly.”
Half Moon Bay got off to a strong start, going on an 8-0 scoring run to start the first set. Terra Nova chipped away at that lead but never came within six points of Half Moon Bay in the first set. The Cougars took the first set 25-16.
The Tigers came out fighting in the second set. The Cougars took an early lead but the Tigers were always right behind them. Terra Nova stayed within a point or two until Half Moon Bay found itself on a 7-0 scoring run, securing a healthy lead. The Tigers fought back, tying it up at 18-18 but narrowly missed pulling into their first lead of the match.
Terra Nova’s taste of victory was short-lived as Half Moon Bay pulled away again. Both teams fought until the final point, diving for every ball, resulting in long rallies. Half Moon Bay took the set 25-19.
The Tigers came close to pulling into the lead in the second set and brought a new drive to the third set, their final chance to stop the Cougars.
Half Moon Bay secured the first point, but Terra Nova responded with the next five, securing their first lead of the match. Half Moon Bay was not easily deterred and after some back and forth, and with Half Moon Bay still trailing, they went on a 9-0 scoring run and tied it up, 13-13.
“They made some adjustments in their lineup and it took us longer than it should have to catch on,” said Ryan Havice, head coach for Half Moon Bay. “They put on their offense and rallied off a couple of really good runs and that’s what got it for them.
Terra Nova had a strong offensive performance in the third set, and, while it remained close, the Tigers took the third set, 25-10, sending the match into a fourth set.
“They just need to follow the game plan and that’s what they did in the third set,” said Summerville. “I kind of figured out in the second set where they were attacking us, and then I tried to attack on the strong tide to get them out of the offensive flow.”
Overlapping chants of “Let’s go, Cougars” and “Let’s go, Tigers” from the stands drowned out the noise of the game. But Summerville could be heard shouting, “It’s a new fight,” at the start of the fourth set.
Half Moon Bay took its first lead since falling behind in the third set, but Terra Nova kept tying it back up until, at 10-10, the Cougars started to maintain the lead. Terra Nova kept close behind but Half Moon Bay claimed the final set, 25-21, and the match, 3-1.
“Our hitting was good, the hustle was good,” Summerville said. “The energy level was up for this being our rival. Our girls haven’t been in this atmosphere because they are coming from two years ago, from pre-COVID, and playing on the junior varsity. Just getting used to this type of atmosphere for them will go a long way.”
The junior varsity and freshman teams also took on the Cougars. The freshmen secured a 2-1 victory, and the junior varsity fell in two sets to the Cougars.
Up next, the Terra Nova Tigers take on the South San Francisco Warriors on Thursday at home.