Columbus Volleyball Thrives Through Spring Break
Before heading into Spring Break, the Columbus Volleyball Team suffered their first loss of the season to district rival, Southwest High School. The game was a close 4 set thriller that ended with the Eagles pulling away against the Explorers. The following week, the Explorers had their Senior Night match against Sunset High School. With a quick 3 set victory and a strong senior performance, the team returned to their victorious ways. After the win, Andres Navarro spoke saying, “We definitely won’t forget about the Southwest game, we are trying to make it big this year and we don’t have the space to lose to a big team like that.”
To kick off the break, Columbus traveled up north to face the #3 team in the state, Archbishop McCarthy. The game was a 5 set battle that ended in an Explorer victory. Andres Blandino led the team with 17 kills and 5 blocks. “This game was huge for us, if we can beat a team like this then we can definitely beat Southwest and go to where we want to be.” Followed by their victory, the boys had a nice 5 day break to rest up. Returning from that, they had a hard week of practice and another strong victory against Miami High School. All this practice and game in between was in preparation for the Cardinal Gibbons Jungle Queen Tournament that was set to the begin in the weekend.
On the first day of the tournament, the team went 2-1. They suffered a loss against the #1 team in the state, Cardinal Gibbons. Aside from that defeat, the Explorers went on to beat Palmetto and Hialeah which helped keep them in the tournament. Because of their loss the team finished the day dropping down to the Silver division, ready to fight for that tittle the next day. On the second and last day of the tournament, the boys had a big fight to try and win the Silver division. Their first match was against Boca Raton High School. The Explorers took off winning the first set 25-23. The following set resulted in a Bobcat victory (18-25) equalizing the score. In the third and final set, the Explorers pulled off one of their greatest comebacks against the Bobcats. Down at match point (11-14), the Explorers went on a 3 point run to tie the set. Following their comeback, they buried the hatchet winning the set (18-16) and moving on to the Silver Championship. Exhausted but spirits high, Columbus was able to seal their victory against Tampa Bay which named them Silver Champions.
To conclude, the Explorers are prideful of their performances despite their losses. “We lost a good game against Southwest but beat the #3 team in the State. To finish that off we even went 4-1 at a huge tournament with our only defeat to the #1 team in the State.” stated senior, Alejandro Navarro. Following that, the team now understands and is certain that they can reach their goal of making it to the State Tournament. They know how big it is and they know how much they want it. The Explorers (13-2) now sit comfortably ranked #5 in the State but are still looking to expand their lead.