Kyle Paulson led the way for Millikan
Anyone wondering how wide open the Moore League boys’ volleyball is between the league’s four top teams needed look no further than Tuesday afternoon’s clash between Millikan and Lakewood. Both of the evenly-matched teams had a shot to run away with it, but the Rams prevailed in the end in a five-set thriller, 25-22, 23-25, 17-25, 25-22, 15-9.
The Rams were led by a remarkably complete match from Kyle Paulson, who had 18 assists, 11 kills, five blocks, and four aces.
“This was really important for us,” said Paulson. The Rams were swept by Wilson last week and the team’s coaches and players felt Wilson brought more energy to the court that day. “Today we just came together as a team and didn’t blame any one person, when we were down we fought through it.”
It looked like Millikan might run away to a sweep of their own after a first set victory was followed up by a 17-13 lead in the second. But BYU commit and Lancers stud Teilon Tufuga came to life with four straight kills, helping put Lakewood on top in the second and third frames.
Millikan battled back, though, and rode a big block as well as some precise setting from Paulson and Noah Rounds. Millikan forced a fifth set, and then dominated the tiebreaker.
“Look it’s boys’ volleyball, when they play well they feel great,” said Rams coach Matt Johnson. “They got some confidence and the momentum and they rode it.”
Millikan got eight kills from Nick Wilson and six from Josh Shanholtzer. Willis Atkinson and Matthew McCarthy had three blocks apiece, and Spencer Spaulding added three aces.
Millikan will host Poly next Tuesday while Lakewood hosts Wilson in a day that features action among the league’s top four teams and title contenders.