The562’s coverage of Long Beach Wilson Athletics is sponsored by Joel Bitonio, Class of 2009.
Millikan boys’ volleyball pulled even on the road at Wilson after the second set, but the Bruins closed strong to win 25-13, 23-25, 25-21, 28-26.
Midway through the third set, the Bruins started building up frustration due to miscommunication. Freshman star Marek Turner gathered his guys in a huddle to help get their heads back in the game.
“I just got frustrated and got mad at myself,” Turner said. “I brought the team together and I told them to stay focused, pick every ball up, and that we got this.”
The freshman Turner ended the game with 11 total kills.
Turner wasn’t the only freshman star on the court, as Millikan’s Jackson Cryst also put on a show. Despite the Rams loss, Cryst made big plays to help keep the Rams in it late in the game with 14 kills. Millikan also had help from senior Thomas Halligan III with 11 kills, and Bryce Martinez with eight kills.
Heading into the second set, Wilson had their foot on the gas pedal, but controversial calls and a motivated Millikan team kept the game close. Millikan was able to cap off their best set of the game to tie it up with one set a piece.
Both teams battled out the last two sets, gathering the crowd to their feet for the final points of each set. Both sets ended in similar fashion, coming down to the last few points. Despite a hard fought ending by Millikan, Wilson was able to take both sets to put the game away.
Wilson’s Leo Pravednikov got the game winning kill to add to his game high 15 kills, while Turner and Ian Nolte both helped out with 11 kills each.
After the game, Wilson head coach Christopher Ceballos talked about the close win and moving forward with his team.
“We gotta make sure we follow through on our game plan,” Ceballos said. “We gotta make sure that we’re honoring the other team, being respectful, and playing the game the way it’s supposed to be played”
As for Millikan, coach Matt Johnson was able to pull some positives from his team’s performance after the game.
“Coming into this game no one gave us a chance of winning, but I thought we played really well,” Johnson said. “We were neck and neck with them. I’m still happy with our spot, we’re second in the league and competing with teams that are a couple divisions ahead of us.”
Wilson hosts Jordan on Tuesday and Millikan takes on Lakewood Thursday.