The562’s coverage of Long Beach Volleyball in the 2022-23 school year is sponsored by Misty May-Treanor and the Dream in Gold Foundation.
The562’s coverage of Long Beach Wilson Athletics is sponsored by Joel Bitonio, Class of 2009.
After knocking off the fifth-ranked team in Division 3 in straight sets last Saturday, Wilson looked primed to do the same as the Bruins traveled to Huntington Beach to take on fourth-ranked Edison Wednesday night in the CIF Southern Section quarterfinals.
That momentum carried the Bruins as Chloe Pravendikov and Allanah Smith led a furious charge as Wilson won the first two sets over Edison.
But the Chargers made a furious comeback to defeat Wilson, 21-25, 18-25, 25-19, 25-23, 15-8.
“I just think we got a little tired,” Wilson coach Gerald Aquiningoc said. “Maybe the adrenaline from the first two sets. They were right on that high and we had talked about staying below that, but it was a good game.”
In the first set, Wilson jumped out to a 3-0 lead and had an answer as Edison tried to claw their way back. The Bruins extended their lead to 16-10 midway through the set and pushed the lead to 22-14 behind great play from Smith and Pravednikov.
Smith served an ace to give Wilson a 25-21 win in the first set as the Bruins didn’t let Edison complete their comeback after cutting the lead to 23-21.
The Bruins kept that momentum going as they jumped out to a 9-3 lead and didn’t let off the gas as Smith and Pravednikov continued to record kills when it was needed as they took a 25-18 win in the second set. Wilson never trailed in either of the first two sets.
In the third, Edison started to get some momentum going as Summer Witherby proved a much-needed lift and the Chargers were able to come up with some clutch blocks to slow down Wilson’s duo of Smith and Pravednikov.
Witherby finished with 11 kills, but it was the defense that came up big as Smith and Pravednikov had trouble with the Chargers’ block in the final three sets. The duo finished with a combined 41 kills – most of them coming in the first three games.
Edison took a 10-3 lead in the third set and Wilson was unable to chip away at the lead as they lost, 25-19.
In a tight fourth set, Wilson tied the match 22-22, but Edison answered back to take tie the match before taking the win in the fifth set after jumping out to an 11-2 lead and Wilson wasn’t able to mount the comeback.
“They’re a really good team,” Pravednikov said. “We knew we were going to play against good teams, and we wanted to put all we had out there. I think we did really good.”
“We knew we were going to have to play our very best game we’ve played all season,” Aquiningoc said. “We knew what we were coming into. We were ready, they caught momentum and we lost it. I’m proud of how we played. It’s very easy to give up, but they didn’t, they played with heart and they left it all out on the floor.”