DUBLIN — The Saratoga boys volleyball team came into Saturday’s Northern California Division II championship match against Pacific Collegiate with one thing on its mind: Revenge.
The Pumas defeated Saratoga in five sets earlier this month, a loss that Saratoga coach Jason Cardoso said stuck with his players ever since.
“A lot of the kids were annoyed and mad after that loss,” Cardoso said. “They killed us with their middles last time but we made some adjustments this time around and we were ready.”
Led by a strong performance by senior Joel Schneidmiller — 33 kills and 15 digs — No. 4 seed Saratoga knocked off No. 3 seed Pacific Collegiate 25-19, 25-21, 21-25, 25-19 to capture the NorCal title.
The UC Irvine-bound Schneidmiller had been the MVP for the Falcons all season, and Saturday was no different.
“His performance was great as it usually is,” Cardoso said. “He doesn’t really have too many down games.”
The match was mostly dominated by Saratoga as the Pumas never took a lead until early in the second set.
Late in the fourth set, with Pacific mounting a comeback to pull within 17-15, Cardoso called a timeout. From that point on Saratoga was able to cruise to victory.
“That was actually just to get our guys some rest. Kind of like managing a pitcher with his pitch count,” Cardoso said. “I hate calling timeouts but I saw our that guys needed a breather.”
The win capped off a run that also featured a victory over No. 1 Campolindo in the semifinals.
“We had a lot of kids returning from…
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