The Payton girls have won two sectionals.
Now the Payton boys can say they’ve won one as well, as they captured their first boys volleyball sectional title Tuesday afternoon, defeating St. Patrick 25-11, 25-21 to win the Young Sectional.
The win sends the Grizzlies to the state quarterfinals, where they will face top-ranked WW South. Payton is the first Public League team to advance to the quarterfinals since Young in 2007.
“It feels pretty good,’’ Payton outside hitter Earl Schultz said. “We’re all a little overwhelmed because we’ve been working on it so hard, so it’s really cool.’’
“This team managed to figure it out,’’ Payton coach Casey Feeney said. “After we lost city, we were not coming with intensity. They had a meeting, they figured it out, they realized they needed to bring more intensity and how to improve.’’
Both Schultz and Feeney talked about the amount of energy that Payton needed to bring to win and that energy showed early in the match. After a Payton service error cut its first-set lead to 6-5, the Grizzlies went on a 19-6 run to easily win the set.
Payton got out to leads of 8-2 and 13-4 in the second set, but the Shamrocks refused to back down. St. Patrick went on an 11-5 run to cut the lead down to three at 18-15. However, a Payton timeout and 5-1 spurt gave the Grizzlies the breathing room they needed.
“We lost a little focus there in the second set,’’ Schultz said. “We may have been looking ahead to the next match, I don’t know, but that timeout had us talking and refocusing.’’
Schultz led Payton (27-10) with 10 kills, while Perry Howell had six and Cameron Flowers had four. Joseph Williams led St. Patrick (17-20) with five kills, and Jonathan Froio added four.
“When it comes down to it, we’re good at ball control, serving aggressively and being able to put balls in the right spots because we aren’t a tall team,’’ Feeney said. ‘‘We need to use that athleticism and help us compete.’’
BY MICHAEL WOJTYCHIW May 29, 2012
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