SOUTHEAST GLENDALE â€” They had the talent, but could never put it together for long stretches.
After the visiting Hoover High boys' volleyball team closed out its season Thursday with a 26-24, 25-15, 24-26, 25-23 Pacific League victory against cross-town rival Glendale in a Pacific League match, Hoover Coach Deb Cohen touched on that point.
â€œWe have the talent,â€ Cohen said. â€œI think we could have had a few more wins in league.
â€œI hope that they will look back. It's disappointing that they didn't reach their potential as far as their record is concerned. We never put it together.â€
With the victory, the Tornadoes (4-10, 3-9 in league) finished tied with Glendale (4-12, 3-9) for fifth place in league. The teams split the two-match season series with Glendale winning the first time in four games April 4 at Hoover.
On Thursday, the Tornadoes, whose two other league victories came against last-place Burbank, turned to senior outside hitter/middle blocker Jon Zakhary for relief. Zakhary finished with a team-high 10 kills, with the final one ending the 80-minute match.
Arua Abnousian chipped in with seven kills for the Tornadoes, who finished 3-9 in league for the second consecutive season.
After the Nitros rallied to capture the third game, the Tornadoes did a good job of zapping their momentum. Hoover scored the first four points en route to building a 14-6 lead.
However, Glendale closed to within 24-23 before Zakhary sealed the victory.
Glendale started off slow in just about every game, something that proved to be a problem throughout the season.
â€œWe always do that because we constantly warm up slow,â€ Glendale Coach Mark Bauman said. â€œHoover played well because they dug the ball and hit it well.
â€œWe didn't stand up to the challenge. We started to play [well] in the third game, but then we couldn't take advantage of it later. Hoover kept playing harder and it showed.â€
The Nitros received eight kills from senior opposite hitter Kris Santiago. The Nitros also got 14 assists from senior setter Aryan Madadian.
â€œThe last time we played Glendale, it was a joke,â€ Cohen said. â€œThe first game [Thursday] was close and then we played the way we should be in the second game.
â€œMaybe they decided it's the last [match of the season] and they should start playing.â€
Bauman said the Nitros will get to work soon with trying to reshape the program.
â€œIt's going to be a two- or three-year process to turn it around,â€ he said. â€œThere'll be lots of changes from how I coach the players to us needing to continue working on hitting and sticking with playing defense.â€