San Benito volleyball head coach Emily Tonascia knew the Balers toughest challenge in Tri-County Athletic League play would be against Monterey.
On Thursday, that belief came true.
In a come-from-behind 3-2 victory in Monterey, San Benito improved to 9-1 inside TCAL play and ended the Toreadors 34-game league winning streak.
But it wasn’t easy for the Balers.
San Benito jumped on Monterey to take the first game by a score of 25-19.
“We started playing really well,” Tonascia said. “They were struggling and we just played really well. After that, though, I don’t know what happened.”
San Benito’s early success was short lived, as Monterey took advantage of the Balers mental mistakes in the second and third games.
“We just started making a lot of mistakes, and they weren’t making any,” Tonascia said.
Monterey defeated the Balers 25-14 and 25-15 in the second and third game to take a 2-1 match lead.
After a slow start in the fourth game, San Benito made its move.
“We were trailing by two or three points the entire time,” Tonascia said. “But once it got near the end, we just turned it up a little bit.”
San Benito won the fourth game 25-21, setting up a tie-breaking fifth game.
San Benito’s momentum carried over, lifting the Balers to a 15-10 fifth game and match win.
“They had so much hype around them,” Tonascia said. “We knew they were going to be the best matchup for us. They were dominating everybody. It’s great to go there and win.”
Dylan Lomanto led the Balers with 17 digs. And Robert Henderson recorded seven kills and Isaiah Acfalle recorded 9 kills for San Benito.
David Hawks led San Benito in assists.
“It was a really good match,” Tonascia said. “We definitely fought in that game.”