By Jonathan Andrade
For The Signal
Canyon High’s boys volleyball team picked up its first victory of the season Thursday night, defeating winless Golden Valley in four sets (25-21, 25-19, 22-25, 25-20).
“We’ve been looking for a win, and it was good to get one today,” said Jeff Cody, Canyon head coach. “Sometimes it’s hard to just get that first one, especially this year only getting 10 games.”
Tobias Andrews powered the Cowboy offense with a team-high 20 kills.
“He’s definitely a game-changer,” Cody said of Andrews, who missed the team’s first two matches of the year. “He’s a force. His play lifts everyone else.”
Corwin Daugharty and Nathaniel Valdes each contributed five kills for Canyon.
“Confidence was key tonight after the loss (against Hart on April 21),” Andrews said. “We know we can beat teams.”
Canyon came out swinging while claiming a two-set lead, but Golden Valley didn’t make it easy on the Cowboys. The Grizzlies led 16-15 in the first set and 14-12 in the second, but inconsistent serves and unforced errors late in both frames doomed Golden Valley.
“We were giving away too many points,” said Sam Hand, Golden Valley’s head coach. “We let them play their game more than we tried to play our game.”
Led by the solid play of Josiah Hance, Nate Groves, Ryan Ko and Caleb Watson, Golden Valley won a hard-fought third set, 25-22.
Hance, a senior leader who provided the firepower for Golden Valley, was a persistent spark plug for his team throughout the night, flexing after kills and blocks and hyping up his teammates.
“Sometimes our energy is lacking,” Hance said. “I just try to give us a little boost in energy and adrenaline.”
Hand said it was refreshing seeing his players having fun and playing with confidence in the third frame.
“I liked seeing them play like they do in practice,” the coach said.
Canyon shut down any comeback hopes in the fourth, building a 16-7 lead that proved to be insurmountable for Golden Valley. While the Grizzlies managed to draw within 23-20, they lost the next two points, ultimately bowing out 25-20.
Hance said he was proud of his team’s relentless effort in the final frame.
“We made that extremely close,” Hance said. “They (the Cowboys) were very nervous for the end of that game.”
Golden Valley will try to earn its first win of the year next week when it plays host to Valencia at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 28.
Hand said he believes his team has the talent to get into the win column, but the Grizzlies will need to play as one cohesive unit.
“I see the potential in this team to do so much better,” he said.
With a first victory under the Cowboys’ proverbial belt, Cody said Canyon now has the confidence and chemistry to challenge some of the league’s top contenders.
“Those were the last things we needed to really push us into being a lot more competitive,” Cody said.
Canyon travels to face West Ranch at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 28.