EASTVALE: King entered Roosevelt’s gym on Tuesday fully aware of the setting. It was the Mustangs’ “Senior Night”, it was their home court, both teams were among a four-way tie atop the league standings, and a loss would allow the league crown to drop from their grasp.
Oh, and add one more factor to consider, and maybe the biggest: Roosevelt was looking for redemption over King after losing a five set thriller to the Wolves earlier in the season.
“They (ERS) came out on fire and it took us half way through the first set to even start playing.” Coach Lough remarked after the game. “We had our opportunity to steal the first set in two different set points, but couldn’t finish. We also had momentum going into the fifth set, but made too many unforced errors that defeated us mentally.
This sparked Roosevelt and at that point it was difficult for the King team to play catch up.
James Stufkousky(16 kills, 22 digs) and Bradley Kleven (16 kills, 16 digs) again led the charge for King especially in the middle part of the contest when King mounted a comeback from being down two sets.
But in the end, it wasn’t enough to overcome the Roosevelt attack.
“Our team needs to be better prepared mentally, we need to take care of the small things so we are better prepared in these big moments.” Lough said. “We hadn’t played that way for a while.”
King will still make the CIF playoffs, however the loss drops them from a possible 1-seed to a 3 or 4 seed.
King finished the regular season at 19-6 overall and 9-5 in the Big 8.