By Mike Bebernes
Galileo Academy rallied after losing the opening game to win three straight in a 3-1 victory (26-28, 25-14, 28-26, 25-17) over visiting Lincoln High School Friday.
The Lions (7-3, 4-0) had a balanced front-line attack that outlasted the undermanned Mustangs (1-5, 1-2).
Galileo rotated a bevy of hitters into the game to keep Lincoln’s two primary attackers off rhythm.
“We almost have two full teams I can start,” said Galileo Head Coach Mark Huynh. “It’s a luxury for us. Whatever they’re throwing at us, we want to cover it. We have enough guys to do that.”
The Lions got kills from nine different players in the match, led by Ricky Chon’s 14 and Pat Ale’s 12. Six different players recorded aces for Galileo. Alan Tse had a game-high six blocks.
Senior libero Nick Lew buoyed the Lions in every facet of the match, recording seven kills, five aces and providing a reliable backline defense for his team.
“[Lew] is pound-for-pound probably the most experienced player in the city,” said Huyhn. “He’s leading this young team. It really helps.”
Lincoln rode Johnson Li to win a dramatic first game.
Li hammered down two of his team-high 13 kills to finish the set in extra points. Phillip Xie contributed five kills and two blocks in the match.
With a short rotation, the Mustangs weren’t able to maintain the high level of intensity that brought them the win in the first set.
“Our energy kind of went down after we’d miss one serve, shank a pass or got [stuffed] on a block,” said Li. “Our number-one key is keeping up that energy.”
Galileo won the second game decisively and outlasted Lincoln in the pivotal third game, which also needed extra points. Chon helped close the match out with six kills in the decisive final game.
“Lincoln is always a tough team and they’re very loud. We have to match that energy. In the first game, we didn’t have it,” said Huynh. “When we brought ourselves out and were energetic, when we were able to match that intensity, we were fine.”
Lincoln Head Coach Vince Tang was absent for the second consecutive match.