Five Glendale seniors defeated the Tornadoes for the final time in their careers and it was evident that for them it was more than just a league match late in the season.
“The season hasn’t gone well, but finishing up against Hoover, and playing well was great,” said Nitros middle blocker Alec Lewald, who left his mark on the match with eight kills.
The Tornadoes didn’t have an ideal season. They had yet to earn a win this season entering the match and their frustration culminated Thursday.
Glendale took an 8-7 lead in the first game and didn’t relinquish it thanks to two four-point streaks and another three-point run that gave the Nitros a 20-12 lead and provided separation between the two squads.
The Tornadoes brought the score to within six, but the Nitros reeled off the final four points of the game to get the win.
Hoover kept it close to open the second game, but just as in the first one, allowed Glendale to go on a run.
Leading, 8-5, the Nitros scored five straight points that included two aces from Vishtab Namiromian to discourage the Tornadoes.
An 8-5 deficit quickly turned into 18-6 hole for Hoover, which didn’t win a league match for the second straight year.
The Tornadoes’ struggles continued in the third game. The Nitros scored the first five points of the stanza. Hoover didn’t score its fifth point until Glendale was at 18.
“It’s a tough league, and we try to play well every game, but especially against Hoover,” said Nitros outside hitter Shant Alvandyan, who registered eight kills and four aces.
“I think we played really well, and we were all focused.”
Lewald and Alvandyan contributed to 31 assists compiled by Glendale.
Outside hitter Regan Ornopia led the way with 10 kills. Middle blocker Samier Mahagna helped Ornopia’s cause with eight assists.
“It was great,” Lewald said. “I had a real fun time playing today.”