"We have a supportive coaching staff and they are always enthusiastic," said Crescenta Valley junior middle blocker Wesley Cormier, who had three of his 12 kills in the fifth game to help the Falcons improve to 5-6. "We had to make the plays and just stay focused.
"Every point that we got could help us win and mean another game. In the fifth game, we focused by hitting the ball hard."
It wasn't easy for the Falcons, who could have given up after losing the second game in heart-breaking fashion.
The Falcons built a 19-12 advantage before the Rams (5-9) used a 7-0 run to knot the game at 19. Crescenta Valley then squandered leads of 23-20 and 24-23.
Crescenta Valley quickly regrouped under assistant Coach Jerry Mulder, who filled in for Coach John Nelson, who missed the match for an unspecified reason.
"We have had a lot of five-game matches this season, so our guys are used to it," Mulder said. "We come to win three games, whether it's the third, fourth of fifth one.
"I told them a couple of adjustments needed to be made and we had to rely on our training. After the third game, we started to play the way we should."
Cormier and outside hitter Ian Paprocki excelled together on the court in the third game. Cormier had five kills and two aces and Paprocki contributed four kills.
In the fourth game, the Falcons raced to an 18-10 advantage and never looked back.
Having seized the momentum, Crescenta Valley got a kill from Cormier to take a 3-1 lead. The Rams scored three unanswered points to grab a 4-3 advantage. A block by middle blocker Mitch Collins and a kill by Cormier gave the Falcons a 7-4 lead.
Temple City called timeout, but it didn't slow down the Falcons. Two late kills by Paprocki and Logan Shapiro sealed the victory for the Falcons, who will tip off league competition against host Claremont at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday.
"It's about swinging hard because good things happen," Mulder said. "Logan started swinging hard the last three games and that [bred] confidence for everybody else.
"Wes' jump serving really demoralized [Temple City]."