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Canyon boys volleyball's rallying cry

Canyon points to resolve on the court in comeback win

Posted: March 5, 2013 9:48 p.m.
Updated: March 5, 2013 9:48 p.m.

Canyon High's Lance Ayson (11), left, and Andy Kern celebrate a point against Burbank High at Canyon on Tuesday.

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Canyon boys volleyball is a team trying to develop trust among one another.

The Canyon Cowboys made plenty of progress in that category on Tuesday night, coming back from a two-game deficit to beat the Burbank Bulldogs 3-2 at Canyon High School.

After losing the first two games 25-22 and 25-23, Canyon rallied back to win 25-13, 25-20 and 15-12 thanks largely to 20 kills, 24 digs and three aces from senior Lance Ayson.

“You’ve got to keep your head up,” Ayson said of coming from behind. “You’ve got to look to strive and I’m glad my team didn’t give up.”

Ayson is one of five senior starters for the Cowboys (3-1) this season, joining two sophomores and a freshman.

With such a discrepancy in the level of varsity experience on the team, matches like Tuesday’s provide much-needed opportunities for improving chemistry.

“It’s a pressure (match),” said first-year head coach Brandon Johnson. “All that was was two warm-up games for us and then we won our three games.”

Johnson took over last summer for previous head coach Andrew Spackman, who had coached the team the past two years.

The past two seasons, Johnson has served as Canyon’s girls volleyball head coach.

So far, it appears he’s inherited a solid lineup.

One standout is starting sophomore outside hitter Jake DeYoung, who recorded 14 kills on Tuesday after sitting out the opening game due to a coach’s decision.

Senior setter Andy Kern, who had 40 assists in the match, also provides stability for Canyon.

He played a big part in keeping the Cowboys solid on offense.

Canyon, which trailed 2-0 at the time, came out swinging in the third game and strung together seven straight points to take control 9-3.

Later in the game, Canyon again rallied for a 7-0 run to take a commanding 23-12 lead. That all but sealed it.

From then on, the Cowboys simply played solid volleyball while Burbank (0-3) started to get sloppy.

Canyon scored 15 of its points off unforced Bulldogs’ errors, including six hitting errors and five missed serves.

“We had a hard time handling the success,” said Burbank head coach Patrick McMenamin. “We had trouble keeping the pressure on them.”

Elijah Cowart led Burbank with seven kills.

Another young, promising player for Canyon, freshman Noah Ozuna, had 18 digs.

“We are inexperienced,” Johnson said. “A match like this really just builds character for us.”

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