By Luke Holthouse
A coin flip might have been the difference between the Wolverines advancing to the second round of playoffs and getting knocked out in round one.
After tying with Crespi for second place in league at the end of the regular season, with both teams at 8-4 in League play, a coin flip decided which team would be seeded second and third in the playoff bracket.
The Wolverines lost the flip. Middle blocker Jake Schapiro ’12 said they would have had an easier opponent and home court advantage had they won the flip.
Instead, Crespi hosted Santa Margarita in the first round, while the Wolverines had to travel to Huntington Beach and were defeated by the Oilers. The Wolverines were defeated in four sets, after taking the first, winning 26-24, but dropped the next three sets 25-15, 25-19, 25-14.
“We lost the coin flip, and because we had to go to Huntington and play them versus a home game in the first round against an easier team, it didn’t help,” middle blocker Jake Schapiro ’12 said. “We probably could have won a first round game.”
Chase Klein ’13 said that Huntington’s depth and size in the middle allowed them to outplay the Wolverines.
“We really took it to them and beat them in the first game,” outside hitter Klein said. “It was a combination of us believing halfway through the game that we could beat that team and they were caught a little off guard.”
Huntington Beach was the top seed out of its league, and Santa Margarita was its league’s thrid seed.
“You would like to be the second seed so you could get home court advantage in the first round,” Head Coach Adam Black said. “We played pretty well against Huntington Beach, and I’m pretty confident we would have played that way against Santa Margarita.”
The Wolverines finished their season 17-10 overall and 8-4 in league. Three of seven starters will return next year in Klein, libero Matt Douglas ’15 and middle blocker Davey Hartmeir ’14.
Klein said the team’s biggest question going into the offseason is who will replace Stephen Carr ’12 as the starting setter.
“Carr has been our starter for three and a half years,” Klein said. “I think Eric [Dritley ’13] is definitely a good option, so are Douglas and Brad Komisar ’15.”
Klein expects outside hitter Keith Leonard ’13 to replace Porter as the team’s second outside hitter, will be a big X-factor for the 2013 team.
“We’ll lose a little bit of fire power, but [Leonard] was really the most improved player in my eyes this season,” Klein said. “I think if he works a little this summer, he could be really good for us.”