SAN MARCOS, Calif. - Hope International played Saint Katherine for their second match-up of the year against the Firebirds. The Royals defeated the Firebirds 3-1 in their season opener and looked to take another win from them on Tuesday afternoon. The Royals advance to 3-1 on the season after defeating Saint Katherine 3-0. 

The Royals came out in set one aggressive as they scored the first three points on kills from Joshua Nehls (SR/Downey, CA) and Isaac Liva (JR/Miliani, HI). The Firebirds got within one point (9-8), but the Royals continued to attack and went ahead 15-10 on a kill from Isaac Liva assisted by Brandon Holderbach Lee (SR/Lancaster, CA). Coming back onto the court after a timeout called by Saint Katherine, the Royals went on a 4-0 scoring run to go up 19-10. The Royals took set one 25-12 after Tyler Peck (SR/Huntington Beach, CA) powered down a kill for the final point of set one. 

Peck's kill on a setup from Holderbach Lee spotted HIU a 20-11 lead in the second set. A single kill from each Ubaldo Aguilera (SO/Sylmar, CA) kill and Liva and three Firebird errors sealed the second set. HIU went up two sets to none as they took set two 25-12. The Royals posted a .500 attacking percentage in the second set while holding USK to a .000 attacking percentage. 

The Royals went on an 8-2 scoring run to start the third set. HIU did not let up and continued to grow their lead as they went up by as many as 10 points (13-3). The Firebirds made a comeback at the end of set three coming within four points (24-20), but the Royals ended the match after a long rally that resulted in a Firebird attack error. 

Liva finished with 8 kills, 1 serving ace, and a .400 hitting percentage. Larson had 6 kills and a .556 hitting percentage. Holderbach Lee had 25 assists.

The Royals will take on the #5 Lions of Vanguard tomorrow, February 17th at home at 7:00 PM.