COSTA MESA, Calif. - The Royals traveled to Vanguard to take on the Lions for the third time this season and took the match in a five-set thriller.
The Royals took an early four-point advantage (8-4) in set one on a block assist from Chase Larson (SR/Henderson, NV) and Isaac Liva (JR/Miliani, HI). The Lions would tie things up at 10 apiece, but HIU continued to battle to keep a lead as they scored five points in a row due to two kills from Alfonso Meza Ramos (SR/Seaside, CA), a kill from Chase Larson, and blocks from Isaac Liva and Larson. The Royals would secure set one on a Lions service error, 25-20.
Set two both teams battled, exchanging point for point the entire set until the Royals were able to string together two points on a kill from Meza Ramos and a block from Larson. Joshua Nehls (SR/Downey, CA) slammed the ball down to finish the second set 25-23, and the Royals would go up two sets to none.
The Lions produced a five-point advantage late in the third set and would take the set 20-25.
To start the fourth set, the Lions had three straight errors to give HIU a three-point advantage. The Royals found themselves down but tied things up at 11-11 and went on to score four more points as Joshua Nehls and Chase Larson each had a kill and HIU took the lead 15-11. The two teams continued to battle and the Royals and Lions found themselves tied again at 17-17 and the teams exchanged point for point. The Lions regained the lead 22-23 and took set up 22-25.
With the Lions carrying the momentum the Lions went up 4-8 in the fifth set leading to an HIU timeout. The Royals tied things up 9-9 as they strung together three straight blocks from Chase Larson. The Royals took the 16-15 lead on two straight kills from Nehls and forced Vanguard to call a timeout. The Royals would end up taking the fifth set 22-20 to win the match.