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NVASeasonRecap of the Chicago Untouchables Debut in San Bernadino, California

May 4, 20210

Day 1 Match # 1

NVA Starts Season With 5 Set Blaze and Untouchables Match

Blaze setter Marques Buggs opened the 2021 season with the first serve and Blaze scored the first point on an Untouchable hitting error. And the Untouchables scored the first real point of the season on a block by middle blocker, Matt Buffum. As the match progressed both teams struggled to find their rhythm and much of the scoring for both teams was a result of a plethora of hitting and passing errors. The combined hitting average of the teams was 40%. The lowest of 19% by the Untouchables in the first set and highest at 70% by the Blaze in the short fifth set. 

After the Blaze won the first two sets 25-18 and 25-21, they changed their lineup. The new Blaze lineup struggled and that opened the door for the Untouchables to launch a comeback with a 25-16 win in the third set. Although the Blaze started off slow in the fourth set by committing a combination of passing and hitting errors to fall behind 4-0, this set turned out to be the most competitive. Teams exchanged leads. But at 20-20 the Untouchables’ tough defensive run and two kills gave them a 23-21 lead. The Blaze lost a couple of opportunities to score real points with two service errors in a row. The Untouchables won the set on another Blaze hitting error 25-23. 

The fifth set was an early nip and tuck battle until Belvin took over with three kills in a row to take a 3-point lead. Untouchables fought back to tie at 7-7. A Buggs dump gave Blaze the lead. Untouchables countered with a dump from Wiskerchin. But after a Belvin kill and Untouchables hitting error the Blaze won the match on a kill by O’Gorman at 15-12.  


Day 2, Match 3

Team Freedom’s Defense and Covering Instrumental in Defeat of Untouchables In 4 Sets

Team Freedom’s MB Milkhail Hoyt started the set with a clean kill and then followed up with a block and Jake Modetow added a kill. The Untouchables got off to a slow start with several hitting errors and fell behind 6-2. A Jose Castillo kill and Seirfert block along with two more Untouchable hitting errors increased Team Freedoms lead to 11-5. With kills and an ace from Christopher Nugent and kids from Jonathon Lutz, Team Freedom kept their lead at 16-10. After the time outTeam Freedom’s hitting errors gave the Untouchables opportunities to catch up with three kills by Nick Ramos, two kills by Will Ragland and one kill each by David Holiday and Paul Bilanzic to cut the lead to 24-22. But Team Freedom pulled off the first set win with a kill from Modetow. 

In set two the Untouchables quickly established the middle with the first three points on a kill by Thomas Burrell and a kill and block from Bilanzic. Will Ragland also added two kills. Although Nugent and Lutz had a kill each, hitting errors gave the Untouchables an early lead of 8-4. Team Freedom struggled with their passing, in part due good serves by the Untouchables. A series of Team Freedom’s free and down balls gave the Untouchables plenty of opportunities to score points. They built a 16-6 lead on a blocks by Bilanzic and Burrell, aces by Ragland and Lopez and kills by Ragland and Burrell. Team Freedom did have a short rally with kills by Nugent and Lutz and a block by Hoyt but fell short. Untouchables ended the set with kills by Bilanzic and Burrell for the win at 25-18. 

In set three Team Freedom started Matt Seifert at MB. Both teams started off well. The Untouchables established the middle attacks again with kills by Bilanzic and Burrell; and Holiday added one kill. For Team Freedom, kills by Lutz and Nugent; dump by setter Ryan Kenney and blocks by Seifert and Hoyt gave them the lead at the first media timeout at 8-7. After the timeout the Untouchables’ hitters were unable to find the court. Team Freedom took advantage and built a seven point lead on a series of kills by Siefert and Nugent and a block by Nugent to 20-13. Untouchables sided out with kills from Bilanzic, Lutz, Ramos and Holiday. But two Untouchable hitting errors gave Team Freedom a 25-18 win. 

Set four started out with the same intensity and good play as set three. For Team Freedom Hoyt, Lutz and Seifert provided the offense and Untouchables Burrell, Holiday and Ragland, who also had an ace. At 8-7 Team Freedom’s defense forced Untouchables into a couple of errors and down balls. During this stretch, kills by Nugent and Lutz, block by Hoyt and ace by Siefert gave Team Freedom a five point lead at 13-8. The Untouchables rallied back with an ace by Burrell and kills by Raglan and Bilanzic to cut the lead to 16-15. But Team Freedom bounced back with good defense and kills by Siefert, Nugent, Castillo, Lutz and block by Kenney to increase their lead to 24-18. Team Freedom won the match on a service ace by Kenney. 

Despite the loss the Untouchables led by setter Kenney ran a balanced offense. Ramos led with 11 kills, Bilanzic 9, Ragland and Holiday 8 and Burrell 7. Untouchables also had 11 blocks, 4 by Holiday. For Team Freedom Lutz carried the load with 14 kills, Nugent 10 and Castillo 9; and 7 blocks.


Day 3, Match 4

Ramblers Defeat Untouchables In Most Competitive Match of Weekend With Three Overtime Wins

Plenty of good action in this match, in which both teams did well to keep their hitting and service errors to a minimum. The Untouchables scored points on kills from Nick Ramos, Will Ragland and middle blocker Paul Bilanzic; and Ragland also added a service ace. Ramblers’ Setter Tanner Maxwell wasted no time going to his big guns Brandon Rattray and Ryan Mather for their first kills. Mather also contributed a block and Antonio Boucher added a kill that gave the Ramblers an 8-6 lead before the first media timeout. Maxwell continued to feed Rattray and Mather for kills and also middle blocker Mark Lane for one kill; and Mather added another block. But Untouchables managed to take a two-point lead with kills from Elvis Minyakov, two kills by Bilanzic and one kill by Ramos before the second media time out 16-14. After the timeout the Ramblers’ launched a comeback with a middle blocker kill and block by Josh Duarte, four kills by Rattray and one by Mather to take a 22-19 lead. During this run Untouchables committed several hitting and service errors but rallied back with a Ragland ace, Ramos and Bilanzic kills and tied the Ramblers at 24-24. Both teams sided-out well to 28-27 and then the Ramblers won the set on an Untouchables’ hitting 29-27. 

In set two Untouchables struggled to pass the ball. It resulted in returning free and down balls and hitting errors. Ramblers scored points on two kills by Rattray, one by Mather and Lane and Mather block to take a six point lead at 8-2. Although the Untouchables cleaned up their play and scored points on kills by Buffum, Minyakov and three Ramos kills, Ramblers increased their lead with three kills by Rattray and one by Boucher to 16-8. Untouchables slowly rallied back with the help of a couple of Ramblers’ hitting errors and kills by Ramos and Buffum, three blocks by Bilanzic and one block by Buffum to cut the lead to two points at 21-19. Inconsistent play by the Ramblers and another Billanzic block and kill, and Ragland block tied the set 24-24. After Rattray scored a kill Ramblers took a one point lead at 27-26, the Untouchables committed a hitting error that won the set for Ramblers 28-26.

Like the first set Ramblers took an early 8-6 lead on three consecutive kills by Rattray, kill and block by Mather and kill from Duarte. Untouchables scored on kills by Ramos, Bilanzic and dump by setter Maxwell. After the first media timeout Untouchables’ errors and only one kill by Bilanzic helped the Ramblers add to their lead with a kill and block by Rattray, and kill by Mather and Duarte 12-8. The Untouchables gradually cut the lead and tied the score after Ramblers’ errors and Ragland service ace 16-16. Then Untouchables took the lead on a Bilanzic block to 17-16. Ramblers’ called a timeout. A Bilanzic kill gave Untouchables an 18-16 lead. Ramblers substituted Mather with Kyle Radecki and Maxwell with setter Steven Duhoux. After an Untouchables net violation and hitting error, the Ramblers tied the set with a Radecki block to 20-20. Ramblers took the lead on Untouchables’ hitting error 21-20. After Untouchables called a timeout, a Ragland kill and Bilanzic block gave Untouchables back the lead 22-21. Ramblers regained the lead with a kill from Rattray and Untouchables’ hitting error 23-22. At 24-23 Ramblers substitute Mather for Radecki and Maxwell for Duhox. Both teams exchanged points to a 26-26 tie. After an Untouchables’ overpass, Boucher scored a left-handed kill to 27-26 and a Mather’s ace won the match for the Ramblers 28-26. 

Ramos led the Untouchables with 13 kills, Bilanzic 7 and Minyakov 5. Untouchables had 10 blocks and hit 34%. For the Ramblers Rattray led all players with 25 kills, Mather 9, Boucher 6, Duarte 5 and Lane 4. Ramblers also had 10 blocks and hit 46%. Untouchables finished with an 0-3 record and Ramblers 3-0. 


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