Upper Dublin and Central Bucks East entered Tuesday's Suburban One Continental Conference matchup as two teams trying to crawl their way out of the basement of the conference standing as the two teams had combined for only one conference win on the season.
It looked like Upper Dublin (4-7, 2-4) would cruise to victory after winning big in the first two sets, 25-15 and 25-16, but the Cardinals, who have had a flair for dramatic matches this season, wouldn't make it that easy. Upper Dublin outlasted the Patriots 25-15, 25-16, 23-25, 18-25, 17-15.
"Yeah, we like taking it to five,' Upper Dublin coach Corey Maitz said. "It seems to be a theme with us, but it's also a credit to both teams for fighting that hard.'
In the first two games that Upper Dublin rolled, CB East seemingly couldn't do anything right. The Patriots struggled to get their shots inbounds and just missed some key plays on defense, but the young CB East team would settle down and turn things around.
"I think it just took them a while to relax,' CB East coach Rob Minschwaner said. "We made a couple lineup changes, I don't know if it mattered a lot, but we did get a smaller, more athletic team on the court after the second set.'
One of the most obvious differences in the third fourth and fifth games was the Patriots passing and ball movement. Setter Mason Miller finished the match with 23 assists after having only two through the first three games.
"It was all about ball control,' Minschwaner said. "The first two games I don't think we passed anything, one or two passes I can remember, but other than that we weren't passing at all.'
Throughout points in the season, Upper Dublin had some struggles holding on to leads due to some lack in consistency, mainly within particular sets. However, Tuesday saw the Cardinals trying to protect a two-set lead and they made sure this one would not get away from them.
"We're still a little inconsistent, we're still trying to figure out who we are as a team ourselves,' Maitz said. "It's something they continue working hard for. I think that's the pro to this.'
The Cardinals were able to win the match with a complete team effort led by performances by outside hitters Jack Yekel and Chris Kang, who finished the day with 11 digs, 17 kills and 10 kills respectively, and setter Josh Komins with 45 assists.
"Today was a team effort. When one hitter went down another stepped in his place,' Maitz said. "When a couple serves got missed, somebody else stepped in and made sure theirs were in. All the way around they played smart, they were great. They started passing for each other, started hitting for each other. They worked hard together as a group.'
With its second league win, Upper Dublin looks to continue to build and hopefully ride the momentum to some more wins.
"We're kind of looking at being 10-10 at the end of the season. We know we have a lot of good teams in our league,' Maitz said. "Rebuilding the way we are now, if we can continue pushing forward like this, there's no reason we can't end on a positive season.'