BRAWLEY – The Brawley Wildcats hosted their fourth straight home game Thursday night against the defending IVL champions, Southwest Eagles, in a battle of two teams who were undefeated in IVL play.
Both teams had been playing heads and shoulders above their IVL competition with neither team dropping a game in any match in IVL play all season.
On paper this match had all the makings of a “barn-burner”, a closely contested, back and forth, evenly matched meeting of the last two teams to win an IVL title. It was not to be as Brawley put on a clinic and dominated the match, winning in straight sets on scores of 25-16, 25-14, and 25-19.
The first game started with back and forth action, with neither team jumping ahead by more than a few points. Down 8-10 the Wildcats pounced to a 9-1 run and 17-11 lead in the game. The Eagles could not overcome the run, or gain any of the momentum back from the Wildcats, leading to an eventual Wildcat victory 25-16.
In game two, Brawley came out firing, jumping out to a 5-0 lead. Southwest countered with its own five point run to even the score at 5-5. As in another game that was closely contested early, the Wildcats again rallied at the midway point for a 13-2 run that the Eagles again could not come back from.
A game two final score of 25-14 had the Wildcats’ just one win away from a 3 game sweep of the match.
Game 3 was all Wildcats as they again jumped out to 5-0 lead, and this time never looked back. A 25-19 victory ended the night with a surprisingly dominant victory for the Wildcats, who still have yet to drop a match in an IVL match this year.
“We took advantage of certain points of the game and we had big runs and they were never able to really recover from those big runs,” said Coach Phil Finnell after the home win. “Really proud of the team, really proud of all the players,”
The Wildcats are now 9-10 on the season overall, 4-0 in IVL, and will be at Holtville next Tuesday.