Bearcats take down Eagles in straight sets

PASO ROBLES — The Templeton Eagles and Paso Robles Bearcats met in one of the most emotionally-charged CIF volleyball games ever this past year. Bearcat head coach Drew Nenow said, “it was one of the most energetic matches I had ever been apart of.” On Friday night the two teams faced off for the first time this season but with a much different outcome.

The Eagles started the game on a 4-0 but the Bearcats came right back and largely took the opposing crowd and the emotion out of the game early and built a solid lead. Templeton was led by, and continued to set up, senior Chase Erwin who was clearly the most powerful player on the court for either team. When in the right spots, Erwin would rain down thunderous shots with precision, but it wasn't enough to stop the Bearcats who were playing solid team volleyball.

Paso Robles took the first game 25-19 and then jumped out to a huge 21-9 lead in the second. However, fueled by a few Erwin aces that careened off Bearcats and then off the ceiling in the Gil Asa Gym, the Eagles mounted a furious comeback and went on to 14-3, bringing the game to within one point, 24-23.

The home crowd was charged up after the Bearcats put away the second game and in an effort to give their guys life, the Eagles Junior Varsity team began cheering as loud as they could. The team traded points until Templeton grabbed a 10-6 lead. Then Bearcats Ethan Todd and Hector Arteaga began to take over. The duo recorded nine and eight kills respectively with both of their signature shots coming in the final game. Arteaga blasted his most powerful shot up 16-14 in the final game and his subtle flex to his teammates perfectly illustrated the emotion of the Bearcat team.

“I cant even explain it,” Arteaga said. “They started to come back and I got mad and I just let it rip. I was in my zone.”

Todd, who consistently made plays throughout the game to stop any Eagle run, scored the final point in a straight sets Bearcat victory 25-19, 25-23, 25-21.

“It feels so good because we are progressing farther now,” Todd said after the game. “Usually that is a great competition between us but now when we put them down it seems easy.”

The Bearcats are now 3-0 on the season and the Eagles have fallen to 0-3.

“I am glad we saw them early in the season,” Nenow said. “because by the end of the season they are going to be unreal.”


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