Hollis Brookline boys volleyball downs Bishop Guertin

NASHUA – It may have taken a game and a half and a benching, but Hollis Brookline captain Mike Moscatelli took over the Cavaliers boys volleyball opener with Bishop Guertin on Tuesday night.

The senior came out of the gate too amped up and made several mistakes in the opening set.

He rebounded, cleared his head and came back to lead Hollis Brookline to a 18-25, 25-19, 25-22, 25-12 victory at Bishop Guertin High School.

“I’ve had him since he was a freshman,” Hollis Brookline coach Ed Leonard said. “He was on the championship team in 2016. He’s seen it all. He’s a captain this year. He’s a leader and the younger guys look up to him. You can see when he steps on the floor.”

Neither Bishop Guertin nor Hollis Brookline could get much momentum going in the opening set.The Cardinals found an opening when Joe Noon had a spike to start a string of three straight points.

D.J. Omogrosso carried the momentum with a big block that made it 13-9 in favor of the home team.

Hollis-Brookline had a answer though and came back with five of the following seven points to close it to 15-14 BG. The Cardinals ran off the following three points to stretch the lead back to four at 18-14.

Bishop Guertin was able to separate itself and take the set by allowing the Cavaliers outside hitters to be over aggressive on returns, many of which landed out of bounds.

Noon finished off the 25-18 set victory with a nice spike.

“It’s early in the season and our team started off making a lot of mistakes,” Leonard said. “We had 19 or 20 errors and we basically gave away that first set. … We just have to clean up the errors.”

In the second set, Hollis Brookline did a better job keeping its returns in. The Cavaliers were sparked by the play of Moscatelli.

The big man’s huge spike evened the game at 4-all and pushed the visitors to a 8-5 lead.

The Cardinals clawed back to 10-9 before Moscatelli made his presence felt again with a huge point to stretch it back to 12-9.

In the second set, it was the Cardinals that had trouble establishing a rhythm.

Every time they would get within a point, they would give two back until they finally evened the set at 19-all.Three straight points, including an HB block at the net put the visitors up 22-19.

The visitors scored another three unanswered points and capped off the 25-19 set victory.

The third game was back-and-forth until a pair of thunderous spikes from Sander Wimmer gave HB a 11-7 lead. The Cavaliers extended the lead to 16-10 before the home team could make a run.

A series of mistakes by the visitors led to four straight points for the Cardinals and a 16-14 game.Noon made a huge shot and took advantage to serve up another four points to give the Cardinals a 19-16 lead. HB came charging back though and won the set 25-22 on Connor Russell’s tip.

“In the (third) set we were down and came back with Noon serving,” Bishop Guertin coach Matt Box said. “The challenge for us is keeping it together and holding that throughout the set. Mental toughness is definitely something we can build on.”

Thanks to Moscatelli’s play at the net, the visitors got a 5-4 lead in the fourth and final set and stretched it to 15-5 when they scored 10 of 11 points to take control.

The Cavaliers took the set 25-12 and the match 3-1.

Wimmer had 12 kills for Hollis-Brookline, Moscatelli had 10 and Joshua Ide had 35 assists.

Joe Noon led the Cardinals with nine kills and three aces, while Erik Wisbocki added three blocks and two aces.

Bishop Guertin (0-1) will be back in action on Friday when it travels to Dover, while Hollis-Brookline (1-0) visits Timberlane.