ght side hitter Justin Smith notched a game-high 16 kills in his team's 25-18, 25-16, 25-20 victory. Liberty went into the match looking to serve aggressively, but countless service errors halted any momentum the Lions might have gained.
Smith, a mild mannered senior, has given the Wolverines a huge boost on offense all season but Tuesday surpassed his prior performances.
"I feel I helped my team out a lot today," Smith said. "But we are a team and when we play as a team, we win as a team. We had been working on our defense and tonight that really helped us. We just played our game."
Smith noted that although his team's confidence level has risen as the season has progressed, the Wolverines aren't taking any of their matches lightly.
"We're doing amazing, and since it's working we're going to keep doing what we're doing," he said. "But the season isn't over. We're still going to take it match by match," a sentiment often echoed by head coach Lou Panzella as the team pursues its first Bay Valley Athletic League title.
"Being 10-0 right now allows us to maintain control of our destiny. We're one step closer to the ultimate goal," Panzella said. "But we're trying to impress on these guys not to look past today. When you start looking too far ahead, something stupid happens to you. We want to be smart."
Hitting on all cylinders, Deer Valley is looking to keep its streak alive in its final five matches. The team took on Heritage Thursday after the Press went to print. This Tuesday, the Wolverines travel to play Ygnacio Valley and on Thursday they host Antioch. Clayton Valley, De La Salle and Freedom round out the Deer Valley schedule.
Panzella is tremendously impressed with his team's ability to compensate for any imbalances on the floor.
"Our serve receive has just been awesome all year," Panzella said. "Our passing and our defense has been really good. If you have good ball control, it's hard for teams to put you away. We're pretty balanced."
Deer Valley improved its overall record to 20-4 after last weekend's 4-2 performance at the Chico Invitational, at which it took third out of 24 teams. This Saturday the team heads to Walnut Creek for the Northgate Invitational.