Holland Boege was on fire in the first set for San Luis Obispo High’s volleyball team Thursday.
The sophomore rattled off six aces and held her serve for 11 points to put the Tigers up 12-1 to start the match at Arroyo Grande.
Boege’s stellar serving — shots with plenty of knuckling action on them — helped the Tigers win the first game. But the Eagles showed their resiliency in a big way by fighting back to make the game close and then taking the next three sets for the 20-25, 25-17, 25-17, 25-18 victory.
Boege finished with eight kills, 11 aces and 16 digs to lead the Tigers (13-6, 3-1).
After a slow start to its season, Arroyo Grande (13-8, 5-0 PAC 7 League) has powered through the league thus far and next faces Paso Robles on the road Tuesday as it attempts to complete the first half of league play undefeated.
The win against the Tigers is a sweet one for the Eagles given a longstanding rivalry between the schools and because both were undefeated in league play coming in.
Alaina Hogeboom led the Eagles with 36 assists while making one-armed stabs and running passes to keep points alive.
Hogeboom also had four tip kills, finding holes in the San Luis Obispo defense for points, including two consecutive tips to put the Eagles up 22-15 in the third set.
“My coach (Ernie Santa Cruz) makes fun of me because I pretty much never tip the ball,” Hogeboom said. “So, it was nice to get a few of those tonight. …I’m not really looking for them as much as reacting to where the ball is on the pass. If I’m too close to the net, sometimes that’s the easier play. It’s just a feel thing.”
Santa Cruz said that, in his two decades of coaching, the Eagles have never had eight losses at this point in the season.
But with just one senior, they have made huge strides as a young team that continues to improve as the season progresses, he said.
“They’re not only getting better over two matches or so,” Santa Cruz said. “They’re getting better between games at times.”
Santa Cruz said the slow start Thursday came in part because of Boege’s serving, but also the rotation they were in to play their best defense against her. Santa Cruz called two timeouts early in the match to remind his team that there was still a long way to go in the match as Boege racked up the points.
“We just needed to get a sideout then,” Santa Cruz said. “I told them, ‘Just get the sideout and we’ll go from there.’ ”
The Eagles’ top hitters were Ashlyn Herlihy, who tallied 15 kills, and Megan McGuigan, who had 11 kills. Kacee Fox logged 19 digs, and Juju Fuller and Kate Empey each had 11 digs.
“This was a big win for us,” Herlihy said. “We came out pumped up and strong and that helped us through the match. SLO played great and they’re a great team.”
San Luis Obispo coach Manny Carter said Arroyo Grande’s blocking made the difference in the match and that’s an area he’ll work on with his team, along with finishing points better.
“We just couldn’t put the ball away like we needed to tonight,” Carter said. “And we couldn’t stop their two hitters. We’ll be working on those things.”
Anna Pedersen had eight kills, and Molly Maguire had six for the Tigers. Calli Hamari led San Luis Obispo with 20 digs.