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NORTHRIDGE — Each time Chatsworth’s Nate Kim sets the volleyball, it’s as if there’s a moment of pausing. The ball floats like it’s in orbit and outside hitter Blake Pohevitz attacks with a two-footed gather that looks like he’s coming off a trampoline.
His kills echo inside the gym. His athleticism is jaw-dropping. His technique is picture-perfect. But that’s not what’s most impressive. Pohevitz’s energy is his most powerful weapon.
“One-hundred and ten percent effort. No plays off,” Pohevitz said.
It was all on display as Chatsworth boys volleyball claimed its second City Section Open Division title in three years in straight sets, 25-18, 25-22, 25-18, against Palisades at Cal State Northridge Saturday night.
Pohevitz, a George Mason commit, led the way with a match-high 18 kills and just three errors, and teammate Taj Unuakhula added eight kills in the dominating performance.
Chatsworth never trailed. The first set never got to within less than six points after Chatsworth took a 19-13 lead. The second set was 23-22 at one point, but the Chancellors scored three straight to win the set. The third set was riddled with plays that deflated Palisades creating a 22-14 lead before going on to win the match.
“The win starts with the history between these two teams,” Chatsworth coach Sina Aghassy said. “Since 2016, Palisades has knocked us out of the playoffs every year. Our guys were fired up for this matchup.”
Pohevitz has been the catalyst to Chatsworth’s remarkable season. Saturday night’s victory gave the Chancellors their 40th win of the season, including a stretch of 10 straight wins in the West Valley League en route to an undefeated league crown.
Chatsworth sweeps Palisades to win its second City Open Division title in three years, 25-18, 25-22, 25-18.
George Mason commit Blake Pohevitz led the way for the Chancellors, an impressive player. pic.twitter.com/1XstBvmpRJ
— Tarek Fattal (@Tarek_Fattal) May 14, 2023
When it’s not Pohevitz making plays, it’s a duo of underclassmen that make plays. Unuakhalu, a sophomore 6-foot-7 middle blocker, will thunder the ball straight down or make blocks at the net. Sophomore outside hitter Chase Dunn can elevate, too. When those guys are making plays, Pohevitz gets just as fired up.
“I was a pretty bad leader to start the year,” Pohevitz said. “I knew I had to pick it up because I wanted to make sure we hit our goal to win a City title. I think I stepped up.”
Aghassy doubled down on Pohevitz’ development as a leader.
“He’s developed into a great leader for us,” Aghassy said of Pohevitz. “I recently had a baby and had to miss some practices, and he really took leadership seriously.”
Chatsworth’s season isn’t over yet. The Chancellors will await the CIF State SoCal regional pairings which will be released Sunday afternoon. The opening rounds will begin Tuesday.
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