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The Precedent

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Men’s volleyball season wrap-up

Chrissy Feller

Chrissy Feller

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After a 6A division state runner up finish last season, head coach Brian Pomerantz knew it was going to be a challenge to get back to the state title game, especially after losing three starters to graduation in 2016.

The Pumas had to fill the shoes of three starters from last year’s record-breaking team, leaving Pomerantz the daunting task of creating a new team dynamic. This was why he made improving team chemistry one of the top priorities of the season.

Junior libero Bryson Breinholt felt that the Pumas were up to the task.

“Compared to last season, this year we were more diverse and were more of a solid team all around the board. We were mentally tough and were closer,” Breinholt said.

Pomerantz agrees with Breinholt, saying that the team has “definitely improved focusing  on developing a stronger team unity and mentality.”

“Mental toughness and culture are things we talked about this year,” the sixth-year head coach said. “It takes a lot of time to refine these.  We improved this year and have taken steps to ensure it carries over to 2018.”

The steps Pomerantz and his players took to better the team was how the Pumas made the final four for the second year in a row.

“We used to be happy making a quarterfinals appearance in the AIA state tournament, now we are expecting to contend for a spot in the finals.” Pomerantz continues, “we put ourselves in the position to do this during the regular season and our expectations for next year are even higher.”

Not only have the Pumas ranked as No. 4 in state, this is the fifth season in a row of winning more than 20 games. According to Pomerantz, the team accomplished this even with playing “the most difficult schedule in the state of Arizona.”

One of the highlights of the season was the team’s opportunity to travel to California to participate in the “Best of the West Boys Volleyball Invitational.” Being able to play against teams ranked highest in the country, like Corona Del Mar and Newport Harbor, gave the Pumas lessons both on and off the court.

“[We] had a chance to play in California against teams ranked top 10 in the country.  Along the way, we took some big steps in becoming better people, players, and teammates,” Pomerantz stated.

Senior captain right setter Blake Fillmore described another favored moment of the season as “taking down No. 1 ranked Brophy on their senior night. It was awesome to see everyone give it their all and win in a five set match.”

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Men’s volleyball season wrap-up