V-ball’s improvment, intensity, has club prepared for state tournament

Scoring the last point of the game has been somewhat of a custom for the 2014 boys’ volleyball team. At the conclusion of each match, all thirteen athletes group together to celebrate their victory that brought them to a promising start to the season.

As of press time, the Pumas have won matches over many of the state’s challenging teams, including Boulder Creek and Chandler.

The way the boys play together demonstrates great potential for state championships. However, Hamilton and Mountain View have also had an excellent start to their season and they expect to see these teams at state qualifiers.

“Since the first time we played Hamilton our passing has gotten better, our setting is more consistent, and our blocking has been a really strong aspect,” Coach Brian Pomerantz explained.

Pomerantz awaits the game a rematch against Hamilton to demonstrate how much the team has improved since the first game played. Blocking from Junior Wyatt Veach and Senior Jalen Cross has made hitting for other players difficult. Junior Cameron Harris, Junior Derek Smith, and Senior Logan Miller have all helped contribute to the teams superb blocking this season.

“We look at each game as a state tournament game, we learned rather quickly that we need to fight all the way through games. Going to the state tournament [is no longer] a question it’s a promise and we are very excited for that,” Miller said.

Viewing every game as a state championship puts players into a mindset that will help them overcome obstacles when the state game comes. Miller is not the only one who wants to go to the state championship and everyone puts in a joint effort to reach exceptional heights. Being ranked number nine in state gives a definite spot in the playoffs to battle to the end.

“At first it felt awesome, then you realize it’s just another team you have to go through,” Junior Michael Hoffman said.

Hoffman is the team’s Libero and was excited about the win over Boulder Creek but soon him and many of the other teammates realized it’s just another team they needed to defeat.

“This year being a young team I wasn’t sure how we were going to work together and if we had enough varsity experience with only a [few players returning], but we have team fluidity, we have pushed, and we have competed to beat some of the top teams in the state,” Lauren McClure, who plays back row, explained, “I think we can easily set our sights on state, but we still have a lot to put in to reach where we want to be.”

McClure started the season worried about the teams composition together however, he felt reassured after the team’s performance going into the season. The team has practiced hours on end to get chemistry together and combine their talents to overcome huge opponents.

“Well we are concerned about seeing every team in the playoffs,” explained Pomerantz, “when you get to that point everyone is in it to win it, everyone’s motivated, and everyone practiced for that one match.”

Playoffs are no joke when it comes to facing any team because everyone is there and in the zone ready to win. Every game has been practice for their shot at the playoffs and with the combined skill improvement and practice the team had together they hope to rise to the challenge in playoffs.

Their school season record is now 8-3 with Hamilton, Mountain View, and Highland the only opponents rising up to their skill in past games. The next team they play is Poston Butte on April 28 at Poston High.