Men’s volleyball flies to the top of the rankings

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Men’s volleyball flies to the top of the rankings

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With 32 games under their belt, men’s volleyball players is fighting to maintain their fourth-in-state ranking. Their record so far is 23-10-4, with only two games left before the playoffs begin. Although the Pumas are not doing as well as they hoped, they are still confident in their abilities to make it to state.

Since March, the team has competed in three tournaments: Wolf Howl, Best of the West in California, and the Brophy College Prep Invitational. The Pumas brought home six wins and one loss at the Wolf Howl Tournament, two wins and two losses at the Best of the West, and a record of 3-2-4 at the Brophy Invitational. Outside of these tournaments, the team has held a strong record of 13 and 3. Their losses are mostly to the stronger teams in the state, such as Brophy, Boulder Creek, Chandler, and Highland.

Coach Brian Pomerantz believes this is due to the unexpected level of maturity these teams have. When asked about how the season is going so far, Pomerantz said, “it is a little bit more challenging than [they] thought. Brophy, Boulder, Chandler, and Highland are all really good teams, so [they are] struggling with making sure we are better than them.” He believes “it’s been a challenge but it’s been productive, and it’s given us some really good goals and has been humbling.”

Pomerantz believes that in order to improve the record and prepare for the playoff the team needs to focus on bettering the team chemistry. According to Pomerantz, the Pumas “have a lot of talent, but … need to make sure [they are] all moving together.”

“The team chemistry is really good. We’ve gotten really good at working as a team. All of us are friends outside of volleyball so I think that helps too,” said Outside setter and captain Dalin Winward.

Outside hitter and captain Reid Wagner agrees, saying that coming together on and off the court better unifies the team.

To improve the team dynamic, Winward thinks the way to go is to work with the other team captains and focus on taking care of the players and showing strong leadership while on the court. “We still need to work on the basic fundamentals of the game and improving our chemistry as a team and working hard together to fight through the season,” Winward said.

Aside from possible improvements, the season has had some highlights as well. Excluding the tournaments, Wagner is proud the team has only had three losses. He believes this is a result of how the team has grown through the season.

Winward said the biggest achievement of the season was when they played Chandler in the Brophy Invitational, saying “that’s the best we’ve ever played.”

At their match on April 20, the Pumas beat Brophy, the number one team in the state, 3-2.

With high hopes for the playoffs, the team is confident they will make this season one no one will forget.

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