For a team that looked well on its way to earning the best playoff seed the team has had since Head Coach Adam Black became the program director in 2009, the boys’ volleyball team has faced much tougher competition in the battle for second place in Mission League standings after Spring Break than before. Though the Wolverines dropped two crucial matches in the second run through to teams they had beaten earlier in the year, they still look in position to earn home-court advantage in the first round of playoffs.
“We’re playing well,” Black said. “We’re playing consistently throughout the whole entire season with improvement.”
The Wolverines entered Spring Break with a record of 11-4-1 overall as well as 5-1 in Mission League, with only a loss to Loyola in league play. Loyola was undefeated in league play last year, and is on pace to finish this season as the undefeated league champions as well. However, the Wolverines would automatically earn home-court advantage in the first round of CIF playoffs if they finished in second place in league standings, and players have said all season that their goal was to earn that automatic home-court advantage in the opening round of playoffs.
The team beat Crespi in its first competition after the break, but fell to Notre Dame and Chaminade, two teams the Wolverines handled during the first half of the league season.
“When we returned to practice after Spring Break, it was obvious that we as a team were not performing to our potential,” Hudson Ling ’15 said. “It took a tough loss on the road at Notre Dame to wake us up, and then a close battle against Chaminade, in which we unfortunately fell just short again.”
However, the team rebounded with a win against Alemany last Thursday to round off the team’s league record at 7-3 as of press time. Overall, the team is 15-8-1, but non-league play is irrelevant for playoff seedings. With no other league team playing as consistently well as the Wolverines did in the first half of the season, both Ling and Black said a record of 8-4 should be good enough to earn the second seed out of the Mission League.
The Wolverines played St. Francis yesterday in a game which would essentially guarantee the Wolverines the second place spot in league with a win, but results were not available at press time. The Wolverines host Loyola today.
“With this big win at Alemany, it was clear that we are back on track,” Ling said. “This is the energy that we will bring for the rest of the season and playoffs.”