Wolverines hampered early in season by injuries

Although the boys’ volleyball record may not indicate it, the squad has gotten off to a strong start this season.

As of publication, the squad holds a league record of 3-4, and an overall record of 6-5-1.

Although this record may make it seem as though the Wolverines are having a challenging season, teammates insist that their record is not representative of their potential skill when the team is healthy.

“Even this early in the season, we have already had some unfortunate injuries, which was definitely made an impact on the team,” Xander Klein ’18 said.

While team members are happy with the quality of their practices, the energy they put in to their practices does not seem to be materializing in the games themselves.

“The teams we have played so far this season certainly have seemed beatable, but I think when the actual game comes around, we just haven’t been bringing the aggressiveness that we have showed ourselves to be capable of in practice,” Anthony Navarro ’18 said.

Although last season ushered in the arrival of new Head Coach Ryan Casey, Program Head Adam Black has returned as the varsity team’s head coach, with Casey staying in the program as an assistant coach.

The graduation of six seniors from last year’s team led to younger players on the team stepping up, and this

While this year’s seniors have been important to the team’s success, with Collin Shannon ’17 being one of the team’s strongest hitter and Andrew Lehrhoff as starting libero, sophomores and juniors have also stepped up to play critical roles on the team.  Chester Ranger ’18 has emerged as the team’s capable setter, and Jack Nordstrom ’19 and Cole Welch ’19 have both been starters on the squad this season.

“I think the younger players have made a huge impact as our team mostly consists of them,” Klein said.  “The freshmen and sophomores have done a great job of stepping up both mentally and physically to help us succeed.”

The younger age of the players on the team has had both its positive and negative aspects.

“The fact that the team is a lot younger than last year means we have a lot of time to develop our skills and that we have very good potential, especially as the season continues on,” Klein said.  “That being said, there have been a couple times where we could have done better, and that has mainly been due to lack of experience [of the teammates].”

Even with the squad’s current record, they are still happy with their performance.

“For a team as young as ours with only a few varsity returners, I’d say the season is going pretty well,” Andrew Lehrhoff ’17 said.  “While our record might not show it, I think we are competing at a high level and I am very optimistic about the future of our season.”

Proof of this can be seen with the squad’s play at the Dos Pueblos Tournament at UCSB, where the team finished with a record of 3-1-1.  At the tournament, they exceeded expectations by winning a set against Westlake High School, a highly ranked Division I team.

Following last year’s 3-9 league record and failure to secure a playoff spot, the team wants to continue to develop on the court as the season goes on, so as to make less errors on the court.  That being said, the work the squad is committed to putting in lends itself to their ultimate goal, especially considering how last season’s campaign ended.

“We definitely want to make playoffs this year,” Navarro said.

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