Last year, volleyball was one of the best sports at Quartz Hill High. In terms of success, the girls’ varsity volleyball team won the CIF Southern Section and their male counterparts made it to the semi-finals of the CIF Southern Section. This year, despite losing several of their senior starters, the boys’ volleyball team hopes to have another strong season.
On Tuesday, February 19th, the varsity and JV teams faced their respective competitors at Saugus High School for a friendly match. Last season, both of QHHS’ teams lost against Saugus. This year, however, the junior varsity team secured a victory, while the varsity boys lost in straight sets.
During the varsity game, the first set was a narrow victory for Saugus with a 25-22 due to a couple of missed serves by Quartz Hill players. The second set was a blowout; Saugus, led by their star-server Dillon Smith, scored 8 points in a row, winning with a whopping 25-14. The final set was the tightest of them all, finishing at 25-23, with Quartz Hill leading the way until the bad calls by the referee and a yellow card awarded to Quartz Hill’s Coach Dunham caused the teams to lose the game. Despite the tough loss against Saugus, the varsity boys were grateful for their opportunity to play against a high-level team.
Outside-hitter Benjamin Hardani shared his opinion on the game, stating, “Honestly, we didn’t play up to our full potential. We constantly missed serves, missed hits, and weren’t able to receive the ball as well as we hoped. However, we did have lots of strong plays led by our captain Nolan Taflinger. We’ve learned a lot from this game and hope to use this experience to improve significantly before our next tournament.”
Perhaps the most drastic change from last season to this season is the transition of coaches. This year, Ryan Dunham is coaching the varsity team, using his experience as a Division 1 volleyball player and several years of coaching experience to bring the team to glory. Last year, Dunham single-handedly led the AV High School varsity team to first place in Golden League. While talking about Coach Dunham, Hardani had nothing but good things to say about him: “Coach Dunham coached me at Hillview where we went undefeated without losing a single set. Dunham has so much to teach us about volleyball and we are extremely grateful to have him as a coach.”
In all, despite initial adversity, the boys’ varsity volleyball team seems to be on the right track for another great season. We wish the boys the best of luck in their season and hope they can go win CIF for us!