Boys’ volleyball: Despite rough start, Falcons show glint of hope

April 6, 2010 — by Sulmaan Hassan

Despite an eight-game losing steak and injuries to key players, the Falcons managed to muster up a key victory against King’s Academy on March 24. This win instilled confidence in the team, resulting in three wins during the Leigh Tournament. But this new-found confidence was short lived when the team subsequently lost to Los Gatos on March 30 and then Monta Vista on March 31.
Players say these losses aren’t the results of being less skilled than other teams. Seniors James Kim and Daniel Chou, both captains and key players, suffered injuries during a game against Leland, which has affected their performance in the more recent games. Tearing a ligament in his back, Chou is fighting through the pain to play.
“I can hardly bend over, but there isn’t a replacement for me, so I just play through it,” said Chou.
Despite the Falcons’ attempt at perfecting their serves and passes, the team’s most recent loss against Monta Vista on March 31 was attributed to their numerous missed serves. Skill level does not seem to be the problem; rather, they say nervousness could be the problem.
“We get too caught up on not making a mistake, which actually leads to making mistakes,” said sophomore opposite hitter Steven Sun. “We need to play games being more relaxed.”
In the games against Willow Glen and Mountain View on March 16-17, the team repeatedly missed serves and shanked easy passes, resulting in a loss of valuable points.
“Serving is probably the least stressed aspect of volleyball, at least on our team, which is probably why we miss so many,” said sophomore outside hitter Salmaan Javed.
Consequently, the team has been taking measures to correct their serves and passes.
“We spend more time during practices passing and serving because we mess them up so much, but it’s something we need to do,” said Chou.
Having already won a number of games, the team became overconfidence and failed to hit their stride early in recent games, hampering their ability to stay pumped and play hard. But when opponents take a quick lead, the team loses its confidence and ability to play smart.
“We’re definitely better than we make ourselves seem,” said sophomore setter Brandon Pak. “It’s just nerves that take over and result in bad plays.”

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