Boys’ volleyball: Falcons start off bumpy

April 3, 2009 — by Sulmaan Hassan & Amanda Yi

After some significant changes this year, the volleyball team has its first five matches of the regular season.

Saratoga lost to St. Ignatius and Sacred Heart Prep in five games each, with Sacred Heart Prep winning by a mere two points. Westmont, Willow Glen and Los Gatos also defeated the Falcons at home in three games.

“We lost the first five games, but then again we did move up a division this year and all of the teams in this division, in a way, are CCS candidates,” said senior setter Shawyon Malek. “At least there’s good competition.”

Along with moving up a division, another reason for the team’s tough start is the graduation of last year’s talented seniors.

“After last year, we lost five starting seniors, so it’s definitely a year for me, Kevin [Fongson], and all this year’s seniors to really step up our game and lead the team,” said Malek, who is the team’s co-captain alongside senior hitter Fongson.

The team has added five new players: senior Ryan Pak, juniors Nathan Kim and Daniel Chou, sophomore Garrett Huening and freshman Steven Sun.

“We’re a really new team,” said Malek. “Pak has been playing [volleyball] for three weeks and he’s our starting middle. So that’s an example of how new we are this year.”

In order to improve, the boys will need to work on playing as a team and spreading the ball around. However, they do have a strong point that will hopefully help them this season, Malek said.

“Our back row people can get stuff off the floor, so our defense is pretty good,” said Malek, “but we need to step up our game and learn from our mistakes.”

Even so, the team hasn’t given up hope.

“We’re going to win games, there’s no doubt about that. The only thing is, our competition is much more difficult this year than it was last year,” said Malek. “There’s no doubt we’ll get better. We’re getting better every day.”