Boys’ volleyball: season starts with wins

March 15, 2018 — by Jayne Zhou and Sandhya Sundaram

With the loss of multiple key players, the varsity boys' volleyball team focuses on improving their defense.

With a new coach and a rebuilding  team following the the graduation of four-year starter and star player Joel Schneidmiller, boys’ volleyball has started off the season with three wins, one loss and one successful tournament.

Because the team did not have a preseason, players had to adjust with only two practices with the full team before their first game.

The Falcons won against Los Altos 3-2 on Feb. 28. Junior captain Derek Chiou is struggling to make up for a lack of offense with the loss of Schneidmiller. No longer able to count on his consistent spiking, they are unable to end points easily, resulting in longer, more drawn-out games.

“It was a little closer than we would have liked,” Chiou said.

According to Chiou, the new coach, Chad Kingi, is giving more play time to players who were benched in previous seasons.

“We get a different perspective because our last year coach liked playing some people more than others, but this year, it’s like a chance to improve yourself,” Chiou said.

On March 2, the team lost to Harker 3-0, a loss they attributed to poor defense and a lack of communication.

According to senior outside hitter Harrison Fong, the team improved in these areas the following weekend when they played in the Washington-Fremont tournament. The team made it to the semifinals of the tournament with a record of 3-1.

“We played much better and got closer as a team,” Fong said.

Sophomore co-captain Mohan Duvvuri said that unlike last season, where the team would focus on trick plays for the opposing team, whereas Kingi’s style is more old school, focusing on the fundamentals of individual skills.

This season, they are also focusing on making up for the key players that they lost.

Since we lost [Schneidmiller],  I feel like this year, we’re working a lot harder,” Duvvuri said. “We have pretty good hitting even without Joel. But we have to work a lot on our defense — that’s our main thing this year.”

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