Falcons struggle to adapt to as they adjust to new coaching

April 1, 2019 — by Justin Guo and Oliver Ye

Although the Falcons began their volleyball season slowly, they have rallied back and are on a four-game winning streak as of April 1.

The boys suffered early-season losses against teams such as Los Gatos, Homestead, Harker and Monta Vista, but won 3-2 on March 27 against Mountain View and 3-0 against Los Altos on March 22.

Junior setter Mohan Duvvuri has attributed the early difficulties to adjusting to the graduation of nearly their entire previous starting lineup. With key hitters such as alumni Evan O’Brien and Collin Hovey gone, the team’s offensive power has taken a large hit.

In order to adjust for this loss, veteran players have had to step into new positions; senior Derek Chiou now plays as outside hitter instead of as a libero, and senior Usman Khan plays as a middle blocker instead of as an outside hitter. Faced with positions that they were not used to playing, the Falcons struggled at first with communicating effectively and running quick plays.

In terms of technical skill, setter Mohan Duvvuri said that the team’s major weaknesses was their blocking ability as well as their lack of aggressiveness.

“It’s hard to block because we’re not that tall of a team,” Duvurri said. “But we also need to be more aggressive while hitting. A lot of the time we shy away from the ball when we should be swinging instead.”

However, the team has also had to adjust to a new and young coach, Brendan Wang, who previously played on the varsity team at Homestead in 2017.

Duvvuri said that Wang’s inexperience was something the players had to find a way to adjust to.

Older players, such as Derek Chiou, Joshua Lee and Usman Khan, have all stepped up to help the new coach lead the younger members of the team.  

“There was a learning curve that the coach and players needed to overcome,” said Lee.

Riding this winning streak, the team is optimistic about their chances of making CCS and advancing.

Due to printing deadlines, The Falcon was unable to cover the game against Cupertino on April 3.

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