Volleyball: Boys defend CCS title

May 24, 2016 — by Derek Chen and Trevor Leung
vball

Led by unstoppable outside hitter Joel Schneidmiller, the Falcons boys’ volleyball team started winning early this season and never stopped.

 

Led by unstoppable outside hitter Joel Schneidmiller, the Falcons boys’ volleyball team started winning early this season and never stopped.

On May 17, they defended their Coast Central Sectionals (CCS) Division 2 title against Leigh High with a 3-1 win in the finals, bringing their overall record to 30-6.

“It's great winning another championship for the school and showing people that Saratoga isn't just an academic school,” said senior setter Chester Leung, who finished with the second most total assists in the nation according to MaxPreps: an amazing total of 1,146.

Leigh High started the game strong, winning the first set 25-23, but the boys rebounded and won the following three sets 25-19, 25-15 and 25-23. Schneidmiller impressed with 37 kills, bringing his total to 639 in the season, the second most in the nation.

“While [Schneidmiller] obviously contributed a ton to the team, I really think the championship was a team effort and we needed everyone to win,” Leung said.

After dropping the first set, the boys were determined to play harder for the rest of the game.

“We focused on coming out harder with more energy and serving better,” Schneidmiller said.

The boys came back and eventually ended the match with sophomore middle Harrison Fong’s game-winning block.

On May 4, the boys wound up their regular season with a 3-0 win against Mountain View. They finished with a 10-4 league record in the tough De Anza League.

“Playing in the De Anza League helped us hone our skills and prepare us for the CCS tournament,” Leung said.

The team defeated Mt. Madonna at home 3-0 on May 12 in the CCS quarterfinals, and Archbishop Mitty at St. Francis 3-1 on May 14 in the CCS semifinals to get to the CCS finals.

“As a team we played better in situations where we needed to catch up when we were losing,” senior outside hitter Spencer Yen said.

The team also learned a lot about themselves during the tournament.

“We went into CCS pretty optimistic as we’d beaten most of the teams already,” Yen said. “But after the second round game against Mt. Madonna, we saw that as long as we served well and passed and played defense, we could beat almost any team.”

The Falcons were looking to NorCals on May 24 with their opponent still yet to be determined. Leading up to NorCals, they were concentrating on resting. (Results of NorCals occurred too late to include in this edition of the Falcon.)

“We’re focusing on staying healthy,” senior opposite Noah Quanrud said. “We’ve been having light practices so that we’ll have fresh legs for [NorCals].”

Yen believes that the team has a promising opportunity to make it deep in the tournament.

“We can definitely make a run,” Yen said. “We are ranked 19th in California, so [we] have a good chance considering most of the top teams are in a different division.”