SLV 25, Harbor 10. San Lorenzo Valley Varsity volleyball dominated against their number one volleyball rival, defeating them three matches to zero with at least a ten point lead during each match. This was eight years ago, During SLV’s Most recent run for the League title in 2010.
Since then, both Varsity and JV have been working to recover the superior skill that was once encapsulated in the Cougar gym. Unfortunately, for the past three years, Varsity has been crushed by the Santa Cruz teams, and JV has been virtually non-existent.
This year has marked a turning point, the JV team is currently ranked first in the league with 5 wins and 1 loss. The team has a great group of returning sophomores that have the ability to lead the team to a league victory. The team’s only loss came against Mount Madonna. For years the team has dominated the volleyball scene, playing the sport year round. Quinn Herzon described the team: “Mount Madonna is insane, whenever we play them you can always tell that SLV is in for a good game.” Herzon knows first hand, as he was a player in SLV’s first league game against Mount Madonna.
The JV team came out first that night with high spirits. The first match was a mess for both teams, a back and forth cat and mouse game that involved the lead switching from team to team. Ultimately, Mount Madonna triumphed, with a narrow win of only 25-23 for the first match. SLV then went on to win the next match by a landslide of 25-18. With both teams containing one win under their belts, the referees decided to play one overtime game. This game was only to be played up to 15 points, so the team that came out the strongest would ultimately win. Unfortunately, that team was Mount Madonna.
After the JV teams played, it was time for Varsity to set the stage. Varsity came out with an equal amount of energy, but was soon crushed by the dominance of Mount Madonna. “It was relentless,” said Charlie Ussat, a JV spectator. “The kills just kept on coming and we couldn’t stop them.” SLV lost three straight games, being swept by the overpowering Mount Madonna.
Through the chaos and despair of losing their first home games, there was a sort of hope distilled within the two teams. They knew that the worst was over, and all the following teams would be easier than Mount Madonna. For JV this was true, but for Varsity, their first game only marked the beginning of yet another long year of losing. Since that game, Varsity’s record is 1-6, with only one win against Scotts Valley.
Even though Varsity’s shot at the league title is now gone, JV still has a chance. With a current first place standing, they have a real chance at winning league. In order to do this, outside hitter Teodor Deutsch says “We need to work better as a team, this means communicating and minimizing our mental errors. In general, our technical skills are through the roof, but it is the stupid, avoidable errors that kill us.” At JV’s last game, this was obvious as their matches against St. Francis came much too close. SLV barely came out on top with both matches ending 25-20 and 25-22.
In order to restore their once dominant reputation, the SLV JV volleyball team is expected to keep up their stature. In the coming years, the current Sophomores will hopefully contain the knowledge and leadership necessary to return SLV to the top of the throne.