By SANJIT DEEPALAM
The UHS varsity Boys Volleyball team lost 1-3 to Mission Viejo High School (MVHS) on March 15. The loss came after two difficult games in the Tesoro Tournament against Mater Dei High School (MDHS) and El Toro High School (ETHS), which ended in 0-3 and 1-3 losses, respectively. MVHS has a strong volleyball team, with many players who practice and play with clubs outside of school, so UHS was a bit outmatched going into the game.
The Trojans lost the first two sets of the game, but in the third set, the team’s defense improved and the entire team began to play better. The team took the third set, and got off to a great start in the fourth set, but sloppy playing nearing the end of the game meant the team had to take a loss. The majority of the team’s points came from captain Matin Bikdeli (Sr.) and Diego Perez (So.).
The volleyball team still has areas that need improvement; for instance, the team’s predictability hurt them against MVHS. “We have some key players that are our go to but once another team picks up on our tendencies it’s hard to make the system work,” Bikdeli said.
When asked about possible solutions to the issues, Bikdeli said, “We, as a team, have to work on building a deeper team where we can rely on many different guys to come in and do a great job and help us win. We can have a way more flexible team that way.”
As the team moves forward and continues to compete this season, the Trojans hope to improve the synergy of every player. “We have the guys to have a great year at this point, it’s how much the rest of the guys want it,” Bikdeli said.
Regarding his outlook on the team, Junayed Naushad (Sr.) said, “We have a fairly competitive team because of our physicality and athleticism, but what we need to work on our fundamentals and trying to improve from the ground up. That’s the only way we can reach our potential as a team and compete against all the other really good teams we play against. We just need all the players and parts of the game to come together, and that’ll only happen if we practice on working towards wins as a cohesive team.”
The team ended last year fifth in league, but hopes to make it to CIF this season. The team hopes to bounce back from its losses in a pre-league home game against Los Alamitos High School on March 23.