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The Paw Print

The Paw Print

Boys volleyball setting the standard

Oliver Marks

“Again!” head coach Jack Prater hollered; his voice catalyzing the team’s next set of sprints. Beads of sweat streaked down the boys’ cheeks and squeaks from their shoes on the hardwood floor echoed throughout the gym. With a look of determination on each of their faces, the team surged through their final sprints, not a whisper of complaint lingering in the air.

Poly’s boys volleyball team has undergone some changes since last year, yet they continue to demonstrate their perseverance through their work ethic in the gym during practices and workouts. With Head coach Katrina Damasco on maternity leave, Prater has stepped up to the challenge with a simple goal: bringing Poly another Prep League title and possibly a CIF ring. The team endured yet another setback following Bardia Vincent’s graduation last year, a departure that left monumental shoes to fill for the remaining members.

Currently sitting at a strong record of 6-2, the boys have taken down some tough opponents with minimal bumps in the road. Three of those wins were overpowering victories, with Mark Keppel High School, San Marino High School, and St. Paul High School all failing to win a single set against Poly.
“A lot of our early success really just comes from the sheer volleyball talent on our team alone. We have a ton of club players who are all extremely talented,” commented senior Cole Mallinger. Seniors Scout Hollinsgsworth, Pierre Vincent, Justin Wang and Cole Mallinger have been leading the charge, guiding this group of young talent in their journey towards another Prep League Title and a possible CIF Championship.

Prater added, “We have solid senior leadership on the team. That experience in the program helps establish team norms early. Add the exuberance of the younger players bringing the fun and energy to the court. Whether we play either home or away, everyone is having a good time!”

Though the team has seamlessly won the majority of their matches so far, they continue to seek improvement both within team chemistry and skill sets on the court.

Prater commented, “We are talented across the board, but we can continue working on being consistent about communication and being supportive of each other so we can weather the rough patches and rebuild momentum.”

Senior Pierre Vincent added, “We can definitely improve on our service receive. Without good passes it’s hard to get our offense going, so we’ll definitely look to keep focusing on that in practice.”

Looking forward, the team has a bright future ahead of them as they strive for another successful season and league title. Make sure to come out and watch our Panthers on April 3rd as they take on Prep League rival Providence High School!

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About the Contributors
Luke Kim, Sports Editor
Grade: 12 Years on Staff: 3 Fun Fact: My personal 32 oz water bottle chugging record is 8.5 seconds. Favorite Movie: Top Gun: Maverick
Oliver Marks, Assistant Sports Editor
Grade: 10 Years on Staff: 2 Fun Fact: I love to cook! Favorite Movie: The Banshees of Inisherind
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