Under first year volleyball coach Nate Hill, the athletic Cougars are on pace for another strong season.
“We have great athletes at every position,” Hill said. “These guys all know the game and are coming together as a team quickly.”
Hill is the soccer coach at SLV, but when asked to take the job as volleyball coach with the assistance of last year’s all-league setter Alex Parker who graduated in 2010, Hill agreed to the position somewhat reluctantly.
“Volleyball isn’t really my forte,” Hill said. “The administration didn’t want to turn over the varsity program to Alex because he just graduated last year.”
Fortunately for Hill, the Cougars are experienced and deep with two returning all-league selections in seniors Nick Gorman and Jared Johnson. Both players had brothers on the 2006-07 SLV volleyball team that took second in the SCCAL. Their brothers Clint Gorman and Josh Payne-Johnson were both standouts for the Cougars and both made the all SCCAL first team.
SLV got an added boost from senior Xavier Chavez who transferred this year from Sacramento, and is already making a big impact in the Cougars two setter offense, Hill said.
The Cougars next host Aptos at 6:30 p.m. on March 22.
Volleyball returns to Scotts Valley
First year Head Coach Liz Smith will have her work cut out for her, but said she thinks the dividends will pay off down the road, as the young Falcons rebuild this season. After watching the boys sit last year out due to lack of coaches and players, Smith decided that she would take the job and bring the Scotts Valley volleyball program under her wing.
The Falcons will not have a junior varsity team as they don’t have enough athletes, which will give the talented freshman much more experience.
Smith is a freshman physical education teacher at the high school and saw a good group of young athletes at the school.
“We have some really promising freshman on this team,” Smith said. “It will be a building year but the outcome will be huge for them down the road I think.”
Senior captain Stefan Galewski is a powerful middle blocker for the Falcons who will devour sets from three different setters this season. Zach Jacobson, Noah Carl, and Steve Lonhart are all freshman setters who share the hitting responsibilities in the 6-2 offense Scotts Valley will be running this season. Brett Turner is another powerful freshman who will be helping at outside hitter, Smith said.
The Falcons continue their season March 22 when they host Pacific Collegiate School at 6:30 p.m.