Here at Clemente we work to cultivate academic values in all of our student athletes. Teachers and coaches work together in sessions called study tables every week to ensure students are focused on their class work first and foremost, and then get busy on the court or field. Study tables were especially important for the boys volleyball team this week, as most of the team members are sophomores who completed their IB personal project—a school-wide sophomore research assignment. Having taken advantage of study tables to wrap up their projects, the team came to practice with laser focus for the upcoming game against Clark High School.
In the first varsity match, our boys held on to a close lead, but as the game went on, Clark started pulling away serve by serve. Sophomore coach, Ms. Dryjanski (coach D) is quick to call time out to give strategy that will hopefully put a freeze on the opposing team and get Clemente back on the scoring side. In those few seconds, Coach D redirected the team’s tactics and sent them back to the court with a new game plan. The Wildcats battled, hustled, and worked hard to win, carrying a victory for set 1 on the sophomore level. Major contributors to the success of this match, are Archie Cunningham (#8), Robert Torres (#6), and Kelvin Aguirre (#4). As pictured in this article, they can be seen jumping up to block Clark’s offense.
Clemente’s boys volleyball team is young; however, this does not deter the team from playing every ball with authority and passion. The team has consistently drilled the bump-set-strike strategy and has been executing it with precision more frequently, which is one of the reasons they won the first sophomore set 25-23. Coach Tolene said after the game, “Something that this team has is a drive to get better; they ask for longer practices [extending past 6:30pm]. They would practice every day of the week if they could. You can’t coach that, that has to come from inside.” The team is young with a lot of room to grow, but is developing into a well-oiled machine with every practice and every game. Look out for the Wildcats as they compete in the upcoming days, April 24th at Kelvyn Park and April 25th, as they host Alcott here at Clemente. See you there!