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Volleyball: Upholding a tradition

By: Alex Zener

March 8, 2008   

Corona boys volleyball is starting a new 4A/5A Division I season with a completely new coaching staff—except for one familiar face, Coach Brynne Evans, who coached the boys JV team last season.

Rayna Aguilar is the new head varsity coach, with Evans taking on a new role as assistant varsity coach with the help of volunteer coach Brian Long.

The coaches may be different but the concept is the same. Corona has a tradition of strong volleyball programs for both girls and boys that these new coaches plan to uphold while attempting to add some of their own beliefs about coaching and team sports.

“It is important for players to experience the enjoyment of athletic competition and also learn the value of team sports such as self-discipline, reliability, teamwork and commitment to personal and team goals,” stressed head coach Aguilar.

“In addition, the focus of this season’s team will be on learning what our team’s strengths are and to focus on passing, defense, serving and strategy,” said Coach Evans.

Corona has a strong core of eight returning varsity players on which to build this season’s team—four of them starters from last year’s team. A highly-competitive CdS team that made it into the second round of the 2007 4A/5A Division I state boys volleyball tournament before losing to Central Region rival, No. 1 seeded Mountain Pointe, in five strongly-contested games.

“This season’s team has been working hard for us, no questions asked, and that is nice to see when you are a new coach,” said Evans.

“The boys are highly motivated, hardworking and enthusiastic about this season,” said coach Aguilar. “They are committed to doing their very best and are a group of athletes with lots of spirit, drive and dedication.”

Returning setter Sutton Demlong’s primary task is to read the defense and set his hitters where they have the best chance of being successful in killing the ball. Returning left-handed opposite hitter Andrew Bryant’s strategy is to persistently attack down the line or cross-court from the right side to keep the defensive players across the net guessing.

Also returning from last year’s starting lineup is high-flying, hard ball-thumping outside hitter Alex Zener whose goal is to assertively attack any balls set primarily to the left side of the net.

Ryan Fitzgerald, playing the libero position this season, has the responsibility of digging up all the hard-hit spiked balls that get past Corona’s blockers. His mission is to not let a ball drop to the court behind the 10 foot line in order to keep his team in the point.

In addition, Corona has two strong middle blockers in seniors Matt Austin and Clay Gittus who will do their best to “roof” their opponents hitters and hit a few of their own. Returning varsity players also include dynamic setter/outside hitter Drew Albert, and unrelenting outside hitter Steven Law.

Talented new players to the varsity team this season include outside hitter Austin Peck and middle blockers Sean Eddy and Alex Michaels. Sam Biniazan, Brandon Lake, Ben Goodwin, and Tres Kwilosz will provide a defensive presence.

Corona (1-1) has a match at Dobson, March 6, and then will not play again until after spring break when they play at Centennial, March 18, and at home against Notre Dame, March 19.

All matches are best three out of five games and are scheduled to start at 5:15. Information about schedules and results plus pictures of the JV and varsity teams can be found on the team’s website at .


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