May 02, 2016 12:17PM
● By Elena Hutslar
The Alhambra Men's Volleyball team placed at three tournaments recently: Dougherty Valley (2nd), St. Patrick St. Vincent (2nd), and Foothill (3rd), and have risen to become the winningest boys volleyball team in Alhambra High School history, achieving for the first time a national ranking for the squad in the top 50 boys volleyball teams in the country. At time of this printing, their current season record stands at 21-4, and they are 5-1 in Diablo Foothill Athletic League competition. Martinez has been waiting a long time for a boys volleyball team as good as this one. “Alhambra has not been this good since the glory days of the ‘Iron Man 7’ back in 2009,” according to John Gaines, website manager for Fans Of The Game, a mens prep volleyball blog that Gaines administrates.
Led by their three captains, outside hitter Jerald Jianoran, setter Savion Prieto, and libero Allin Torio, the Alhambra squad also feature middles 6'10" Will Jochum and 6' 4" Christian Cota, with outside hitter Kyle Magtibay and opposite hitter Nick Lucido rounding out the starting seven. In his second year as both JV and varsity men's coach at Alhambra, Coach Peter Crowley sees the emergence of his team as a sign of the growth in the popularity of boys club volleyball in the East Bay and its impact on the high school volleyball programs in the area. "There are two ways to build champion volleyball teams. One is to take freshmen and develop your own talent; the second is to have your players play club volleyball. The more you play, the better you get. I teach my boys to play with passion and focus, and when they choose to follow these instructions, they are hard to beat. Many of the teams we are facing this season have players that I know from the club world. One of my greatest pleasures in coming to a match is where I get to see my Alhambra team play against boys I have helped coach. There is a satisfaction in knowing that, whatever the outcome, there will be some great volleyball played at the highest level.” Alhambra has the opportunity to win the Diablo Valley Athletic League for the first time this year and move on to Division II North Coast Section, perhaps even to NorCal Championships.
Alhambra is running a one-day volleyball camp for boys and girls, ages 8 to 14, on Saturday, May 21, to benefit their cash strapped program. No previous experience necessary. Register through the online Alhambra school store at https://ahsbulldogstore.myschoolcentral.com.