Despite coming up two points shy of the final four, the Pierce men’s volleyball team sees the past season as a positive.
“I got coach of the year, our setter got MVP and all of our starters made first or second place in the team conference,” head coach Lance Walker said. “We missed the final four by only one play, but overall, I think we had a great season and a huge success.”
The Brahmas’ 5-1 conference record secured the Western State Conference – North title, and the 13-6 overall record earned them the No. 7 seed in the state playoffs. Both results a vast improvement over the 2016 season where the Brahmas went 5-7 in conference, 7-13 overall, and missed the postseason.
The first round of the playoffs sent the Brahmas down to Santa Monica College where they fell 15-13 in the fifth and final set.
According to middle blocker Amir Haghi, a lot of their games were a close. Unfortunately for the team, luck wasn’t on their side during the last set of the quarterfinals.
“A lot of the times it was just the toss of a coin, especially in the quarterfinals,” Haghi said. “We went to the fifth set and we lost by two points. I think it was just luck, but overall I think we had a great season.”
Opposite hitter Brandon Oswald said that he was proud of their effort and of the results they had throughout the season.
“We did what we were set out to do by making the playoffs,” Oswald said. “We did have a tough loss against Santa Monica in the quarterfinals, but overall I think we grew as a team, we played hard and we left everything out on the court.”
For Walker, the success of the season goes beyond the on-court results.
“All of my sophomores and a few of my freshmen are moving on to scholarships,” Walker said. “Which means that we have 100 percent transfer rate, and we had 100 percent academic eligibility this year, so that’s part of why I’m saying the season went great.”
To Haghi, the key to the season was teamwork.
“I think that our team had a great strength because we bonded with each other,” Haghi said. “We really cared for each other, and we held each other accountable for the tasks each position was responsible for.”
According to Haghi, the one thing that could have helped everyone as a team would be to keep emotions in check.
“Moving on to the next point after making a mistake instead of continuing to think about it, but then again that’s player to player,” Haghi said. “At the end, I feel like we did a good job.”
For Walker, the goal for next season is the same as every season. While success in the standings is always wanted, Walker knows it is not the defining factor for a season.
“The main goal for us is to try and win state championship, but the major success, whether we win state championship or not, is not the big picture of what’s most important in life for these guys. I think that as long as we still transfer athletes, and as long as we give it our all, we will have another great season,” Walker said.