The Samohi men’s volleyball team finished second in the Ocean League season just concluded and is in line for a California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) playoffs berth.
With a match victory (3 games to 1) over Hawthorne last Thursday, the Viking varsity finished a perfect season of league play with the exception of two losses to a strong Beverly Hills squad that defeated Samohi in both away and home matches earlier in the season.
This is the second year in a row that Samohi men have advanced to the CIF playoffs, a great finale for the four seniors on the team; Ian Quick, John Schlierman, Jason Silver and Zachary Van Pelt. But the big story for 2005 is youth. The three players who saw the most action all season long are juniors, including setter Fred McLafferty and hitters Neil Cline and Michael Campbell. Junior Bronson Oliveira played back row in tandem with sophomore front row hitter Ari Feldman much of the season. Two freshman also platooned for varsity, front row hitter Gregory Wilson and back row passer Dmitri Glickman. A strong hitter and skilled blocker, Gregory Wilson just might be the best freshman front row player in the entire league playing at a level well beyond his age.It has been another strong season for head coach Liane Sato who earlier this year was inducted into the Samohi Alumni Association Hall of Fame, and was also elected “Coach of the Year” in the Ocean League by her peer volleyball coaches. Last fall, Coach Sato’s women’s varsity volleyballers also advanced to the CIF playoffs. Now the men carry the Viking banner into the 2005 playoffs. With most of Sato’s men’s volleyball starters returning next season, 2006 promises to be an even better year for Viking men’s volleyball.