Boys Volleyball Spikes the Competition with an Exceptional Team


Gustavo Damian Danemann Soto

Senior Dash Martin spikes the ball at a game against Coronado.

Gustavo Damian Danemann Soto, Editor-in-Chief

   With split-second reflexes, precise sets, and confident blocks, UC High’s Boys Volleyball Team looks to ace their way to victory.

   This is a notable season because it should be the strongest team we have had in several years. We have some very talented seniors as well as a group of younger players that blend very well,” said Coach Aaron Hartin.

   The team won first place in the Silver Division of the Sweetwater Tournament in February. “We had six wins and one loss. It was a lot of fun and we all played very well,” said Sophomore Justin Byrd.

   “The sheer amount of games we played over those two days of the [Sweetwater] Tournament allowed us to hone our defense and offense while building team chemistry. Our captain [Senior] Dash Martin really came in clutch in the finals with a 10-point serving streak,” said Sophomore Petar Radomirovic.

   “This season is special because of great new talent joining us, such as [Freshman] Lincoln Holzman, and it marks the last year of our great seniors, Shahab Asgari and Dash Martin,” said Byrd.
   Hartin had great praise for the graduating seniors. He said, “Shahab… is one of the most athletic, strongest players I have ever seen. Students should definitely come to the games as he always puts on a great show. Dash is our leader and best player. His volleyball skills are elite.”

   Hartin shared that one of the team’s main goals is to qualify and compete in Division II playoffs. He said, “Last year, we qualified but lost in the first round in a really close match with Mt. Carmel. We would like to do better this season.”

   According to Sophomore Arjan Singh, the team is also hoping to win CIF Championships and are mostly practicing on improving consistency. In terms of strategy, the team has been working on using their tall middle blockers more in their attack. Radomirovic said, “They are very efficient at getting points and no other teams can really challenge their attacks.”

   “The team is currently working on a variety of skill sets including hitting, blocking, serving, passing, and more,” said Junior Tommaso Panigada. “Even when you have great teammates, you still need to be able to understand how they play, and how to consistently play your best,” said Byrd.

   “This year we have improved immensely on all of our defense, which has allowed us to run more complex attacks than we could last season,” said Radomirovic.

   Players find the team to be greatly rewarding, returning each year with further enthusiasm. “I keep coming back because the atmosphere is great and the team is really close,” said Singh. “The friendships within the team keep me coming back each year. Everyone on the team is super fun to be around and supportive, making this sport worth the time investment,” said Panigada.

   Hartin has been coaching both the Girls and Boys Volleyball Teams for ten seasons. He said, “I love coaching and I love volleyball. The players are amazing young people and I love being a part of what will be some of their best memories in high school.”

   Along with team goals, players have an array of personal objectives. “My biggest goals this season are to improve passing and increase my vertical jump, two essential tasks of the game. I’m excited to improve my skills this year and am hoping to contribute as much as I can to the team,” said Panigada.

   As of April 5, the team had a record of 17 wins and 5 losses overall, undefeated in League with a record of 3-0. Additionally, the team was running a four-win streak as of April 5, according to high school sports database MaxPreps (