With a grand total of ten seniors, the Lancers are starting this season with a strong core of experience and leadership.
Lancers boys volleyball is setting their sights on the playoffs this year. Following a 21-11 overall season the previous year, the program feels that they have a strong foundation to build off of with a large amount of returning players for this season.
“The senior leadership will make a huge impact for us,” senior outside hitter Johnny Anselmo said. “Our seniors are all experienced players so we’re able to guide the sophomores and juniors in the right direction while also improving upon ourselves.
Having 10 seniors on the team makes this season the culmination of many players’ high school careers, so the thought of a CIF title is on many of their minds.
“I set goals each year. Sometimes those goals are a long-shot, other times they are much more attainable,” head coach Seth Burnham said. “This year I feel like they are much more attainable they most years. They are; make CIF playoffs; win league; make a deep run in CIF.”
The team knows it won’t be an easy feat though, competing in the Marmonte League with powerhouse teams such as Newbury Park and Westlake.
“Newbury park is our strongest competition,” Anselmo said. “They have a solid team all the way around and it’s going to take our best to beat them. We won’t win by getting lucky, and we’re going to have to play extremely well.”
Building off of their previous successful season, the team is confident that they have progressed to a point where they have the chance to not only make the playoffs, but go far.
“We are basically returning everyone, and all of our guys are a year older and wiser, and have more experience and maturity,” said Burnham. “Not making playoffs last year, despite being ranked in top 3 of Division 2 has really left our guys hungry.”
With so many individual talents on the team, the Lancers are focused on setting personal goals for themselves this season and improving themselves as players.
“My personal goal is just to do the best I can each game,” junior middle blocker Sean Schmutz said. “For every game I want to be able to confidently say whether we won or lost.”
With the amount of talent this team carries into the season, their strengths are apparent in their play to start out the year.
“The overall level of athleticism on our team is our main strength. We have so much potential because we have so many high level athletes and some that play multiple sports,” said Anselmo. “I know that a lot of the players will get better throughout the year just from knowing their athletic potential.”
Carrying multiple Division 1 level commits, such as Anselmo who committed to Pepperdine last year, this experienced and athletic team is focused on taking on a competitive Marmonte League and providing their 10 seniors with a CIF run to finish out their high school seasons.
“[If we] focus on ourselves, our consistency and work hard everyday, [then] we should end up in a great spot.” Burnham said.
With the chemistry and talent so abundant for this team, it’s safe to say that this experienced and exciting group has more than just a winning season on their mind this season.