West Valley Preps’ 2019 boys volleyball preview

Deer Valley's Andrew Fausett hits a ball over the net while Centennial junior Dallin Dutry leaps to block it on March 15, 2018 at Centennial High School in Peoria. Both players are back for their senior seasons. [Jacob Stanek/West Valley Preps]

Compiled by Richard Smith
West Valley Preps

Last week marked the beginning of the high school boys volleyball regular season. West Valley Preps asked Northwest Valley coaches to take a look at their teams:

Centennial Coyotes

5A Northwest Region
2018 record: 9-8 (Reached 5A play-in game)
Coach: Cari Bauer (14th year as Centennial boys coach)
Top Returnee: Dalin Dutry Sr., OH
What is your team’s best attribute entering this season? It is a very athletic, competitive group.
What will your team need to improve for the season to be a success? The more volleyball touches they get, the better they will be … excited to watch the improvement over the season.
Who are your team leaders? Senior Dallin Dutry.
Who are newcomers to the varsity squad that could make an impact? Frosh setter Chaz Barrett, middle blocker Micah Barrett, and sophomore setter Samuel Skaggs.
What needs to happen for your squad to reach the state tournament this season, or reach the goals the program has set? We are taking one day at a time … by mid to end of season, we’re hoping to surprise some people. The guys have the tools … sometimes it just takes time.

Deer Valley Skyhawks

5A Phoenix Region
2018 record: 18-2 (Reached 5A semifinals)
Coaches: Kim Ulrich-Suss (17th year as Deer Valley boys coach after 15 years coaching girls volleyball), Eric Palmer (7th year as Deer Valley co-coach)
Top Returnees: Nathan Schrade Sr., MB (242 kills, 97 total blocks); Ben Nguyen Sr., OH (225 kills, 193 digs, 58 aces); Nathan Chapparo Sr., OH (234 kills, 174 digs)
What is your team’s best attribute entering this season? Our biggest attribute in 2019 is experience. We have 13 seniors and 1 junior, Brady Kuhn, who have all played club volleyball for Club Fusion together for 3 years in addition to school ball.
What will your team need to improve for the season to be a success? We need to improve our focus and learn how to peak in big matches under pressure.
Who are your team leaders? Our team captains are setter Jack Puentes and libero Flamur Gashi. We have 2 Nates, Schrade and Chaparro, who can light up the gym offensively. Ben Nguyen is an amazing jump server, who set the school record last night with 22 points and 11 aces in 1 set. Matt Beard has become a prime time blocker at opposite.
Who are newcomers to the varsity squad that could make an impact? The only new addition to our team from last year’s loss in the state semi-finals is Troy Killman. At 6-8 we hope he can gets some  blocks down the stretch.
What needs to happen for your squad to reach the state tournament this season, or reach the goals the program has set? In order to reach our goals, we need to be consistent aggressive servers , in order in order to take tough teams out of system and play relentless defense. Most importantly, peak when it counts the most!

Ironwood Eagles

5A Phoenix Region
2018 record: 9-8 (Reached 5A play-in game)
Coach: Marcy Robb (31 years as a high school volleyball coach)
Top Returnee: Nate Guzman Jr., OH; Dante Pagliuca Sr., S.
What is your team’s best attribute entering this season? Our best attribute is that the boys truly like one another and we are young.
What will your team need to improve for the season to be a success? We need to improve on everything. We do not have the luxury of having boys volleyball at the elementary school like most of the other districts so we are always starting with the basics.
Who are your team leaders? Mathew Holmes, Nate Guzman and Dante Pagliuca
Who are newcomers to the varsity squad that could make an impact? New player with a huge impact is Will Haskell. He is our sophomore starting varsity quarterback with no volleyball experience.

Liberty Lions

Liberty’s Daniel Moore attempts to hit the ball over the net against Sunrise Mountain on April 24, 2018 at Liberty High School in Peoria. Moore is back for his senior year. [Jacob Stanek/West Valley Preps]
6A Desert Valley Region
2018 record: 9-8 (Reached 5A play-in game)
Coach: Ashley Leparulo (fifth year)
Top Returnees: John Estrada, Sr., L; Ryan Pavia, Sr., OH
What is your team’s best attribute entering this season? Having even seniors on the team this year that have all been in the program for a number of years, we have more experience than we have had in the past so I am excited to see them step up this year in leadership.
What will your team need to improve for the season to be a success? Making plays in crucial moments and minimizing the errors made on our side.
Who are your team leaders? Our leaders early in the season have been senior Evan Honer and senior John Estrada. They are pushing their teammates at practice and in matches, helping our younger players learn the game, and elevating their own game in the off season.
Who are newcomers to the varsity squad that could make an impact? Newcomers this year are senior and six rotation outside Jack Saulnier, sophomore Karsyn Upton one of setters moving up from JV and junior outside Ian Eliason who brings a seriousness and intensity to our team this year.
What needs to happen for your squad to reach the state tournament this season, or reach the goals the program has set? Our team needs to find the value in each point, increasing the speed of our game, and finding the smartness required to beat teams that have been playing together for years.

Millennium Tigers

6A Desert Valley Region
2018 record: 7-11 (Reached 6A play-in game)
Coach: Shawn Brannick (Third year)
Top Returnees: Mason Galindo, Jr., L; Adam Smith, Sr., OH
What is your team’s best attribute entering this season? The team has formed a strong bond over the last few years.  We had some great seniors to help start the program in year one, but outside of that we have kept the same core of young guys for the past two years.  They enjoy competing together and spending time off the court as well.
What will your team need to improve for the season to be a success? The past couple years the boys have shown tremendous growth in their play and dedication to the sport.  We have been able to compete with strong programs all over the valley.  This year we are looking for those signature wins to get us to the next level.
Who are your team leaders? Our captains are sophomore setter Nathan Avitia and Junior Outside Austin McKee. We return five other varsity starters in Senior Outside Adam Smith, Junior Opposite Oskar Kozieja, Junior Middles Miles Duncan and Hayden Coday, and Libero Mason Galindo.  We bring back key contributors from the bench in Senior Middle Greg Hess, Junior Middle/Opposite Jake Palmer, Junior Outside Peyton Mooth, Junior DS Andres Martinez, Sophomore Libero/Setter Bernard Conrique, and Sophomore Outside Gabriel Garcia.
Who are newcomers to the varsity squad that could make an impact?We had a unique situation that allowed us to have a large freshman and sophomore class on varsity our first year of the program in 2017. The guys took their lumps playing against some very talented senior laden teams those first two years. The experience has made the boys hungry to compete at the highest level this year.
What needs to happen for your squad to reach the state tournament this season, or reach the goals the program has set? Our goal is to make some noise in the postseason and contribute to the success Millennium athletics has experienced this year.

Mountain Ridge Mountain Lions

6A Desert Valley Region
2018 record: 7-10 (Reached 6A play-in game)
Coach: Jeff Williams (Fourth year)
Top Returnees: John Estrada, Sr., L; Jack Sullivan, Sr., S/OH
What is your team’s best attribute entering this season? Working hard everyday at practice and creating a Ridge culture. Great leadership
What will your team need to improve for the season to be a success? Being more confident in ourselves.
Who are your team leaders? Jack Sullivan
Who are newcomers to the varsity squad that could make an impact? Tyler Strow, Connor Knutson, Grant Rosinski and Aiden Clayton
What needs to happen for your squad to reach the state tournament this season, or reach the goals the program has set? We need to come together as one squad who believes in each other and trusts one another.

Peoria Panthers

5A West Valley Region
2018 record: 2-14 (Did not reach playoffs)
Coach: Steve Treguboff (ninth year as coach)
Top returnees: Jarom Wallace, Sr., S; Everado Chavez, Sr., RS
What is your team’s best attribute entering this season? We have more experience with only one senior graduating from last years team. This group has a great love of playing the game and it shows in practice and in our first couple of games. They love to compete and get after the ball. 6-6 senior John Price has one year of playing experience under his belt and is getting better every day, Jarom Wallace is a great setter and a leader on and off the floor with Everado Chavez becoming a stronger hitter.
What will your team need to improve for the season to be a success? To reach the success we are looking for our team has to really improve our passing game so that Jarom can use his great touch with setting the ball and give us the hitting options we want.
Who are your team leaders? Jarom Wallace and Omar Hernandez are our captains and they are great competitors who lead be example.
Who are newcomers to the varsity squad that could make an impact? Ethan Howard is a second year varsity player who reads the game well and has really taken on a main roll at libero. We expect him to continue to get better at all parts of the game and communicate with his team mates. Israel Rivera is a sophomore who we expect to be on the floor in specific rolls as a right side hitter and back row player.
What needs to happen for your squad to reach the state tournament this season, or reach the goals the program has set? We need to be able to take control of games and maintain that control for entire sets. Last year we had a tendency to drop off when games got close or long sets/matches but with the experience we have this year we know how to be able to sustain another teams run and keep our own. If we can do this consistently, we can make a good run at the playoffs.

Sunrise Mountain Mustangs

5A Northwest Region
2018 record: 16-2 (Reached 5A semifinals)
Coach: Tony Gale (16th year as coach)
Top returnees: Jacob Faulkner, Sr., L; James Hansen, Sr., OH
What is your team’s best attribute entering this season? Strong work ethic and potential of the players. They put in during the off season.
What will your team need to improve for the season to be a success? It is an extremely young team. So a lot of players are in new roles and mental toughness is a question.
Who are your team leaders? Seniors James Hansen and Jacob Faulkner and junior Colton Tutrone are captains.
Who are newcomers to the varsity squad that could make an impact? Freshman setter Kyle Berger and sophomore middle hitter Radu Iosifescu.
What needs to happen for your squad to reach the state tournament this season, or reach the goals the program has set? The season will be about being in the mix for a region title, earning a spot in the state tournament and the continual development of our volleyball skills.

Sunrise Mountain’s Jacob Faulkner bumps the ball against Liberty on Tuesday, April 24, 2018 at Liberty High School in Peoria. [Jacob Stanek/West Valley Preps]


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