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The Student-Run News Site of Carnegie Vanguard High School

Upstream News

The Student-Run News Site of Carnegie Vanguard High School

Upstream News

Behind the Scenes: Boys’ volleyball managers leading their team to glory on the court and beyond

Sarah Ramos
CVHS Boy’s Volleyball team after winning their second game against Kipp East End 3-0.

Behind most sports teams is a ball, a team and most importantly, a coach. This is not the case for the CVHS boy’s volleyball team. The team is led by six female students, each taking on a different role in the club.

Despite their varying roles, together they are setting the foundation for the season by leading weekly practices. The managers are working the team to success as their upcoming season is bound to be filled with surprises, and this will be their first time being a part of a league

“Honestly, we had our first game on Friday and we did well. There were some hiccups but I think at practice, we can fix them. It was also their first game so they were just really getting into it but the seasons’ gonna go pretty well,” said Head Manager and Sophomore Daniella Lopez.

While the managers focus on the technical aspect of the team, players praise the new efficiency that has been implemented as a result of the team joining a league.

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“I feel like right now it’s more organized than ever. Because we have specific things in place like the league. We have specific days. We don’t have to be scrambling for this and that we know when practices we don’t have to be guessing,” Outside Hitter and Team Captain Senior David Trackhtman said

Despite this, the unique academic standing of Carnegie can lead to some minor hiccups in games and practices. With half the team missing their first game due to a robotics competition, the CVHS boy’s volleyball team nevertheless secured a 3-0 win against KIPP Connect. Just hours before the game, Trakhtman explained how he and his managers collaborated to strategize the best course of action for the team.

The team is huddling during a time-out while playing against Kipp Connect. (Jeffery Bui)

“I’m hoping to just see a win because we are missing half our team due to robotics, so the managers and I have been racking our brains on positions because we are missing a few that are quite essential, I would say,” Trackhtman said, “I’m just unsure of what’s it’s gonna look like if we had the whole team…today is going to be a challenge not just for the players but for the managers.”

Although the team secured their win, many of the players on the team were new to the sport. Knowing only the basics of passing, setting and hitting in the sport to get them through practices and games while they continue to learn about it, several players’ passions stemmed from outdoor volleyball.

“There are a lot of new players, especially from robotics. They go outside to play volleyball all the time, and they’ve done even more now that they’re seniors because their workload is a little lighter than in junior year. They started to fill that spot that they would use for studying and stuff with something a bit more active. I think the fact that we have so many new seniors who are just willing to try out new things. It’s going well,” said Head Manager and Sophomore Chloe Tran.

Trackhtman also took notice of the influx of senior players, but despite their new player status, some are still equipped for the challenge which did not go unnoticed by Trackhtman.

“We have seniors who just out of nowhere decided to play volleyball because it was their senior year. You could just tell like, wow, they’re kind of made for this. So those are the newbies that you know, I think deserve a chance to try and start as well,” Trackhtman said

With more than half the team being new to volleyball, not only the athleticism but drive, oftentimes enhanced by other sports, has allowed many of these players to be naturally gifted in volleyball

“I think there’s a difference between athleticism and coordination. A lot of our players have a good balance of both, but there are some people like I stated earlier Kevin plays tennis. He might have better hand-eye coordination than some other people who generally haven’t played sports, but they’re also people whose athleticism and drive make them want to improve a lot. So there’s a good balance of the two between the team besides the players that don’t already have club experience,” Tran said.

Balance has been a prevalent theme as the volleyball team joined a league, from the proportion of new to veteran players to how the practice is conducted, which Tran feels has facilitated the team bonding that is important to the success.

“I think that’s what kind of hindered us from moving forward in the way we play games. But now that we figured that out, the team has grown to have a balance between discipline and having fun, because I think one of the reasons why our team works so well is because everyone gets along. They’re all in the same grade. Almost all of them are in the same friend group. And so I think team bonding has been a positive consistent [thing], but just understanding the game has gotten a lot better,” Tran said.

The common denominator in Trakhtman, Tran and Lopez’s answers about what they hope the players get from being on the team. With the pressure of CVHS putting all grade levels alike on edge and with the seniors of the team embarking on the journey of adulthood, enjoyment is a necessary action that not only helps drive the team but can have a lasting impact

“I just really want a lot of the guys who are seniors this year to kind of leave with like, ‘Hey, I think I want to keep playing the sport in college just for fun.’ So it’s a good way of leisure. I think that I want them to understand that volleyball is just so much more than, ‘pass, set, hit.’ It’s a lot of factors into it … that they may not understand yet, but I want them to leave understanding it,” Lopez said.

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About the Contributors
Roxell Bonilla, Sports Editor
Roxell is a senior at CVHS. She loves sports of all kinds, especially soccer and volleyball, and even runs some sports clubs here at Carnegie. She also loves frogs, with the cute tree frog being one of her favorites. She has three dogs and four cats at home—one of which is named Kiwi.
Sasha Cabral, Editor-in-Chief
Sasha Cabral is a senior at CVHS. A musician and an artist, she imbues everything she does with creativity. She loves rock music, the colors red, black and pink, and art. Bold and inquisitive, Sasha is excited to write and highlight the different perspectives of our community.
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    Joseph MutagayaMar 4, 2024 at 2:07 pm

    I like this story! CVHS’ sports teams don’t get a lot of love and I feel like this story gave a really in-depth insight into the day to day ups and downs of the team and their motivations for joining/playing! Great job!