Foothill Tech boys’ volleyball splits early season matchups with Dunn, St. Bonaventure


Aidan Gomez

Tyler Jorden ’23 (number 10) serves the ball to St. Bonaventure. He played extremely energetically and contributed a large amount of points to the final score. The Dragons were slain in the fifth set, 15-10. This loss drops them down to second place in the Tri-Valley League.

Nisha Reddy and Chance Leandro

On the cool evening on March 7, the Foothill Technology High School (Foothill Tech) boys’ volleyball team faced off against Dunn School (Dunn) at Cabrillo Middle School in their second league game of the season. 

In routine fashion, the Dragons kept up their undefeated season alive with a 3-0 sweep.

A duo of Dragons leap over the net to try to block an oncoming hit from their opponent. The defensive efforts of Sam Noah ’23 (number 13) and James Sokoloski ’24 (number two) played a part in the much-needed win against their league opponent. (Luigirey Guce)

As soon as the game started, the Dragons came out hot and dominated the first set 25-7 with substantial teamwork and communication. 

However, Dunn came into the second set with newfound determination. The Dragons responded to secure the first point with an ace from James Sokoloski. 

The Dragons traded points with Dunn until a beautiful touch from the Dragons allowed Foothill to pull away 13-7. 

The Dragons continued to put pressure with their serves as Spencer Jones ‘25 scored six points in a row to cement the Dragons into the lead. 

Foothill Tech maintained this pressure and won the second set nearly as easily.

Coming into the third set, the Dragons looked to close the win out against Dunn. 

Jones had a great spike to start the Dragons on a run in the first minutes of the third set, going up 3-0. 

A point from Tyler Nelson ‘25 kept the Dragons in the lead 5-2. Dunn responded with a three point run to tie the game up 5-5. 

Moments before the game starts, the Dragons observe their rivals as they warm up. They also take this time to stretch and get loose for the much-anticipated matchup. (Luigirey Guce)

The Dragons slowly pulled away with some solid team points to put them in the lead 8-6. After more trading of points Jones converted a massive block to the Dragons further into the lead at 13-9. 

Dunn responded with three points in a row and pulled within 13-12. The Dragons responded with an onslaught of points to run away with the win 25-16. 

When asked how the team played today, Jones said, “I think we played well today with just some small mistakes, still undefeated”. 

Coach Mark Denitz said, “We played really well today, we were really focused and that showed in the scores.” 

Looking to continue their winning ways, on March 14 the Dragons battled it out against their rivals, the St. Bonaventure High School (St. Bonaventure) Seraphs, in a five set boys’ volleyball game. After going down two sets to zero, Dragons stormed back but lost by five points in the last set of the game. The Dragons had an undefeated record of 5-0 coming into the game, but suffered their first loss in a league game to fall to 2-1. 

Sofia Patiño

Coach Denitz clarified the expectations before the game, “We always expect a win, and I was proud of the effort the boys put into the game today.”

The first set started off with St. Bonaventure on fire, as they took an opening lead of 7-1. Hitters James Sokoloski ‘24, Sean Scampone ‘23 and setter Tyler Jorden ‘23 brought on the intensity in an attempt to close the gap, and they led the Dragons to their first few successful points. They succeeded in inching closer, with a score of 14-12 Seraphs, but St. Bonaventure continued to lead until they took the victory of the first set with a close score of 25-23.

After a nail-biting game, Tyler Jorden ’23 (number 10) puts up an amazing set for his teammate Spencer Jones ’25 (number 9). Jones elevates in hopes of spiking it past his defender. (Aidan Gomez)

The second set started out with the Seraphs playing similarly to the beginning of the first set, as the Dragons could dig many of the hits they were receiving. Midway through the set, the score was 13-9, Seraphs. The rallies went on for longer, as the Dragons were determined to catch up. Setter Jorden made precise, clean sets into teammates’ hands to produce some successful hits by Sam Noah ’23, Spencer Jones ‘25, and Sokoloski. 

Sokoloski and Owen Houston ‘23 worked together several times to set up powerful connections between Jorden and Sokoloski. The score stayed at 23-17, Seraphs, until a miscue from Foothill Tech ended the set at a score of 25-18, Seraphs.

The Dragons were prepared for the crucial third set where they looked to avoid a sweep. Spencer Jones ‘25 started off the game with good hits, leading the Seraphs to call a timeout with a 10-6 score for Foothill Tech. The student section brought up its energy, chanting “Fear the D” as the timeout occurred. 

When the game started again, intensity was high on both sides. After a Seraphs comeback, the score was knotted at 23. The Dragons were ready as Sokoloski slammed an outside hit, followed by Jorden winning the final point of the set off of a service, and the set ended in 25-23, Dragons.

Set four also started off well for the Dragons. Houston, the libero, had many successful digs in order to set up smooth sets. Sets put up by Jorden got hit by Noah and Jones. The pair of middles blocked well throughout the first half, and the score was 17-13, Dragons.

The Seraphs called two timeouts in the span of a few minutes, allowing the Dragons to slow down, and make a game plan. Scampone and Sokoloski quickly wrapped up the set with incredible hits from assists by Jorden, and the set ended at 25-22, Dragons. 

After coming back from down 2-0, both teams were motivated to finish what they had started.The fifth set started off lopsided once again, 6-2 Seraphs. Once again, Foothill Tech clawed their way back as Noah and Jorden proceeded to block well, along with Houston making great digs off of hits from the Seraphs and the score was 10-7, Seraphs. Now possessing the momentum, a crucial throw was called on Jorden, and it proved to be the knockout blow for Foothill Tech. The score became 14-9, Seraphs, but the Dragons fought, with Sokoloski getting a powerful hit, 14-10. The game ended with Jones attempting a block, but the ball ricocheted out of bounds. The last set ended in a score of 15-10, Seraphs resulting in the first loss of the season for the Dragons. 

Sokoloski comments on how the team played, “We hit and blocked well, but our passing and serving could’ve used a bit of work. We can definitely beat them next time.”

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