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The Foothill Dragon Press

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The Foothill Dragon Press

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Boys’ volleyball smashes Ventura in final game of the season

Claire Hadley
The Foothill Technology High School (Foothill Tech) volleyball team celebrates their victory for their final match of the 2024 season. Ventura High School’s (Ventura) Tuttle Gym was packed with cheering fans as the crosstown match ran its duration.

The crowd was eager with anticipation as the Foothill Technology High School (Foothill Tech) boys’ volleyball team geared up to play cross town team, the Ventura High School (Ventura) Cougars on April 18 in both of the teams’ final game of the season. As the match-up progressed, talents were emphasized as the Dragons easily took the win over Ventura, 3-1.

Head coach David Benedik reflected on the team’s performance, “I felt like today was one of our strongest performances of the season. We really came together as a team and we played with a lot of energy and passion the whole match.”

Foothill Tech players jump in attempt to block a volleyball spiked by Ventura, the ball barely escaped to the left of the blockers. (Claire Hadley)

The first set began with a quick lead for the Dragons as they built their way up to 8-1, followed by a timeout called by Ventura. Jayden Wallace ‘25 came out with great blocks and sets which put Foothill Tech in a 18-9 lead before Ventura was forced to call another timeout to try and get their heads in the game. The timeout was followed with swift hits made by James Sokoloski ‘24 to allow the Dragons to win the first set 25-18.

The second set started with Wallace as the server. The Cougars seemed to have strategized during their break as they came out with a 5-2 lead. Sokoloski and Wallace continuously worked together to obtain sequences of hits, although balls kept hitting the ceiling which hurt the Dragons offensive play. Nonetheless, the Dragons fought relentlessly as they brought the score to a tie, 14-14. Elijah Haigh ‘25 started contributing to the equation, with impressive blocks and hits from the outside.

Wallace commented on the team’s strengths during the game, “We were especially consistent with our hitting, we had very few hitting errors which was very good.”

As both teams continued to work hard, the set led to a tie at 25-25. As the score kept fluctuating, a tie was once again held at 27 all. Ventura made an unsuccessful hit that didn’t reach the top of the net which ended in a 28-27 lead for the Dragons. Subsequently, Sokoloski hit a spike which gave the Dragons a 29-27 second set victory.

Team captain, James Sokoloski ’24, hypes up his teammates as they prepare for the first set of the game. (Claire Hadley)

The third set started out with Ventura’s serve. Ventura had a run of points as they started off the set strong, 11-6. The Dragons were eager to catch up, strategic dumps were made by Wallace and menacing blocks performed by Will Haas ‘24. After long rallies and tense play, the Dragons caught up to Ventura with a score of 22-24 when Ventura called a timeout. The game went into play once again, Ventura won the final point and with that, took the set 23-25.

Sokoloski reflected on the team’s performance, “They just fought really hard, they worked their butts off to get everything off that they could. The blocks and effort to get every ball up and to finish off every point was really nice to see.”

The Dragons started with the ball in the fourth set, eager to finish the game off strong. Tyler Nelsen ‘25 made many  outside hits which allowed the Dragons to start off the set with an advantage of points, 16-12. Based on hard play from Ventura and small mistakes made by Foothill Tech, Ventura was tied up with the Dragons 25-25.

After a communication mistake made by Ventura, the Dragons to gained a point, followed by two out of bound hits from the Dragons. Foothill Tech called a timeout when the teams were tied at 27 all. In the final minutes of Sokoloski’s last game, he hit two outside hits which allowed the Dragons to take the set 29-27, and with that the game.

Sokoloski commented on his feelings playing in his last game, “I’m sad that it is my last game ever, [although] I’m happy that it was with this team. This has been my favorite team out of the four years that I’ve played here.”

The Dragon’s season ended victorious with a hard fought win against cross-town team Ventura.

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About the Contributors
Nisha Reddy
Nisha Reddy, Communications Director
Fear my D.
Claire Hadley
Claire Hadley, Photographer
Short girl who is addicted to the beach, chugging tea, watching "Grey's Anatomy" and manufacturing random concoctions in the kitchen.

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