Solomon Juarez

Coach Jeremy Moua shows his players how to strike the ball and explains the proper angles to take when the ball is making contact with their hands and explains the importance of following through with their strike.

Volleyball can be thought as a “girl sport” but now this sport is breaking the gender barrier. “Sports aren’t just for one gender,” boys volleyball coach Jeremy Moua said. “Having it back at schools will give our boys and those from other schools the opportunity to play and see what it’s like.”

Moua also played volleyball in high school, and since then he knew he would want to be a coach for the sport someday. “I have a passion for volleyball and I also really like working with kids,” he said. “Why not combine the two things into one?”

Moua isn’t the only one that’s ecstatic to start the season. Senior Davon Turner is happy to have made the team and excited to see what’s to come. Last year, he had heard some talk around campus that a boys volleyball team was going to be added to the sports list, but he wasn’t too sure if that was true. “I thought that it would probably be put through next year, after I didn’t come here,” he said. To Turner’s surprise, the rumors were true. “It feels pretty good to be part of a team that’s starting it all.”

Turner was surprised again when the sport didn’t turn out to be easy as he had thought it’d be. “Normally when you see other people play, it seems easy like ‘oh you just gotta hit the ball,’ but actually there’s a lot more that goes into it,” he said. The techniques in volleyball consist of knowing the proper order — bump, set, spike. Other techniques involve proper form such as snapping your wrist while spiking, keeping a flat arm platform when passing, and knowing the correct way to serve. The toss shouldn’t be too high and the ball should be in front of you as well as your hand.

“Sometimes if the boys did another sport, the skills required for that sport come out on the court,” Moua said. “It’s a step-by-step process to get the team to play correctly.”

For Turner, it was hard to have control over his power. He said, “The power has to be balanced between your arms and your legs. If you use both with too much power, then you’ll have no control over the ball.”

Freshman David Gutierrez always saw his sister play volleyball, and sometimes he would even play with her — so when he heard about the team, he knew he wanted to join. “I enjoy everything about it. The intensity, how fast it goes, and the hitting or passing of the ball,” he said. The freshman also knows that timing can determine the outcome of how things play out. “You need to know the right time of when to go for the ball. If not, it could all go wrong,” he said. “We’re just a couple of guys who don’t really know the sport yet but are willing to do what it takes to play the game.”

The boys’ enthusiasm and dedication for the sport is already transparent. Moua said, “The senior guys wish (volleyball) was available to them since the start of their high school career so they could have participated since then.” More than just teaching the young men volleyball techniques and skills, Muoa wants to create a safe place for them on the court and encourage them to always perform well academically. He said, “I want to promote life skills like hard work, being patient, and facing new challenges. It’s going to be wonderful.”