Ceres High’s varsity boys volleyball team posted a remarkable turnaround this spring.
The Bulldogs set three program records by compiling a 19-12 overall record and finishing in second place in the Western Athletic Conference standings (9-3).
Ceres High also qualified for the Sac-Joaquin Section Division-II playoffs.
The Bulldogs went 7-9 and took fifth in the WAC (4-6) a year ago.
“This year was different. We communicated better. We put more energy into our play.”Christian Murry
“This year was different,” said Christian Murry, the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2018. “We communicated better. We put more energy into our play.”
CHS closed out the WAC season with a 3-0 (25-13, 25-22, 25-10) win over Pacheco on April 16 in Los Banos.
“We played with a lot of positive energy,” Murry said. “We communicated and competed.”
The Bulldogs had a combined record of 9-0 versus Pacheco, Mountain House and Los Banos in WAC play.
Ceres High lost three times to first-place Lathrop (12-0).
“We clicked from the start this season,” Murry said. “It’s not surprising. Our whole team is strong. We have faith in each other. Our coach has faith in us. She pushes us to do our best.”
Ceres High’s varsity boys volleyball program earned its second postseason berth in its four-year history.
The 13th-seeded Bulldogs lost 3-0 (25-12, 25-16, 25-20) to No. 4 Golden Valley Cougars in the first round on April 29 in Merced.
Murry had 14 kills, 14 digs, four blocks and one ace.
Jacob Rodriguez had 19 assists and four digs,.
Victor Hurtado had 19 digs, three blocks, one kill and one assist.
Ivan Arrita had 12 digs, six blocks and four kills.
Verlis Smith had seven digs, four blocks and three kills.
Sam Garcia had five blocks, two kills and one assist.
Aaron Delgado had three digs.
“It’s really tough competing on the road in the playoffs,” Murry said. “We could have won if we played to our ability. Going into the match, we had confidence. Our nerves got to us in the first game and we never recovered.”
Golden Valley topped Ceres High 3-1 in non-conference play on April 15.
The Bulldogs will lose two players to graduation, including Murry and Arrita.
“We had a good season,” Murry said while assessing his team’s overall play this spring. “We improved a lot. Our team chemistry was amazing. Our major goal was to get to the playoffs.”