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Heese confident in CV boys
Canelo Villanueva and Yoshi Kumar
Central Valley’s varsity boys volleyball team will rely heavily upon Canelo Villanueva and Yoshi Kumar during the 2020 campaign. - photo by Dale Butler

Central Valley’s varsity boys volleyball program won just 5 of its 21 matches last season.

The Hawks could experience a major turnaround this spring.

“I always believe anything is possible if you put your mind to it,” head coach Kelly Heese said. “The team will need to stay focused and work together.”

Central Valley’s top returners are Yoshi Kumar (So.), Canelo Villanueva (Sr.) and Erick Martinez Stucchi (Sr.).

The Hawks’ top newcomers are Hector Hernandez (Sr.), Abel Montano (Sr.) and Gerardo Pantoja (Fr.).

“We have good talent,” Kumar said. “Our strengths are our hitting and passing. We need to work on communication.”

Kumar earned first-team all-Central California Conference honors as a freshman.

“I want to strive for more success, keep learning and make myself and team better,” Kumar said.

Central Valley amassed a 5-16 overall record and placed fifth in CCC standings (4-8) a year ago.

The Hawks finished behind Golden Valley (12-0), Merced (9-3), El Capitan (7-5) and Buhach Colony (7-5). 

“The CCC is an extremely tough division,” Heese said. “I do like that we play in it though because I believe my guys get challenged a lot more, which will only make them stronger players.”

“We’re really grateful to have a coach like her (Heese),” Kumar said. “She wants us to push ourselves and get better every day. I feel this year, we’re ready to compete and take on these tough teams. Our team is ready to make playoffs.”