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Ready for a challenge
• CV’s boys volleyball team to compete in revamped CCC
Ivan Velasquez (22), Omar Espinoza and Central Valley’s varsity boys volleyball team will face tougher opponents this spring. The Hawks are now members of the Central California Conference. - photo by Dale Butler

Central Valley varsity boys volleyball head coach Kelly Heese and her players welcome the challenge of competing in a new league this spring.

The Hawks moved from the Western Athletic Conference to the Central California Conference as part of the Sac-Joaquin Section’s realignment plan.

“We’re not going to get slaughtered. We’re going to hold our own.”
Coach Kelly Heese

“We’re not going to get slaughtered,” head coach Kelly Heese said. “We’re going to hold our own.”

Central Valley’s top returners are Omar Espinoza (Sr.), Bobby Cisneros (Sr.), Angel Soto (Sr.), Ivan Velasquez (Sr.) and Javier Villanueva (Jr.).

Yajnesh Kumar (Fr.) is the Hawks’ top newcomer.

“I’m blessed to have an amazing group of guys,” Heese said. “They’re working hard.”

Espinoza, a fourth-year player, and Cisneros, have been named team captains.

“They’re good leaders on the court,” Heese said.

Kumar will be a major contributor as an underclassman.

“It made sense to have him compete at varsity,” Heese said. “He clearly was far above JV level.”

The revamped CCC features a total of seven teams: Central Valley, Patterson, Atwater, Buhach Colony, Golden Valley, Merced and El Capitan. Buhach Colony and Golden Valley tied for first with 10-2 records last year.

Central Valley (4-6) tied for third place in the WAC standings with crosstown-rival Ceres High in 2018.

“We’re in a stronger division,” Heese said. “The tougher competition will only better our program.”

The top three teams qualify for the postseason.

“Everybody wants to make the playoffs,” Heese said. “If we play our game, we’ll be a contender for that. Everyone has to be on the same page. If not, that makes it (winning) difficult.”