With the mens volleyball season well underway and the team dominated in pre-season and is currently sitting in fourth in their league. They brushed aside teams such as Placer, Roseville and Folsom.
The new coach Eric Houston, is coaching the team to win. He has practice everyday of the week, except on game days. He fills the competitive practices with running, hitting practice, and running plays.
With a successful pre-season the team was prepared for their first league game against El Camino. The team was pumped and ready to take on their main rivals.
El Camino won the two first games of the match. However, Rio fought back and won the next three games to win the best of five match.
The team started the season on a high and have been riding on that euphoria throughout the season. Playoffs in right around the corner and the team is well on their way to qualifying.
They won their last league game against Bear River and are projected to win their next 3 games ahead of their next El Camino meeting.
Last weekend the team went to the Brian Nolan Varsity Invitational Tournament where they crushed Jesuit 2-0.
In a preseason game the Raiders lost 3-0 to the Marauders, but evidently picked up their game. The Raiders have had trouble beating the Marauders in past years but have found the formula to dominate jesuit in volleyball. The win showed how far along the team has come from the beginning of the season. The team has bonded more and have developed a winning mentality.
“That was a great feeling to beat Jesuit for the first time in who knows when,” said junior captain Luke McDonald.
They also played their league opponents Whitney in the invitational and beat them 2-1. The team had a strong showing in the tournament against some of the best teams in the state and look ready to carry their momentum into league play.
“We are going to pull it together and come out with the win. Being captain I need to make sure everyone is playing their hardest and then hopefully come out with a win,” said senior captain Cole Mier about the Raiders’ rematch against neighborhood rival El Camino.
Along with both Mier and McDonald, the third captain is Corbett Kaniff. Mier is the only senior captain, meaning more of the leadership responsibilities fall on him, both on and off the court.
Rio is tied for third with El Camino in league; the two teams next meeting will decide which school will take the last CAL playoff spot.
The next time the two teams will face is on April 18. The game will ultimately decide who advances onto playoffs.