After a successful run last season as Co-Trinity League champions and a spot in the CIF-SS Open Division quarterfinals, Orange Lutheran boys volleyball is looking at a fresh start as they work to create a new identity.
Last spring saw the graduation of players Grant Oh, Riley Oh and Connor Bloom – three Lancers who had been the face of the program for the last four years. This year’s talented group is poised and ready to take on the challenge of establishing a new legacy as they build on the team’s recent success.
“This identity is going to be new, it’s going to be fresh, it’s going to definitely be a new look for OLu,” says OLu boys volleyball head coach, Henry Valiente. “It will be refreshing to see new players step up in a new role for themselves.”
Seniors Andrew Karges and Mark Todd will be key in developing this new identity. They will be supported by sophomore Tyler Irwin and newcomer junior Preston Schmidt, both of whom are ready for breakout seasons.
The coaching staff sees tight competition once again in the Trinity League, and feels the title is up for grabs, with OLu definitely in the running. The Lancers kick off their season this Thursday, February 24, against Malibu, followed this weekend by the Foothill Varsity Classic, a tournament that Valiente feels will be a good indicator for where the team is at.
Given the challenges of the last two seasons, Valiente and the players are thankful for a full season and a sense of normalcy.
“I think what we have learned through the past (two) years is how grateful we are for the sport and a season,” says Valiente. “This year, I’m just looking forward to us being so passionate because we are so grateful for every moment on the court.”