Boys Volleyball: Balanced Balboa attack too much for Urban

Balboa hitter Jonathan Tang (right) tries to put the ball past Urban blocker Sam Blakesberg on Wednesday at Balboa High School. (Photo by Devin Chen)

By Jeremy Balan

Just looking at the benches, it is clear the Balboa High School and Urban School boys’ volleyball programs are at different stages of development.

The Buccaneers, just a year removed from their first Academic Athletic Association championship in 2009, had a packed bench of 10 players, while Urban, in just its third year of varsity competition, featured two.

Still, the Blues didn’t go down without a fight, but the Bucs’ depth and experience proved too much to overcome in a 25-17, 25-15, 25-16 non-league win on Wednesday at Balboa High School.

“Not a whole lot of these guys have experience,” said first-year Urban head coach Roberto Chui. “Right now, they’re pretty much learning the basics and the game in general. The game is just too fast right now, but they are getting better.”

The balanced Balboa (1-2) attack featured nine separate players who recorded kills, led by four from middle blocker Jared Lucero, who also had two blocks.

“We have a lot of young guys, so we’re trying to build our base right now,” said Balboa head coach Jacky Su. “We only have five returners back from last season and they weren’t the starters on the team. Hopefully they get stronger as the year goes on.”

For the Blues (0-2), unforced errors plagued them throughout, but whenever Balboa would go on an extended run, Urban responded, often scrapping for points on hustle plays and pure effort.

“I like the fact that they’re really trying and really putting the effort out,” Chui said. “I know they can get better and I see potential in them, they just have to want to put the work in.”

The Blues also may have had the best player on the floor, in junior Evan Chang, who handled most of the setting duties, but was also Urban’s best hitter. But as the game progressed, the weight of carrying much of the load appeared to impact his play.

“He’s our one guy that plays club,” Chui said. “He might be putting too much pressure on himself, where he thinks he has to do everything perfect. He can’t think that he’s going to win the whole game [by himself].”

Balboa and Su, even after their first win of the season, also see plenty of room for improvement after a fourth-place finish in the AAA last season.

“We have a lot of work to do with all of the new guys coming in,” Su said. “We need to really work on our passing, then everything builds from there.”

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12 Comments

  1. swaggasteeza says:

    bals hella wet. they takin it

  2. Cats pride says:

    I’m only going to ask this since you’re covering male volleyball – are you guys going to be at any SI or Riordan track meets? It would be hard to go to SH ones since they have no track.

  3. Ari Gold says:

    oooooooooh SI and Riordan have a track. thats really cute Cats Pride. For one, SI’s track is awful for a meet. You have strong head winds blowing on the last 100 meters that ruins times. And Riordan’s Jolly Rancher track? Give me a break! … oh yah, how many U.S. Olympians track and field came out of SI and Riordan? Ever heard of Shannon Rowbury? SH track and field legend? Suck it again SI.

  4. Crusader Rabbit says:

    Tony Miller, Brian Flewellan, Aaron Thompson, Reggie Jackson……all Olympians or top notch collegians in track and field……..all dudes…….once again SHC relies on the women to make it competitive. It’s a good thing the school went co-ed!! It raised the testosterone levels when they let the girls in………they balanced out the estrogen levels of all the pansies that attend SH!!!

  5. Hardware says:

    You guys really should cover track, it and XC always seem to get overlooked by San Fran Preps. For instance, I was at the first BCL meet, and three BAC records were broken, and a state-leading time was run and there was nothing. I would think stuff like that would be as noteworthy as Balboa beating Urban in a preseason mens vollyball game.

  6. Hey says:

    All this whineing is annoying, was there a track meet yesterday? I dont think so, so stop your whining. Track is boring anyway

  7. Hardware says:

    I’m not talking about yesterday, track and Cross Country meets never get covered, no matter what happens.

    Besides, whats so boring about racing?

  8. Ari Gold says:

    @ Crusader… Great band, fabulous Forum, pretty good wrestling team, declining football team, blehhhh basketball team, piss-poor baseball team, cute white sweaters with purple and gold trim… thats just really cute Crusader. Yah you wish you had girls at your school. You’d be lying if you said no.

  9. Crusader Rabbit says:

    We have all of the SHC girls we want because the SH boys can’t keep them happy. In fact I was at your prom last year boy! By saying our sweaters are cute, you prove my point. Only softies say that type of………..stuff.

  10. sf giants says:

    how did urban beat sh in baseball????

  11. Cats pride says:

    @ Ari Way to get defensive quick. I wasn’t even trying to put SH down for not having a track, in fact the work they do without having one is pretty good. And just for reference Shannon Rowbury is now coached by an SI coach Al Berrin so…

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