Boys Volleyball: All-City Team

Center: Player of the Year Mat Collins. First-Team All-City selections, clockwise from left: Lincoln's Johnson Li, St. Ignatius' Nate Woo, Lincoln's Philip Xie, Sacred Heart Cathedral's Matthew Tinio, Sacred Heart Cathedral's Alex Teranishi and St. Ignatius' Joel Schow. (Photos by Christian Chew, Doug Ko and Eric Luis, Illustration by Josh Jalil)

By Jeremy Balan

So much of St. Ignatius’ success in its breakout season was due to the team’s versatility and multiple offensive weapons, but on the biggest stages, when they needed a point, the Wildcats went to senior Mat Collins.

With a team-high 240 kills this season, Collins played his best volleyball late in the year, including a season-high 19 kills against Bellarmine in the West Catholic Athletic League championship game, giving St. Ignatius its first league title in school history.

That’s why he was chosen as the boys volleyball Player of the Year.

“When you’re a senior, you have to understand the leadership that comes with it,” Collins said. “I can speak [for] myself and [teammate Joel Schow], make or miss, we want the ball in those spots, and our teammates trusted us.”

Schow was also a solid contender for Player of the Year, and earned a first-team All-City selection. Playing out of position for much of the year, the senior may have been the best all-around player for the Wildcats in their unlikely run to WCAL and Central Coast Section titles.

“Not a lot of people thought we would do it,” Collins said. “Winning the WCAL and CCS championships, it was great to prove them all wrong.”

While St. Ignatius holds the most All-City selections, the first team is rounded out by a pair of players from Sacred Heart Cathedral and Lincoln.

Although Lincoln came up short to Galileo in the Academic Athletic Association championship game, the Mustangs featured the most explosive duo in the league, in outside hitters Johnson Li and Philip Xie. Without a doubt the premier hitters in the AAA all season, neither was selected as AAA Player of the Year, but they may have split votes because they were on the same team.

Sacred Heart’s first-team All-City selections, Matthew Tinio and Alex Teranishi, were co-captians for the Irish and a solid combo in their own right. Tinio was Teranishi’s favorite target as Sacred Heart’s setter and pounded a team-high 358 kills this year.

The first team may be entirely composed of seniors, but the City is not bereft of talented underclassmen.

Headlining next year’s core of standouts are St. Ignatius junior setter Teddy Niemira and sophomore outside hitter Ian Colbert (both second team), and a quartet of Galileo underclassmen that will make the Lions the favorite to defend their first-ever AAA title in 2012.

With Bay and Urban being the only small-school volleyball programs in The City, they were not overlooked, especially Urban junior outside hitter Evan Chang (honorable mention). Chang did a little bit of everything for the Blues this year, and earned a first-team All-BCL East selection in the process. All-City Team

Player of the Year
Mat Collins, senior outside hitter, St. Ignatius

First Team
Johnson Li, senior outside hitter, Lincoln
Joel Schow, senior middle blocker, St. Ignatius
Alex Teranishi, senior setter, Sacred Heart Cathedral
Matthew Tinio, senior outside hitter, Sacred Heart Cathedral
Nate Woo, senior libero, St. Ignatius
Philip Xie, senior outside hitter, Lincoln

Second Team
Ian Colbert, sophomore outside hitter, St. Ignatius
Hamidou Drammeh, senior middle blocker, Sacred Heart Cathedral
Norman Lai, senior libero, Sacred Heart Cathedral
Lincoln Lam, senior outside hitter, Lowell
Teddy Niemira, junior setter, St. Ignatius
Alan Tse, junior middle blocker, Galileo

Honorable Mention
Evan Chang, junior outside hitter, Urban
Nicholas Dailey, junior outside hitter, Sacred Heart Cathedral
Oliver Gan, junior outside hitter, Balboa
Alex Kinsella, senior middle blocker, Bay
Nathan Leung, senior libero, Washington
Jonathan Limu, freshman outside hitter, O’Connell
Nicholas Low, sophomore, setter, Galileo
David Peng, freshman outside hitter, Galileo
Jacky Peng, junior outside hitter, Galileo
Wyatt Rudnicki, junior outside hitter, St. Ignatius
Aaron Tan, senior setter, Lincoln
Jeffrey Wong, junior libero, Lowell
Tenny Zeng, junior outside hitter, Lowell

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(Photo Illustration by Josh Jalil)

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  1. Fan says:

    When is Riordan going to get a Volleyball Team so they can compete in the WCAL! I know they have added two other sports for next year but they also need to include a VB team too. Step up Crusaders. Congrats to these players.

  2. Anonymous says:

    evan is a beast!

  3. Ari Gold says:

    Schools that field teams in any sport where they get destroyed every game should really think about eliminating that team and re-allocating those valuable school funds to another entity of the school (arts, cirriculum, technology, saving teachers’ jobs, etc.).

    • johnny says:

      but that is not taking into account that it maybe a bad stretch players not interested in a sport. to cancel a whole program because of the lack of results is like saying you should stop teaching math because the math scores of the whole school are low.

  4. Steve Foy says:

    Congratulations to Mat Colllins for being named player of the year. Way to go and represent the St. Stephen alumni!

  5. Just a Fan says:

    I’ve seen all of the First-Team All-City selections play this year and they are all deserving of their recognition but it starts with the setter and ball control. Big hits are enjoyable too watch but the setter (Alex Teranishi) can control the volleyball with his dink shots (plus defense) that are unbelievable (the guy can sky) and the defensive play of Nate Woo is unbelievable. Too bad most observers of the game don’t appreciate the skill involved of controlling the ball – Just go on the court and give it try and you will discover how difficult it is versus just hitting it hard.

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