Boys volleyball jumps into first

The OHS boys volleyball team in action against Liberty High School.

Photo by Kaitlyn Smitten

The OHS boys volleyball team in action against Liberty High School.

Kaitlyn Smitten, Sports Editor

OHS, much like many other high schools, prides itself on its sports programs. With an amazing season last year, OHS boys volleyball returns even better than before. 

Earlier this season, the boys volleyball team attended a tournament in California, which ultimately led them to playing top tier teams and taking them down. Currently, OHS boys volleyball is ranked number one in the nation—and number one in their fans’ hearts.

“Traveling to California really got us these rankings. We won ‘The Best Of The West’ which is a very prestigious tournament in California,” said Troy Dueling, coach.

Although OHS is ranked number one, the team is still humble about their tremendous ranking. 

“I think we’re in the thick of adversity right now. Just staying focused, being good in the practice gym and continuing to get better and not reading so much into these rankings,” Dueling said. 

Even though it is an amazing opportunity for the athletes and the program to be ranked so highly, the athletes cannot let it get to their heads. They need to be able to perform well under the pressure of being such a highly ranked team. 

“If we don’t end the season how we want, then the rankings don’t even matter,” Dueling said.

Team dynamics is also very important when it comes to maintaining a great season.

“Being there for each other and being in this together. If it’s a tough day we are all on board with that and just continuing to strive and get better,” Dueling said. 

The OHS boys volleyball is highly competitive this year, partially due to their loss in the finals last year. That loss has motivated them to be the best that they can be.

“We lost in the finals last year in a tough 5-7 match,” Dueling said.

The team has also implemented different ways of practicing during the season, and the off-season.

“Continuing to get better and staying healthy. It’s going to be a long season so just managing our bodies and making sure we’re taking care of ourselves,” Dueling said. 

Any sport is trying on the human body, but with all of the cardio and strength required in order to play at such a competitive level, it can cause injuries in athletes, so their best way to keep themselves healthy is implementing strength training and taking care of themselves in order to avoid injuries.

“Physically we were in the weight room a lot, so we can last physically through these longer matches,” Dueling said. 

Not only is a team’s physical health important, but also their ability to trust each other and be there for one another. 

“It’s been great. My coach and teammates really put me in positions to succeed and get ready for the next level,” said Zach Rama, senior. 

Having a good support system is also beneficial to all athletes and OHS boys volleyball is no exception to this. 

“I think that my mom is more of an inspiration to the sport itself and the knowledge of the game and such because she was playing at a high level for a long time while on the other hand my dad inspires  my work ethic and more mental side of the sport in general,” Rama said. 

Everyone has an origin story, even athletes. Many players on the OHS volleyball team have different ways of getting into their sport. 

“My mom played in college and introduced me to the sport. She actually coached me and a bunch of friends and it kind of just stuck with me for a while until I started playing more  competitively,” Rama said. 

Although the team is going to lose a lot of its upperclassmen, the underclassmen are expected to step into the role and lead the team to yet another successful season.

“If we want to do well then we need leaders,” Dueling said. 

Hopefully the OHS boys volleyball legacy is passed on to future groups of athletes, as well as the healthy and happy environment that comes with playing for OHS. 

“Next year is gonna be a whole new group of guys. Just kind of starting the process over and learning and I’m excited for that group to get a hold of this program,” Dueling said