The Dragons volleyball team found victory this year when they bumped, set and spiked their way to the top of the record boards and to the conference trophy. For the first time in Del Sol history, the Dragons earned their spot as the League Champions, thanks to their 12-3 record, which was the best league performance. The graduating class also shattered records on every volleyball stat in the last two seasons, which is something the team is extremely proud of.
This season, there were many memorable and important moments for the team. Some meaningful games included the many tournaments the team participated in throughout the season. Thanks to the many levels of competition, the team learned several lessons.
“Our athletes learned that even though we are doing well in our league, compared to those teams in high levels, we have work to do,” Head Coach Walter Tum said.
One very important game of the season was the game against Sky Pointe, which was the State semifinal game. The team faced Sky Pointe five times throughout the season, three times for conference play. Overall, Del Sol defeated the Eagles three out of the five times. For the final game of the season, the Dragons fell to the Eagles in five sets, ending their season with a 12-2 record.
“The lesson learned was that talent cannot win you a game; effort, attitude and mental fortitude are the differences between winning and losing,” Coach Tum said. “As a coaching team, we have learned from three years of failure at the State Semi Finals and we intend to change the mindset and culture for the new crop of players entering our program. Too many missed opportunities during the season foreshadowed the last game’s performance.”
Although the team had some difficulties this season, there are many things to be proud of, including clutching the conference title. In fact, the B Team overachieved this season when they finished as the runner-up in the silver bracket at the end-of-season tournament. There were also many varsity players who were recognized and honored this year. Alejandro Marin was named the 3A MVP, Alan Ramos was selected for 1st Team 3A, Tyrell Hampton was selected for 1st Team 3A and David Anderson was selected for 2nd Team 3A. Last, but certainly not least, Hampton is headed to Arizona Christian University on a volleyball scholarship, and Ramos is headed to Ottowa University Arizona on a volleyball scholarship.
“Thank you to the seniors for all the hard work during their four years with us,” Coach Tum said. “To our young Dragons, time to take stock and learn from our past mistakes and prepare to eclipse the past records and move our program to the next level.”
Next year, the team is planning on focusing on the mental game of volleyball, which has proven to be the Achilles heel in past seasons. The team also expects to expose the athletes to high-level volleyball during the off-season through club volleyball to prepare for next season. The team’s goal is to improve and work on eliminating past mistakes so they can achieve future goals and perform better throughout the seasons.
All in all, the team is proud of the accomplishments of this season and look forward to the seasons to come.
“I would like to thank the Athletic Administrator, Mike Bashay, for his support through tournament entry payments; Athletic Director, Elizabeth Lapadat, for working tirelessly to get games for our B Team and also ensuring that our kids were eligible; Kathryn Hayes for being understanding to all the scheduling changes and working with us to host the JV Tournament; my coaching staff and the parents who came to every game to support us,” Coach Tum said. “I know the season did not turn out as we hoped for, however, your support allowed us to achieve the heights that we reached this season. I am thankful for each one of you. It is my hope that you will continue to support our program as we work on growing our athletes as well as our goals. To other coaches whom we share athletes, thank you for working with us. Have a blessed summer and see you all next season! Go Dragons!”