The boy’s volleyball team at Leigh High School is using the momentum and experience of last year’s league championship run, and open-division of CCS bid, to start the 2015-2016 season red hot. The Longhorns are primarily led by 4-year veteran, and Concordia commit Ben Vanderluit, as well as seniors Josh Ferguson and Shayne Murphy. Part of being a captain here at Leigh is wearing the famous pink bandana.
“The bandana tradition was started 10 years ago. The captain decided to wear the pink bandana and at the end of the season passed it down to the to-be captain of next season, and the tradition stuck and now we’re known as the school that wears bandanas, and it’s great. A really unique tradition that sets us apart.” said Vanderluit, senior.
They began the season at home, beating Homestead 3-1. Next, they took their talents south of San Jose to the Watsonville Volleyball Tournament where they had cold blood in their veins the moment they came off the bus, winning four straight matches in a row to take first place.
With two more games before league competition, the boys took on Santa Clara High and swept them three sets to nothing. They ended their pre-league competition at Mountain View with a heart-breaking loss.
Leigh took the first set and Mountain View took the second, but Leigh destroyed the Spartans 25-8 in the third. Unfortunately the momentum did not carry into the fourth, where Mountain View took advantage and won that set 25-19. It was now sudden death; first team to 15 points wins. Both teams were ready this time, but with the score tied at 14, Mountain View knew they needed two straight points to beat the previous undefeated Longhorns, and they did just that; winning the fifth and final set 16-14.
With their eyes set on the rest of the season, they know it will not be easy. “Our first goal is to continue our success in league, currently we are a 3-peat champion, so we would like to do that a fourth time, something no one in our league has ever done. That is our first goal,” said Josh Ferguson, senior.
“Having the strong record that we do is obviously something that the team is very proud of, but we try not to think about it that much. We just go out and play the best we can, and if we can do that every game we can feel satisfied whether we win or lose,” said Logan Williams, senior.
The boys also realize that this season will not be the same as last year, considering they lost one of their best assets; Markus Melbardis. His brother, Aleks, is not blind to the absence of his effect, but has high hopes for this season.
“I still think that we will be pretty strong this year. Even though we did lose Markus, we still have Ben from last year. Obviously we are going to have a bit of a different team and different strategies, but I am sure we will be pretty good this year,” said Melbardis.
The boys are on pace for another historic run for a league title, Join us on our quest for our 4th, you sure will not want to miss it! Hook ‘em!