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Golden Valley boys volleyball hits reset

Golden Valley adjusts to graduation losses, new coach

Posted: March 6, 2013 10:04 p.m.
Updated: March 6, 2013 10:04 p.m.

Golden Valley's Yo'el Meshesha (9) and Bobby Heyret (4) try to block the shot of Eastside's Anthony Meyers on Wednesday at Golden Valley High School.

With a new head coach coming in at the last minute and a young team trying to recover from graduation losses, Golden Valley boys volleyball has its work cut out this season.

The Golden Valley Grizzlies came up short in three straight games, losing 3-0 by scores of 25-21, 25-52 and 29-27 to the Eastside Lions of Lancaster on Wednesday at Golden Valley High School.

Golden Valley (0-3) was playing under head coach Derek Saenz, who took over less than a month ago for previous coach Jeff Cody.

Cody had coached the Grizzlies the past three years.

“It was difficult,” said Grizzlies junior Tristan Murchanian of the coaching change. “We kind of hit the ground running trying to rebuild the program.”

Murchanian, the team’s starting outside hitter and clear top offensive weapon, led Golden Valley with 15 kills.

He has big shoes to fill after the graduation of three-year varsity starter Alec Schlossman, who is now playing at Harvard University.

Bradley Surette was the Grizzlies’ No. 2 weapon on Wednesday as he recorded 10 kills.

Other than those two, Golden Valley struggled to get much of an offensive rhythm throughout.

Early on, Eastside (1-1) was equally unable to get into system, which made for a back-and-forth first two games.

The third game was Golden Valley’s best chance for a game victory, but the Grizzlies couldn’t cash in on a 24-22 lead late.

“We get lots of point-scoring opportunities, but we don’t have enough communication to take advantage of them,” said Saenz, who was also the Golden Valley boys head coach in 2008.

Eastside’s Jordan Parker led all hitters with 17 kills and Jonathan Barriga added seven.

Parker had eight of his kills in the final game, which saw the Grizzlies come from behind to take a late lead behind scrappy defense and the arm of Murchanian.

“I told them, ‘You guys need to step it up and call for the ball,’” said Eastside head coach Francis Bosque. “Passing is the important thing. Passing, talking and coverage.”

The first two games didn’t go as smoothly for either team.

The Lions scored five straight points to erase a 16-11 Golden Valley lead in the game.

A series of quick side outs followed until Eastside pulled away, finishing the game on a 6-1 run.

Eastside led nearly start-to-finish in game two, aided by a 6-0 run that extended its lead to 13-6. The Lions didn’t trail again in the game.



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