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On the Beat Volleyball: Is the sport as big with the boys?

Posted: June 1, 2014 10:31 p.m.
Updated: June 1, 2014 10:31 p.m.
 

Will boys/men’s volleyball ever catch up to the popularity of the sport among females?

On a national level, it would be hard to imagine considering there are a much larger numbers of females interested in the sport.

But it is worth noting the popularity and success of the boys volleyball programs locally as we continue to see NCAA Division I caliber players come from the Santa Clarita Valley.

At the collegiate level, there are 29 schools that participate in men’s volleyball at the NCAA Division I level compared to 332 in women’s.

Yet despite that fact, we have a good amount of local representation currently at the few Division I men’s schools.

There’s Golden Valley graduate Alec Schlossman at Harvard, Hart graduate J.J. Mosolf at Pepperdine, Valencia graduate Eric Ensing and Hart graduate Taylor Gregory are both at Long Beach State and West Ranch grad Tanner Skabelund is set to join Brigham Young University next season.

And this valley has seen plenty of players play starring roles at major college volleyball programs over the years.

It’s fair to call this area a hotbed of volleyball talent, especially considering this sport is only played in so many places around the country.

California is one of 21 states which has boys volleyball as an officially sanctioned interscholastic sport in high school.

And even so, only Southern California competes in the sport.

All 50 states and the District of Columbia consider girls volleyball an interscholastic high school sport.

There are likely a number of reasons for that. A lot of it is sheer numbers. There are only so many boys interested in the sport after football, baseball and basketball, the country’s most popular three sports.

Locally, only the six public high schools with large enrollments have boys volleyball teams.

The smaller private schools, like Santa Clarita Christian and Trinity Classical Academy, haven’t had enough athletes wanting to participate.

SCCS used to have a boys volleyball team, but it was discontinued following the 2009 season because there weren’t enough players to fill a roster.

“We were looking into it, but we’re not moving that way yet,” said SCCS Athletic Director Ali Aguilar. “We just reestablished our numbers with golf and baseball, so numbers were lower than in previous years.”

Neither one of the local colleges are looking into creating men’s volleyball teams either. It’s not in the budget for College of the Canyons and it would be difficult for The Master’s College to add another male sport with its small enrollment of roughly 1,000 students.

Both schools have thriving women’s volleyball programs.

But at least at the high school level, the boys are thriving as well in the SCV.

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