Boys volleyball team tryouts set for Nov. 19-20 under new head coach

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Henry Lee

Junior Sebastian Bonca (front) sets the volleyball while practicing his receives during a Nov. 18 practice in the Sunny Hills gym.

Henry Lee

With boys volleyball’s Dec. 18 season opener against Whitney scheduled to be the first Sunny Hills sports match of the 2020-2021 fall season, the team’s new head coach has scheduled tryouts to begin Thursday, Nov. 19, and Friday, Nov. 20, in the gym.

Because of new sports workout policies issued by the Fullerton Joint Union High School District last week, those coming out in hopes of making it onto the JV and varsity teams will demonstrate their skills with a volleyball while still remaining six feet apart— following coronavirus health and safety guidelines.

“Based on the amount of student-athletes signed up for each tryout day, we will establish groups or ‘pods’ of 10 athletes max to minimize risk,” said Albert Soliguen, hired Nov. 2 as the new head coach replacing science teacher Jack Adams. “Each pod and court will have a designated ball cart and volleyballs assigned to that group.”

Although Soliguen has 15 spots open for each team, he says all may not be filled. Athletes on the varsity and JV teams last year along with incoming athletes must prove themselves through their work ethic, coachability, and positive attitudes. 

Students coming for the tryouts will be expected to follow the guidelines of wearing masks at all times, not sharing personal items such as towels or water, maintaining at least six feet of distance between players and sanitizing hands and volleyballs.

“My thoughts about tryouts this week are first and foremost the safety, health and well-being of our student-athletes,” Soliguen said. “Participating in our program is completely voluntary, and there will be opportunities for make-up tryouts in the new year for those that do not feel comfortable or haven’t made the decision to commit quite yet.”

The 7:30-9:30 p.m. tryouts will involve fundamental skill work with ball control such as passing, digging, setting and hitting, Soliguen said.

“I have a special list of drills that I go to and have created personally that I have found personal success with many other teams throughout my career with coaching,” the head coach said. “But with COVID-19, there are modifications and adjustments that have been made to make it safe for our student-athletes to participate in.”

Many of the drills implemented are based on the needs of the team and may differ based on the progressions and regressions of the skill level of the team, Soliguen said.

Tryout spaces are limited to only 30 students per day. As of Wednesday, Nov. 18, 22 spots have been reserved for Nov. 19 and 18 spots for Nov. 20.

Students do not have to attend both tryout days unless they feel that they did not perform well on the first tryout date.

Those interested in reserving a date to come to the gym should contact the coach through his email, [email protected], for the website link and password or visit the Sunny Hills Boys Volleyball Instagram page for additional information.