Boys volleyball adds new coach for second season

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Albert Soliguen is the newest coach on the Sunny Hills campus.

Jaimie Chun

After he earned MVP honors at Garden Grove High School in 2009, was recruited to play college-level volleyball at Orange Coast College and led Sonora’s girls volleyball team to a runner-up finish in the 2017 CIF-Southern Section Division 3 playoffs, new boys volleyball coach Albert Soliguen is exactly what Sunny Hills has been looking for.

“For the upcoming season, I hope to bring the boys together, have a cohesive team and have the team be able to recognize and value each other’s strengths and weaknesses,” Soliguen said. “So there is a lot that can be accomplished, but most importantly, establishing that connection between the team and then being able to recognize the value among each other.”

Soliguen attended Garden Grove High School where he joined the junior varsity volleyball team in his sophomore year. He credits his high school volleyball coach for sparking his enthusiasm for the game.

“I tried out, made the team, and he and the other staff really facilitated my growth,” he said. “They had a different approach to coaching, which I liked. He has been a really big role model for my personal and professional development.”

Although Soliguen initially planned to offer his coaching services for Troy’s JV girls volleyball squad, he decided on to aim for a higher position as the head coach at Sunny Hills and was announced the coach on Nov. 2.

“Personally, I think that one of my dream goals was to be part of a program as head coach and to be able to contribute and give back to the volleyball community,” Soliguen said.

Although practices have only recently started, several players comment on Soliguen’s impactful arrival.

“When [Soliguen] started to play volleyball he never played in a club team and the reason he got to where he was, was through hard work and dedication,” libero senior Ethan Lim said. “It was really inspiring to see how good he was just by working hard and it motivated me to try my best during all our practices to be a great player like him.”

Soliguen said he aims to not only win Freeway League titles, but also to build a strong foundation that acquires skills outside of the game itself.

“I do not look at volleyball as just pure performance,” he said. “If we put everything like fundamentals, skills and the performance side of volleyball in a different box, you get a lot of skills that you learn that will transition into life and progress as a human being.”

This story originally appeared in the Dec. 14 print issue, which can be read here.