Damien boys volleyball team ready for another postseason run

Seniors Chris Mercado, Nick Hibshman and Michael Spinney were All-Tournament selections at an event last weekend in San Diego.

The Damien boys volleyball team won a CIF title a year ago. While the Spartans graduated a couple of key players they still look poised and ready for another postseason run.

Coach Randy Bohlmann’s team is 16-4 and ranked No. 1 in Division 5. The squad turned in a convincing performance last week at the Scripps Ranch Tournament in San Diego, going 7-1 and winning the event which included 24 teams competing at four different venues.

The team is working with a new setter and new middles but the transition has gone rather smoothly.

“We’re not quite as efficient as we were last year but we’re improving and we’re doing pretty well,” Bohlman said. “This tournament was good for us. There was some good competition and we did well so we’re probably where we need to be.”

Junior Brandon Nyquist, a defensive specialist last year, has done an admirable job in the setting role previously held by Christian Hernandez. Among the other newcomers is senior Sam Waldschmitt, who played as a freshman but didn’t the last two years, choosing to focus on basketball.

The veteran core is led by libero Nick Hibshman and outside hitters Chris Mercado and Michael Spinney – all seniors. The three were named to the All-Tournament team at the recent event and have provided the foundation for the success that has come this season.

“We really pretty scrappy,” Bohlmann said. “We get to a lot of balls and we’re never out of a point.”

The Spartans opened Hacienda League play with a 3-0 win over No. 8 West Covina on Tuesday. They play at No. 10 Diamond Ranch today so they’ll truly be able to se where they stand.

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