Boys’ varsity volleyball heads to State Tournament

Team ranked no. 1 in Division 2

The Oak Park Eagles beat the Beckman Patriots May 8 in the CIF semi-final game. They will continue to play in the CIF finals game on May 11 at Cerritos College.

Jason Fichera, no. 8 and a senior player, said it was “insane” that they got all the way to the finals.

“We haven’t gone this far in finals in any year that we’ve been on varsity. We’re all just grateful we’ve gotten this far,” Fichera said. “Over the course of this season, everyone on our team has evolved so much, not just as a team, but as a family.”

“We all play with heart. We love each other more than the court shows. It shows in our playing how passionate we are,” Fichera said. “We have a really well-rounded team and we all just have so much fun playing that it’s never really a job for us. It makes us work so much harder.”

For the duration of the CIF semi-final game, the Oak Park High School stands were filled with students, parents and members of other athletic programs on campus, often on their feet and cheering in support of the Eagles.

The CIF semi-final game, held against Beckman High School, lasted for four sets. The Eagles won the first, third and fourth sets, while the Patriots won the second. Throughout each set, the teams were repeatedly tied or within one to two points of each other.

Junior and no. 21 Luke Spooner plays libero and mentioned that it was not just one person carrying the team, but a whole group effort to get them to CIF finals.

“We all support each other. We all love each other. We all trust each other, and that’s the most important thing you can do in a game,” Spooner said.

After winning the CIF semi-finals game May 8, OPHS boys’ varsity volleyball played at the CIF finals game on Saturday, May 11 at 6 p.m. against Saddleback Valley Christian High School at a Cerritos College.

They were 10-0 in the Coastal Canyon League and progressed all the way to the CIF finals, where they lost three sets to one. They are currently ranked 52nd in California and 77th nationally.

According to co-athletic director Dick Billingsley, Oak Park boys’ volleyball is ranked no. 1 in Division 2 state regionals. There will play in the State Tournament starting Tuesday, May 14.

Middle blocker and senior Owen Counsil mentioned that he was “sad, but still proud because coming into this season, we never thought we would make it this far.”

“We had a really good team this year and we all got along very well. I loved playing with these boys and I wouldn’t have asked for anything different,” Counsil wrote to the Talon.