By Jeremy McDonald
The Maiden Voyage continues for Roseville Boys Volleyball.
Despite a five set defeat to Whitney in the CIF-Sac Joaquin Section Division-I playoffs on May 21, Tigers head coach Jason Cole said the game was an invaluable experience for his team.
"After the emotional loss to Whitney we had a long talk Friday during practice," said Cole. "A lot of my boys were feeling pretty down on themselves."
But the inspirational message Cole gave his team was simple, be proud.
“For a team loaded with underclassmen they should be pretty proud of what they accomplished this year," said Cole. “I needed them to understand that they have already surpassed every goal that we set out to accomplish so far this year."
Pulling up four Junior Varsity players for the game, Cole expects to be back next season to the big stage at Capital Christian High School in Sacramento since the team has already seen this type of pressure in the playoffs.
“I am glad that I pulled up four JV kids to experience the pressure of playoffs,” started Cole. “Because I expect to get back to Sections next season. Hopefully the experience they have gained in Sections will help them to be confident in what they can accomplish and who knows maybe we will pick up a win on the road Tuesday.”
That’s right, even losing the title game Thursday night, Roseville was awarded the sixth-seed in the CIF-NorCal Division-I Bracket, and even though Monday was a holiday, the Tigers were in the gym, preparing for Tuesday’s road match against Deer Valley (39-1, 10-0 Bay Valley League).
“ Their only loss this year is to Jesuit,” said Cole on the Wolverines. “So, that will be my motivation for the boys as we were able to beat Jesuit easily in the 2nd round of SJS Section playoffs.
“If we want to beat them we are going to have to play defense. They have one of the best players in Northern California on their team.”
That player is six-foot-four senior Jordan Ewert, a Stanford University commit who has 561 kills, 248 digs and 86 aces in 97 sets that he has played in during the 2015 season.
But it won’t change the Tiger’s strategy.
“We just need to minimize our errors and play our game,” said Cole on the game plan for Ewert and for Deer Valley.
If Roseville can play spoiler again and defeat the North Coast Section Winners, they’ll play the winner of the Washington/Monta Vista game in the semi-final game Thursday evening.
Tuesday's match begins at 7pm at Deer Valley High School in Antioch, California.