Hilmar High’s varsity boys volleyball team isn’t having your typical inaugural season—they are winning a lot more than losing.
The Yellowjackets were coming off a perfect 4-0 performance at the Sierra Tournament this past Saturday that earned them a first-place trophy and the momentum carried into Monday night’s battle with Sierra High that ended in a straight sets sweep, 3-0 (25-11, 25-14 and 25-6).
“They played great ball, especially coming off that great tournament,” said Hilmar head coach Kristen Jones.
In that tournament, Hilmar was able to open up with victories over Patterson and Lathrop.
That leaped them into the Championship bracket where the Yellowjackets didn’t lose at all, ousting Kimball followed by a 2-0 win over Los Banos.
“As of today, we are 13-5 overall,” said Jones. “For a first-year program… I can’t believe it. We are not doing bad at all.”
Jones attributes the success to the commitment of the squad. The young team is also getting assistance from girls volleyball head coach Patti Harris.
“I think our guys want to show people that this is for real and we are not out here messing around,” said Jones. “It’s a real program. I think they want to come out and for a first-year program, compete and match the girls, I think it does have a lot to do with it, our girls having had so much success.”
Hilmar’s girls volleyball program has won three consecutive Trans-Valley League titles from 2013-15 and are the four-time Division-IV Sac-Joaquin Section runner-ups from 2013-16.
“I think that is how we have gotten where we are, because they are all passionate about it and they want to improve, and have during the season,” said Jones.
Hilmar has also clinched six straight wins after defeating Sierra in convincing fashion.
Sophomore Colton Silveira finished the match with a game-high 18 assists while Michael Cardoso tallied six kills.
Cardoso, along with Isaac Smith, each finished with three aces as well.
Hilmar won the first set 25-11 and followed with the closest set of the game in the second that ended 25-14.
The ‘Jackets ended the match with a lopsided 25-6 win in the third to complete the straight sets sweep.
“First I want to say it’s the kids. They really stepped up and saw that there is more to it,” said Jones. “They realize there are strategic movements and with the coaches we have we been able to keep working and building the confidence. They have a ton of potential and you are seeing it now in the season.”
Hilmar, which originally scheduled a limited number of games, was able to add another tournament in April and wish to add more games before the season concludes.
Coach Jones and the team’s general manager, Frank Marques, are also currently working on the possibility of playoffs if they continue their success.
“We added the Granite Bay Tournament in April,” Jones added. “I really hope to pick up some extra games, especially with teams which have a bye week. I am keeping my fingers crossed that they will let us in playoffs or at least sneak in there, I know Marques is working on that, but hopefully we can extend the season to late April to get these kids more playing time.”
Hilmar’s next game will be on the road at Mountain House at 6 p.m. Thursday.