The volleyball team at Delhi High School faces many challenges each year in the Southern Athletic League. In terms of competition, Ripon Christian High poses the greatest test for the Lady Hawks but there are other obstacles that Delhi and third year head coach Adriana Nunez must overcome. Lack of height is certainly an important one but for Nunez the most difficult task has been instilling a sense of commitment and dedication in her team.
Although the road is hard and some players stray from the court, Nunez has found satisfaction in developing those that do stay; those players willing to tough it out and reach for success no matter how difficult it may be.
“I tell them to play hard. As long as they play hard and put forth effort it doesn’t matter if we win or lose,” Nunez said. “What matters is that we get better.”
Delhi enters the season with only four returning starters — Alicia Knight, Lexus Palaminos, Bianca Nunez, and Vanessa Astorga. To compensate for the lack of experience and build a foundation for future seasons Coach Nunez has brought up sophomores Chantal Gonzalez, Alyssa Stockton, and Isabel Barboza; a necessary move since seven players from last season opted to cheerlead instead.
“It hurts but you got to deal with it,” Nunez said of those who didn’t return.
So far the Delhi has shown flashes of what can be this season, taking on Livingston, Riverbank, Stoneridge and Millennium High in close and educational pre-season matches. The learning curve will continue for the Lady Hawks who face two more opponents before the Sept. 12 SAL home opener against Mariposa High.
“We’re trying to get 100 percent better,” Nunez said. “We’re also really trying to get the community interested and onboard.”