It is time for boys’ volleyball to take on spring. With a record so far of 9-3, including two losses to Marina, and a heartbreaking loss against Kennedy in five sets on Thursday, March 26th, the boys’ coach, Joanna Johnson’s main goal for the team is to win league again and make it to CIF Finals. Like every team that has an obstacle to overcome, Coach Johnson shares, “We’ve been underdogs for so long that with the success we had last year, there is another level and depth of preparation that needs to happen. We are working hard every day and treating this season like we’ve never won – we do better when we feel like we have something to prove!” However, the boys don’t only see each other as teammates, but family as well, and care for each other deeply on and off the court.
The hours dedicated to practice every day, working on form and communication, paid off as the players had a successful first league game on Tuesday March 24th against Valencia High School in support of leukemia. Teammates and fans wore orange at the game to support anyone whose lives have been affected by leukemia and lymphoma, such as Coach Johnson’s sister Sarah Kate. They won the game in three, however, they are not satisfied. Coach Johnson wants to make it known to all other teams in league that Tustin should be respected on the court, and the Tillers on the road to winning league and making it to CIF.
With nine seniors on the team this year, Coach Johnson will only have five returning athletes next year. No matter what, the key to every practice and every successful game is “GOOD VIBES + HARD WORK = SUCCESS.” Keep an eye out for senior Bruce Kim (#7) and sophomore Carlos Perez (#11) who both stand out in multiple areas on the court. Having a positive mind-set throughout every game is important, as well as trusting that every member will play their role when necessary.
Coach Johnson’s favorite part of coaching this team is, “The connection with the guys. They are family to me. Sure they drive me crazy sometimes, but seeing this group from the beginning and seeing what they can ACHIEVE with hard work and GRIT is incredible.”
Good luck to our boys’ volleyball throughout the rest of their season. Kill ‘em.