Royals men’s volleyball have work to do over the break
By Davie Wong, Sports Editor
Headed into the midseason winter break, the Royals men’s volleyball team have quite some work to do. Halfway through the PACWEST season, the men sit tied for fourth in the league with a record of 5-7, and one game off of third. While the team has always been an underdog headed into the season, their play has looked much better than their record.
Head coach Jay Tremonti has instilled a fighting spirit in his team, something that the men’s soccer team has showed us that can be so important to winning championships. In the team’s seven losses, only one of them was a blowout. That loss came at the beginning of the season, and since then, the men have fought hard in every game, win or lose. Their 21-24 set win/loss record shows how much spirit the team has. No matter who they play, the Royals fight to win.
In terms of on-court statistics, rookie Reid Marriot has been the standout, as predicted when he joined the roster. His record of 143 kills is the second best in the PACWEST, and his hitting percentage of 0.299 is the fourth best. Defensively, Trayl Plouffe is one of the best in the league up front. His 25 blocks has him tied for third most in the league, and his 0.63 blocks per set is the fourth best. But it’s in the transition where you can find the Royals’ success.
Setter Jared Collins has been exceptional to start the year. He leads the PACWEST in assists, with 445 to his name. He has the second best assists per set record, with 9.47 assists per set. But it’s his presence off the ball that makes Jared exceptional. The Royals’ captain has really grown into the role since having the mantle place upon him last year. Normally not a talkative person, Jared has grown to be a vocal leader for his teammates. Whether that means debating a call for his teammates, or expressing their displeasure to a referee, or picking the team up after a tough game, Jared has become something the Royals team needed sorely last year. A true leader.
While the Royals have performed fairly well to start the year under Jay Tremonti, when the ball starts to fly, it becomes Jared’s team. Though the squad have some growing to do during the break before they can compete with some of the big boys in the PACWEST, look for them to make a late push, similar to last year.