Pali High Boys Volleyball Opens Season Strong at Venice Invitational
By STEVE GALLUZZO | Sports Editor
There’s no such thing as a “rebuilding year” for the Palisades High boys volleyball team. Every spring the Dolphins are expected to contend for the City Section championship and while this season is no exception, Coach Dave Suarez knows this group is vastly different from the one that won 42 of 45 matches, repeated as City Open Division champion and and reached the semifinals of the SoCal Regionals in May under former coach Carlos Gray. Suarez served as an assistant last year, but has been involved with the program for decades, first as a player then as the head coach piloting the girls to three City titles and the boys to one in the late ‘90s. He likes what he sees so far in practice and the Dolphins won six of seven matches on their way to the Silver Division crown at the Venice Invitational.
“It was a mental challenge last year not to sleep on our competition but this year it’s the complete opposite—we have to prove we’re still Palisades every match,” Stone Werner said after the Dolphins’ 25-16, 25-13 pool play sweep of Bell. “I’ve always been back row but this tournament I’m middle.”
Werner, fellow middle blocker Michael Moore and setter/libero Nick Conte are the only returners. Joining them on varsity are Gus Wibbelsman, Bryan Ardon, Scott Hunter, Blake Pecsok, Ryder Cataldi and Hunter Martinez.
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