Boys’ varsity volleyball picks up win in first league game


Outside hitter Andrew Gruber jumps to attempt a kill during the first set against Bella Vista. Photo by Rylea Gillis.

Last night, the boys’ volleyball team kicked off league play with a 3-0 win against the Bella Vista Broncos.

Whitney dominated the first set, 25-11, due to consistent setting by Justin Otus and hits by Andrew Gruber.

Some of the younger players replaced the starters in the second set and did their job, winning 25-13. The Broncos couldn’t handle Muhsin Ali’s continuous serves and Jason Litvinchuk’s three kills.

In the third, closest set of the game, the team’s key senior players returned to the game to finish off the Broncos 25-18. Cavan Stewart and Kyle Wallace finished with six kills each, Stewart’s final one ending the game.

The strong showing was much needed after starting off their season 1-2, with losses to Jesuit and Granite Bay in the first week of the season. Gruber explains how the team used these upsets to fuel a win in their first league game.

“Those losses motivated us to come out and play stronger than we have been, and we definitely had more fire as a team tonight,” Gruber said.

Gruber gave credit to the whole team for the win, despite standout performances by Stewart and Wallace with their kills, Will Bebinger with four aces, and himself with five blocks.

“Volleyball is a team sport so you can’t really just give it to one person. I know everybody on our team always wants to win 110 percent, and that is what pushed us to get the win,” Gruber said.

As the reigning Sac-Joaquin Section champions the past two years, the team holds themselves to high standards this season, in hopes of defending their title.

“Being a senior, I am more than motivated to leave a legacy behind at Whitney. This sport means so much to everyone on this team, and I have 100 percent confidence that we are gonna go out and kill it this season,” Gruber said.

The Wildcats take on Placer tonight, March 11, then resume league play tomorrow night against Del Campo. Both games are at 6 p.m. in the gymnasium.