It was more of the same for the Davis High boys volleyball team on Wednesday, as it finished the nonconference schedule by playing well in a pair of losses to tough teams.
As the Blue Devils transition to Delta Valley Conference play beginning Thursday at Monterey Trail (5 p.m.), coach Julie Crawford had a message for her guys.
“We talked about how we have had a challenging preseason, which is why our record isn’t great,” Crawford said. “We are excited and optimistic for a fresh start beginning (Thursday).”
All season long, the inexperienced DHS squad has shown that it can hang with good teams in spurts, but hasn’t often put together full games of top-level play. That was the case again Wednesday at Pleasant Valley High, as the Devils fell to Chico, 27-25, 22-25, 25-15, 25-17 and then lost to their hosts, 25-18, 25-19, 25-23.
“It was a tough preseason but we are getting better. I have to remember that this team doesn’t have much experience,” Crawford said. “I’ve seen them play really well but our consistency is all over the place.”
So is there a formula for DVC success?
Crawford says she is looking for several major improvements from her guys, now that they have some games under their belts: more communication, fewer unforced errors and learning to start better and finish stronger.
She also will look to players like versatile Peter Kesling and talented Sam Manderfield, among others, to step up as playmakers. Kesling, who Crawford she can play anywhere on the court, was a standout Wednesday on the defensive end, while Manderfield paced the Devil offense.
“I expect a lot from Sam, though he’s only a sophomore and new to the game,” Crawford said. “He is really coachable and I know he’s going to be a really good player.”