Another undefeated league season is within reach for the Mountain View High boys volleyball team, which can reach with the best of them with so many six-footers.
The Spartans have seven players who stand at least 6 feet, and beating them has proven to be a tall task for foes in the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League De Anza Division – and outside of it.
Mountain View entered this final week of the regular season with a record of 12-0 in league and 26-3 overall. The Spartans need just two wins to finish perfect in the De Anza for the second consecutive year.
“I think it’s doable if we play the way we’re capable of,” said 6-foot-3 outside hitter Jake Stuebner. “The league is strong, and we have to be on our toes every game.”
Mountain View has to stay on its collective toes longer this season, because the De Anza expanded from seven to eight teams.
“We play two more (league matches) than we did last year,” Stuebner said. “We’ve played a lot stronger schedule (overall) than last year, and that’s allowed us to see what we’re made of. So far, we’ve been up for the challenge.”
The Spartans have already met one of their goals – clinching the league title with Friday’s win over Harker – which leaves them two more championships to chase.
“We want to win CCS and the NorCal tournament,” said Stuebner, a second-year team captain. “Those are lofty goals, but I think we’re capable if we play our best.”
Mountain View last season reached the final round of the Central Coast Section Division I playoffs, falling to Mitty in straight games. The Spartans got some redemption last week with a straight-game win over the Monarchs in non-league play. Stuebner led the way with 12 kills, two blocks and three aces.
Mountain View and Mitty could meet again in CCS – or maybe even the Northern California tourney, which takes the top two teams from each section. The Spartans advanced as far as the NorCal semifinals a year ago.
Mountain View returned several key players from that team – including Stuebner, middle blocker Alec Flowers, setters Logan Allen and Ryan McLaughlin, and libero Collin Frietzsche, all seniors.
“A lot of pieces are similar,” Stuebner said. “A couple new players have stepped up, too. The mentality is similar (to last year) – get everyone involved and work together as a team.”
Stuebner said the 6-6 Flowers has “stepped up big this year.” He posted eight kills in a four-game win over Eastside Prep April 30.
Allen and McLaughlin “have been great at setting,” said Stuebner, who called Frietzsche “one of best liberos I’ve played with.”
Stuebner also praised sophomore outside hitter Colton Stearns and senior middle blocker Keenan Zucker for their contributions.
“Keenan came from the soccer team this year and learned the game really quick,” Stuebner said. “Colton has grown up a lot and had some clutch kills in the Santa Barbara Tournament.”
After finishing fifth in the tough tourney, the Spartans “have really started to jell,” coach M. Anthony Chen said.
Mountain View is set to host Los Gatos 6:45 p.m. today.