Nevada Union takes opener
Marco Salcedo’s welcome-home game featured as wide an array of technique from his team as most coaches could expect to see in a season.
The Nevada Union boys volleyball team dominated a little, made runs of mistakes, and settled down to churn out Tuesday’s season-opening 3-2 win (25-18, 20-25, 25-18, 15-25, 15-12) against Rocklin at NU’s Ali Gym.
Salcedo, one of the founders of Nevada Union’s boys volleyball program more than 15 years ago, hadn’t coached the varsity boys team for nine seasons. After a seven-year run as the Miners’ head coach beginning 16 years ago, Salcedo took over at Union Hill Middle School before returning to Nevada Union three years ago to coach in the lower ranks for both the boys and girls teams. This season, he replaced Kelly Rhoden as varsity boys coach.
Salcedo still coaches the freshman girls team.
“Any time it’s girls versus boys, they’re two different sports,” Salcedo said. “With girls, its more of a finesse game. Guys – they just try to hit it as hard as they can.”
Boys star Cody Curtis displayed both finesse and power Tuesday, leading the Miners with 15 kills and 15 service points.
Curtis, a senior, will miss Thursday’s 6:30 p.m. game at Oakmont because he’ll be on a recruiting trip to New York University, which is one of four colleges to have shown interest in him as a volleyball player. Harvard, UC Berkeley and UC Santa Cruz all want him, Curtis said, although none are able to offer scholarships.
One of three returning players from last year’s Rhoden-coached team, Curtis said he likes the direction the team has taken under Salcedo, even though having Rhoden around guaranteed at least a good time.
“I think Ms. Rhoden said she wanted to give it over to Marco because he’s got a more serious attitude,” said Curtis, a three-year varsity player who has played year-round for just as long. “It’s not that Marco’s not fun-loving; he’s focused. … Last year, we actually digressed. This year, there’s a lot of potential.”
The potential was visible during the first three games, two of which were won by NU in gritty fashion. In the fourth game, however, the Miners showed their inexperience as Rocklin capitalized on eight NU errors to take a 13-0 lead before winning the game 25-15.
“We’re a strong team,” said Salcedo, a Grass Valley native and Nevada Union graduate, class of 1985. “Bottom line: We’ve got to work on our passing. (Game four), right there, it came down to passing.”
Thanks partly to some on-court coaching by Curtis, the Miners collected themselves in the fifth game and never trailed in the 15-12 win.
To contact Sports Writer Jeff Miller, e-mail email@example.com or call 477-4247.
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