Sharks volleyball devours Fillmore on Senior Night

The Malibu High School boy’s volleyball team celebrated Senior Night last Thursday before handily defeating the Fillmore Flashes.

By Sam Rubinroit / Special for the Malibu Times

The match against the Fillmore High School Flashes volleyball team last week Thursday marked the final game of the regular season for the Sharks, who easily earned the victory in three sets, 25-11, 25-13, and 25-11. The win propelled Malibu to an overall record of 11-4, earning them third place in league. Before the game, Malibu honored its five seniors for their dedication to the team: Ben Apstein, Jake Smith, Hunter Parr, Chandler Abbott and Ben Rotman.

“It’s a nice way to finish out my volleyball career; I didn’t expect it would take me this far,” Rotman said after the game. “I didn’t expect I’d have this much fun with it, and I’m really glad I played.”

As entering freshmen, Malibu’s five seniors hardly had their sights set on competing for a CIF title in volleyball. Volleyball was not the primary sport for any of the players; for Rotman, Apstein and Abbott, basketball was their first love. For Parr it was football and Smith was water polo player. However, after getting involved with head coach Carlos Gray and learning more about the game, volleyball has taken on a greater meaning in the players’ lives and even become the primary sport for more than one.

“Those seniors are very special,” Gray said. “They’ve been here for three or four years, and for them to go out on their home floor with a victory is a big deal.”

The Sharks are not allowing themselves to get too sentimental, however, as they gear up for playoffs. Apstein, for one, has high expectations for the team.

“We have a shot at winning the whole thing. We should go far. If we don’t go far in CIF, I’ll definitely be disappointed.”

Rotman understands that, while it does not hurt to dream big, the team cannot get ahead of itself.

“I see us definitely advancing a few rounds, and then facing a tough team. We’ll battle from there on out, but I think we have a good chance to win CIF.”

As the Sharks prepared for their first round match against Lancaster on May 11, Gray was confident in his team. “I think we match up well against anyone in playoffs. I know we are going to be on the road in the first round and we’re going see a league champion, but I really think that, because of the strength of our league and the strength of our schedule, there’s nothing we can’t handle in playoffs.”

The Malibu Times is the first newspaper in Malibu, serving the community since 1946.

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