- Avi P
CPS Men’s Volleyball Defeats Berean Christian 3-2 to Win NCS
Can’t Play Sports. That’s what we’re told every time we step on a court, field, or track. Every time we wear a CPS hoodie out in public. Try telling that to a trophy.
“Every person on this team is redefining the tone of what it means to play sports at College Prep.” - Liam Jenny
On May 12th, 2022, College Prep made history. They won NCS, defeating Berean Christian in 5 sets at home. The last time they had won, Barak Obama was our president, gas was three bucks a gallon, and Lady Gaga wore a meat dress; it was 2010.
“One of the most emotional moments of my life. So much pressure, so much joy” - Jude Partovi
CPS entered the match with confidence, having just defeated Valley Christian by winning three straight sets with their backs against the wall in the semi-finals. Instead of facing Head Royce, the one seed and the team that had served as Prep’s kryptonite all season, they were set to face Berean Christian, who had upset Head Royce in the semis. Prep had already played this Berean Christian team once before in the regular season, and they had won the game in four sets without much trouble. Approaching Thursday, they were optimistic that this was the year they would obtain the trophy that had been eluding them for over ten years. However, they immediately saw that this task was not going to be an easy one. They dropped the first set 20 - 25 and had to fight hard to take the second set by 2 points.
“We fought for every point and pulled through. Greatest team I've played with.” - Rowan Flores
The third set looked worse than the first, with CPS going down early and never being able to come back. All of a sudden, they were one set away from defeat. In front of the biggest crowd a CPS sport had drawn in five years, it was looking like they might have to settle for second place. However, if there's one thing this team has, it is grit. They did not put in 10 hours of practice a week just to give up at the hint of adversity.
“We never gave up once, and our resilience paid off.” - Skyler Bresee
The Cougars came out strong in the fourth set, taking a demanding lead and never relinquishing it. As the only fitting end to what had been an incredible tournament and entire season, there was going to be a fifth set. The crowd of over 200 got loud and rose to their feet. The Cougar was out, prancing back and forth on the sidelines. Every single one of CPS’s 22 wins throughout the season helped them win home court advantage for this game, and CPS proved why other schools are scared of the Cougar Den. Cheers choked out the sounds of ad reads for Black Bear Diner and Nike. There was no first or second place anymore, only victory and defeat. And defeat was never an option.
“This is the most dedicated team I've ever played on.” - Rohan Parekh
The fifth set was defined by what had led Prep’s team to success the entire season. In the words of coach Monica Lyman: “tenacity and defense.” After just a few short minutes, CPS had a 12 - 8 lead in a set to 15. There was a moment when it looked like Berean Christian might come back. However, their hopes were squashed when Rowan Flores dropped a perfect serve into the back of the court for a game-winning ace.
“I could not have asked for a more euphoric way to end my senior year. I love these guys.” - Liam Jenny
After the crowd stormed the court, the team stood around overcome with emotions, but the emotion that stood out to me the most was gratitude. Every member of the team I spoke to talked about how grateful they were for their teammates.
“I could not be more proud of this group of young men. There isn’t a single other group of guys that I would be happier to lead as a captain.” - Skyler Bresee
“Shoutout to my boys for pulling through. Shoutout to Skyler for showing me how to play. Shoutout to Sivan for setting me, to Liam and Rohan for blocking with me, and Henry and Rowan for retrieving the ball whenever I messed up. And shoutout to Jude for never missing serves when it counted.” - Marius Mahshi
“Seeing Sivan and Marius become such core parts of the team in their first season of volleyball is genuinely inspiring. I'm going to miss the infectious energy every single person brings, on and off the court.” - Rohan Parekh
The team now moves on to CIF, the tournament for the entire state of California. But no matter how they do there, they will never forget winning NCS. To close out, I will leave you with the words that served as the motto for this team in their historic journey.
“We are those f*cking guys” - Sivan Faruqui
Avi Paulson is the sports editor for the College Prep Radar. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.