Boys’ Volleyball wins state title


Avalon Kate Nash, Staff Writer

   Bright lights illuminated the polished gym floor. For a few moments, there was silence. Then Preston Jackson set the ball, all eyes on and off court fixated on it as it cut through the air, where Rhett Jorgenson sent it flying over the net. Scrambling, the opposing team responds – desperate to stop it as it barrels towards the ground. But their efforts are futile, and the home crowd erupts in applause. 

   It’s decisive moments like these that have powered Boys’ Volleyball’s championship run – where they have won a Division I CIF Section Championship on May 12th against Helix (3-1) but a Division III Southern California State Championship on May 20th against Eastlake (3-1).

   After a close first set victory of 25-16, the titans lost the second set to Eastlake 18-25. In volleyball, games are decided by whoever wins the best out of five sets – each set played until a team has reached 25 points. Poway came back in sets three and four to win the title, taking set three by a narrow margin of 26-24 and resoundingly in set four 25-18 to claim the title. Players were glad to see the game conclude without having to play all 5 potential sets, as it allowed them to prepare for prom. 

   Over the past four years the program has won three CIF titles but this is the first state title ever won by the program, and the experience has been surreal for many of the players, including senior and team captain Preston Jackson. 

   “I really wanted to go out winning something, like my brother did two years ago…it’s nice having a little claim to fame,” Jackson said. 

   Senior William McBride credits the team’s success in part to their past struggles. 

   “Our team really knew how to handle the situation on the court – all the experience from losing games last season…when we were down we didn’t worry too much about it because we knew we could get the job done, and we did,” McBride said.  

   Coach, math Teacher, and Poway alumna Charles Jackson has coached 20 seasons and played collegiately at UCLA. His favorite part of coaching has been seeing the joy his players get out of the sport – something he believes has given them an edge.

   Even if his players did not yet see it, Charles knew early on that this team would go far, though a state championship – the first one in program history – still came as a surprise. 

   “When they announced the division one CIF playoffs, even though we were the third seed,  I thought we were the favorite. I didn’t know we would get a state championship…but they were playing good volleyball at the right time,” Charles Jackson said.