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Volleyball: Mira Costa novice duo add to chemistry for No. 1 team

May 11, 2013 |  9:33 am

High school sports has become so much similar to college and the professional ranks, with the emphasis on winning, that only on rare occasions do you get what’s transpired this season for the Mira Costa volleyball team.

Two novice volleyball players, seniors Josh Cavallo (soccer) and Connor Kernochan (basketball), made the team after varsity tryouts.

Mira Costa rarely has any varsity spots for novice players.

“They looked pretty good in tryouts,” Coach Mike Ninnis said. “We talked to the rest of the kids, and they said they were supportive kids, would understand their roles and would be excited to be part of the program.”

It turns out Cavallo and Kernochan can play. And they’ve accepted their backup roles with enthusiasm. When they got into a playoff match earlier this week, each performed well.

The Mira Costa coaches and players who agreed to take a risk have been rewarded.

“We don’t do this every year,” Ninnis said.

Yes, coaches don’t want to overload their roster, because it’s tough when there are so many players just sitting on the bench and not getting the chance to play or practice. That’s when grumbling begins, parents start complaining and morale begins to sink.

But Mira Costa, seeded No. 1 in the Division 1 volleyball playoffs, is winning and succeeding as a team.

“The chemistry on this team is wonderful,” Ninnis said. “This has been so far a magical year, where the parents are having a great time, enjoying the matches, whether their kids are in or not.”

-- Eric Sondheimer