Men’s Volleyball seeks redemption this year as the new season begins


Brandon Dela Fuente, a middle for the Moorpark mens volleyball team, practices a blocking drill with his teammates on Tuesday, Jan. 21. at Moorpark College. Photo credit: Ryan Bough

By David Reyes

The Moorpark Raiders Men’s Volleyball team are looking to redeem themselves this season after last year’s 10-8 record and first-round elimination in the playoffs against Irvine Valley. The season will start for the Raiders on Saturday, Jan. 25 with a tournament at Long Beach City College.

Key returning players for the upcoming season are sophomore middle blocker Brandon Dela Fuente and sophomore outside hitters Ryan Horan and Gurpreet Ghotra.

“We have high expectations. We want to build off our success from last year and improve upon them,” stated Coach Aaron Hedland.

Head Coach Aaron Hedland writes on a white board during the Moorpark mens volleyball practice on Tuesday, Jan 21. at Moorpark College. Photo credit: Ryan Bough

Sophomore outside hitter and team captain, Austin McIntyre, is confident the Raiders will have a successful season.

“Our team is looking very strong, we have a lot of returners coming back,” McIntyre said. “We had a strong showing in the preseason tournament as well and we are competing well against all other teams.”

Austin Hignite practices serving during the mens volleyball practice before their tournament over the weekend on Tuesday, Jan. 21. at Moorpark College. Photo credit: Ryan Bough

Last season, Dela Fuente averaged 1.16 blocks per set, second in the state, and had 34 block assists, seventh overall. Horan finished with 158 points overall and a .227 overall hitting percentage. Ghotra had a season-high 17 kills with a .517 kill percentage in last season’s playoff loss against Irvine Valley.

Ryan Horan, outside hitter, prepares to block a point during a practice match on Tuesday, Jan. 21. at Moorpark College. Photo credit: Ryan Bough

“The preseason tournament is a big tournament where all the best teams in the state will be there, that will be a big indicator of where we stand,” according to McIntyre.

Moorpark will host the MC Tri-Tournament on Friday, Feb. 7. The Raiders will face off against Fullerton College at 10 a.m. and Grossmont College at 4 p.m.

The Raiders are set to begin the regular season starting Wednesday, Feb. 12 at home against Golden West College at 6 p.m.