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2010 Region Champions

Region Crowns Boy’s 2010 Champions

Molten Sweeps 18 and 16’s

Molten cemented its place atop the 2010 boy’s Arizona Region season by winning the gold medals in both the 18’s and 16’s divisions, played December 19th.

Boys 18 Champions: Molten 18 Black - Team Members: Karson Andersen, Jordan Clare, Robert Esser, Zachary Hales, Brooks Johnson, Jeff Kraegel, Chase LeBaron, Kevin Morrison, Richard Peterson, Jacob Sawyer, Brett Sevy, Paul Workinger. Coaches: Matt Lasconia, Cody Sunderhaus

The Molten 18 Black squad, coached by Matt Lasconia topped the Fear Volleyball Club’s 18 Red squad in the final.

“The team was on fire from the first serve.” Lasconia said. “We had anticipated playing Arizona Premiere Volleyball Club but they were upset by Fear in the semi-finals. Club Fear had an amazing run at the Regional Tournament but Molten was ready to do battle. We served tough against Club Fear and shut down Fear's middle attackers and out side hitters right away.”

“Behind the brilliant setting of Robert Esser, Molten fired away at Fear's huge blocks and hitters Brett Sevy, Jacob Sawyer, Kevin Morrison and Chase Lebaron found much success.” Lasconia recounted. “ Jordan Clare who was out injured for most of the season found his way back into the starting line up and came up big with huge blocks and clutch kills during long rallies enabling Molten to get closer to its goal.”

“Our defense led by senior libero Zachery Hales and defensive specialists Taft Peterson and Jeff Kraegel, out dug Fear and was able to convert on points that brought us to match point.” Lasconia remembers vividly. “Molten never trailed in both sets. Once the last hit had hit the ground for Championship point the goal that we had set in the beginning of the season was accomplished and boy did it feel good!”

2010 Boys 18 Finalist: AZ Fear 18 Red - Team Members: Kevin Balzer, Nicholas Benson, Timothy Ciurdas, Michael Crotty, Adam Gerads, Austin Karr, Mitchell Neilson, Dustin Odorcic, Matthey Pohlman, Jeffrey Wilmoth, Devin Zotovich. Coaches: Kyle Brainard, Taylor Griffin

Lasconia’s realization came from day one, when he and the team set the goal to win a Region title. “This team had heart and the belief that our goal would be accomplished.” He says, adding, “Never mind the numerous second place and occasional third place finishes at each of the power tournaments. What this team did at Regionals was memorable and unforgettable.”

Coach Lasconia credits the team’s unity. “I never once had to question their intentions as each and everyday they came to practice ready to work hard and get better. Their chemistry is something most coaches would dream of having. Each player played an important role on this team and each of them were interchangeable which makes it easier on the coaches when submitting in a line up as we can depend on anyone of them. If one player has had an off day another player can step in and contribute right away. Every player got better as the season wore on. What was impressive to me was the leadership that each person took on himself to help motivate each other when practice or games was not going the team’s way. That is something you can not teach.”

2010 Boys 16 Champions: Molten 16 Black - Team Members: Alex Davis, Connor Dickson, Jared Greene, John Hatch, Sean Hughes, Brenton Jeffs, Van Johansen, Kellen Law, Jacob Nuneviller, Blake Pendleton, Collin Ward, Sean Zwenger. Coaches: Beth Nuneviller, Todd Davis

Molten’s 16-Black Coach Beth Nuneviller saw her Finals match against Fear’s 16-Red team as the footnote to a competitive season for both. “This match had been anticipated all season.” Nuneviller remembered. “Fear 16's is a very talented team and I'm very thankful we were able to pull out the victory. The previous time we faced them each game was decided by two points with one going 34-32. We were fortunate to pull out the win then too, but we knew we would see them again in the finals. The Fear coach, Troy Dueling and I would jaw back and forth in the tournaments leading up to Regionals about the future results. After we lost to their 18-1's team in tournament #5 he mentioned ‘that would not be the last time this season we lose to Fear’ with a smile. However, my boys fought hard and found a way to pull through another tough 3-gamer.”

Dueling saw the handwriting on the wall as well. “The difference in the final match came down to passing like all close matches do. We battled with that team all season and I knew we would be seeing each other in the finials.” Dueling said.

Nuneviller put the fragmented group together and enjoyed the mix. “This was a great group of boys.” She says. “I had 5 boys from last years Molten 16-Blue team that finished Arizona Region 16's runner-up to our 16-Black. Four boys played on last year's Molten 14-Black team, who were the 14's Region Champions, and one new player to Molten and one new player to volleyball. They formed a good chemistry together and I didn't face any personality problems which is very nice for a coach. We had to grow quickly as most of the matches we played were against 18's teams...beside Regionals we only played 3 matches against teams 16 and under.”

2010 Boys 16's Finalist: AZ Fear 16 Red - Team Members: Brandon Barrett, Jackson Burge, Drew Davis, Tyler Gable, Weston Howse, Austin Kopas, Jedidiah Luster, Jackson Meyers, Kyle Mowry, Christian Nix, Daniel Villela. Coaches: Troy Dueling, Brennan Zotovich

Dueling was equally impressed with his squad. “This was a great season.” He says. “This was a young team with out a lot of court time but they got in the gym worked hard and got after it. I am very proud of this team.”

For Molten, the future seems very bright indeed as the 2011 season rolls around next fall.

Lasconia is anticipating a great spring for his boys. “I look forward to this team’s high school season as many of them play at Highland High School but I did have a few that attended other schools like Red Mountain and Mesquite High. It will be amusing to see them play against each other. I am sure they will all be supporting one another's success during the high school season.” He adds, “I am so excited to see where volleyball takes the seniors after their high school seasons are over as each and every one of them have the potential to play collegiate volleyball.”

For Nuneviller, the future isn’t as surefooted. “My older boys all go to Corona del Sol except for one, most of the younger boys are all Highland players so some of them will be playing together during their High School season.” Nuneviller says. “Next club season they will be split by ages, so we'll see how it all turns out next September. They all do love this game, so I'm sure they will be back.” Dueling sees a huge upside as well. “The future is very bright for these boys. All will be big contributors to their high school programs. I am really excited to see these boys progress in the next couple of years,” he says.

Congratulations also go out to the AZ Fear Volleyball Club’s 14 Red team which took ninth place in the Southern California Jr Boy’s Invitational held January 16-17 which qualified them for 14 Open Division at Boys JNC in Austin, TX next July.

2010 Region Champions
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