Members of the Malibu High School Sharks girls volleyball team, their parents and fans witnessed some experienced, high-flying volleyball action for the second time this season on Aug. 29.
The group’s coach, Derek Saenz, organized an exhibition game in the Sharks’ gym that featured 13 men’s volleyball players who battled at the net as members of volleyball teams at colleges such as Pepperdine, UCLA, Long Beach State and the California State University-Northridge.
Saenz, in his first season as the Sharks coach, organized the match to expose the Sharks to a high level of their sport.
“It was important to bring it to the kids, so they can say, ‘They are playing in our house, on our court,’” he said. “That way they feel more connected to what is happening.”
In July, the Malibu coach organized a similar event that featured mostly women’s volleyball players who had played in college and were competing on a professional level.
The Sharks and their parents got the chance to speak to the display’s participants about their volleyball journeys at both scrimmages.
Saenz said he and his assistant coaches participated in the men’s match. “The girls got the chance to see us do what we had been telling them to do and doing it at a fast pace and high level,” he said.
Saenz said a lot of his players were amazed with how intense both scrimmages became.
“It opened their eyes,” he said.