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SRHS mens volleyball team is highly rated 

SRHS senior Daniel Stankoulov goes high during a 3-0 victory against Mira Mesa High School on March 1. (photo by Jim Wick)

SRHS mens volleyball team is highly rated 

By Hector Trujillo

The Scripps Ranch High School mens volleyball team is in the midst of the 2023 season with one of the best starts in school history and hopes to close out just as impressively with about 12 games remaining.

The first rankings of the season came out recently and the SRHS mens team was rated number 1 in San Diego and number 16 in the state as of March 12, according to head coach Lance Taschner. The team’s record was 16-3 at deadline.

The Falcons’ astonishing run included a dominating performance in the Scripps Ranch Volleyball Tournament on March 10 and 11, playing three matches each day while going 6-0, which improved the team’s record overall, and included a victory in the championship match over Torrey Pines High School.

Scripps Ranch has been led this season by the outstanding plays of seniors and tournament co-MVPs Blake Taschner and Brody Erickson.

“We returned pretty much our entire team,” coach Taschner said. “We have multiple players who play high level club volleyball and multiple players that are going on to play at the collegiate level next year, so we’re a pretty stacked team.”

Erickson will be moving on to play volleyball at Grand Canyon University while Taschner will be playing at Merrimack College.

Several other seniors on the team are still considering which college or universities where they will be playing, while junior Jett Reyes will be returning to Scripps Ranch next year.

“In terms of our leadership, since this year we have a squad made up of seniors pretty much, our leadership is very solid,” coach Taschner said.

The Falcons have also had the benefit of senior Dean Paley since the start of the season, having been without him for part of last season. He also plays strong forward for the basketball team.

Among the remaining games for Scripps Ranch are two versus Morse High School on April 5 and 25, along with two against Francis Parker High on April 12 and on April 28 to close out the regular season.

The Falcons will also face off with Helix High School on April 7, Cathedral Catholic on April 14 and Madison High School on April 19 before competing in another two-day tournament starting on April 20.

Among the most notable wins so far in 2023 was the 3-0 victory over Poway High School on Feb. 28. The Falcons had not defeated Poway since 2016. Scripps Ranch also competed in the Best of the West Tournament on March 3 and 4, going toe to toe with some of the best teams in the country and finishing 3-3 over the six matches they played. The team aims to improve even further on its third place finish last year among all San Diego County high schools.

SRHS Junior Jett Reyes focuses on the ball during action against Mira Mesa High on March 1. (photo by Jim Wick)
Senior Blake Taschner sets a shot in a 3-0 victory against Canyon Crest Academy on Feb. 23. (photo by Jim Wick)
SRHS seniors Brody Erickson (left) and Blake Taschner were named co-MVPs of the Scripps Ranch Volleyball Tournament on March 10 and 11. (photo by Jaime Erickson)