Different pieces, levels of experience dot FLHS boys volleyball team

Early schedule means Bluedevils are learning on the fly

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Fort Lupton's boys volleyball team isn't just FLHS students.

Players from five other schools -- Brighton, Weld Central, Skyline, Frederick and Mead high schools -- formed this year's squad, and most don't play volleyball on a regular basis, such as Jesus Vasquez.

"This is my first year playing," he said. "I'm a basketball player, actually. My family played volleyball. My sister played for the high school."

"We have one returning player, and he's in a new position," said FLHS coach Cindy Seiler. "He's learning all that as the rest of the team learning to play volleyball. We have a bunch of different players from different schools. They are getting along great. You wouldn't know we had players from five schools. I'm proud of the Fort Lupton boys for accepting them and bringing them in."

Vasquez had a team-high four kills in a three-set loss to undefeated Greeley Central High School March 31 in Fort Lupton. He also served up the Bluedevils' only ace.

"I look up to my older sister a lot," Vasquez said. "It's helped me have better experience with other players and teammates. The best part is hanging out with my teammates. I love them."

It also helps with the basketball side of Vasquez's life, particularly with his ability to jump.

"I'm in the post. I'm down low. They need a big guy down there," Vasquez said. "It helps my communication and my hops, my vertical. I'm good at adapting. It's my first-ever year playing volleyball."

Greeley Central won the first two sets against Fort Lupton by two points each. The Wildcats didn't have as much trouble in the third set and won 25-16.

"It didn't go how we planned," Vasquez said. "The ability to win to win, we didn't have as much as we needed. But overall, our communication was good. we played really well. We ran out of gas in the third set."

"They are learning and not with a lot of practice time," Seiler said. "We had two weeks of spring break, snow. It's been tough. We have seven games (this) week. They have to learn in the heat of the moment, which is always hard."

Seiler said acceptance of so many players from so many schools has been the highlight for the early part of the season.

"You wouldn't know who was from a different school. To me, that was important," Seiler said. "They are representing Fort Lupton quite well."

Vasquez has no objections to his new sport.

"It's been really good," Vasquez said. "We like winning, but it didn't help tonight. We just have to work on that in practice."

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