"Lou said early on that he wasn't expecting anyone in our league to go undefeated and then we did," said senior setter Erik Aku. "It was cool, since no Deer Valley team had ever done that before. It was exciting and relieving at the same time but I think we all knew we could do it."
The Wolverines finished with a 14-0 league record and as of press time on Wednesday morning carried a 32-4 overall mark. None of the players, however, were surprised. "Once we took down De La Salle that first time I knew that it was going to be a good season. That's the one team we'd never beaten, so that felt really good," said senior libero Eric Aiello. "Coming into the season I thought we had a pretty strong team, but once Justin Fong broke his leg it scared the whole team pretty bad. We weren't that deep at all but we brought two sophomores up and they did a great job filling in. Shair (Wahidi) especially stepped up to fill Justin's position and that really helped us out."
The team earned the No. 2 seed in the 12-team North Coast Section Class I playoffs, which began Tuesday. Because of their illustrious record, the Wolverines were given a bye in the first round. On Wednesday night Deer Valley hosted Liberty, which beat Antioch in round one, but results were unavailable, as the match took place after the Press went to print.
The Wolverines were granted home court advantage in rounds two and three of the playoffs, relieving some of the pressure of playing on the road. "We didn't want to have to go play before a hostile crowd like we did sophomore year against College Park," Aiello said. "That killed us. It's good to know we'll have the crowd behind us."
For complete results of Deer Valley's NCS playoff experience, read next week's edition of the Antioch Press.