Boys volleyball robbed by CIF regulations

by Benjamin Minch & Jamie Pham, Staff Writers

Boys volleyball had an exceptional season, winning three preseason tournaments and finishing fourth in a Division 1 league. The team looked forward to competing in Division 2 California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) and were ranked seventh in all of Division 2. Unfortunately, even though the team had been working hard, the boys volleyball team was rejected from the CIF due to its rules. 

Downey Huynh (‘17) seemed to be affected most by the upsetting CIF rules and regulations, as this was his last year in the Fountain Valley volleyball program.

“I felt terrible after hearing that we didn’t make it into CIF. It seemed as though we had wasted our three years preparing for it, when we didn’t even make it,” said Huynh.

Fountain Valley is in one of the most difficult leagues in California, the Sunset League. The top three teams in the Sunset League had all made it far in Division 1 CIF. This is a league in which all other teams, except Marina, are in Division 1. Finishing fourth in the hardest league is a feat in itself, and deserves some credit.

“We had a .500 win record,” said Huynh, “on top of that, we also dominated most of the teams that actually made it into Division 2, and even some that made it to Division 1. There were many teams that made it into CIF that were way worse than we were, but they happened to get top three in their petty league. Making CIF was only a matter of who was in the worst league.”

” The new CIF rules, regardless of how bad your league is, just the top three teams make it. Since we’re in a really good division, we just got screwed. Compared to a Westminster league, the top three teams made it for them. For our league, we had to compete with Huntington Beach, Edison and Newport, some of the best teams in California,” said Matt Gemeinhardt (’17).

CIF usually gives out an “at large bid,” which goes to teams that didn’t get top three in their league, but this year, none were given. It brings up the question that Fountain Valley might have still not made Division 2 CIF even if they got top three because all of the spots were already taken.

This seems like a flawed system, to reward teams for being in some leagues and deny other teams the entrance into playoffs. Many of the seniors on the volleyball team have very strong feelings about these rules and regulations regarding entrance into CIF.

“I think we should have made it because we were a very good team and beat a lot of the teams that made it into Division 2 such as Esperanza, Laguna Hills and multiple teams that were in both Division 1 and Division 2 CIF…Teams like us deserve to make it into CIF,” said Gemeinhardt.

“I wish that CIF respected that we were ranked number 7 in the entirety of Division 2, instead of letting teams that weren’t even ranked in the top ten into the playoffs,” said Huynh.

“I believe that teams should make CIF based on skill, not because of rank in league,” said Timmy Ho (‘17), another member of the team.

Players have taken to social media to express their discontentment with the CIF rules and many hope for some sort of change for the future of Fountain Valley athletics.

If CIF really wants the best athletic performance of its league, then it should take the time to revise its rules, making it the most fair for everyone.