BURBANK — The Bellarmine-Jefferson boys' volleyball team has some work to do early in the season.
With a number of contributors from last season's team having departed, the Guards need to both refine their volleyball skills while learning to play together.
The lack of experience showed at home on Wednesday, as Calvary Chapel of Downey defeated Bell-Jeff in straight sets 25-23, 25-17, 25-11.
The loss dropped the Guards to 0-5 on the season. This past weekend the team participated in the Providence Tournament.
"It's game time experience," said Bell-Jeff Coach Miguel Segura. "We've had none of it together besides the tournament. Now that they know who's playing where and what for the most part, now we just need to gain that experience as a team together and try to stay positive."
Segura added that the Guards need to learn how to work through adversity.
"We're a frustrating team," the coach said. "We haven't learned how to get out of frustrations or know that we've got to go through learning pains."
Things looked promising early on for Bell-Jeff as the team held onto a 23-20 advantage late in the first game. Calvary Chapel (1-4) rallied to close out the frame with a 5-0 run.
The Grizzlies carried that momentum into the second game, cruising to a 21-10 advantage. Then setter Colbert Orta connected on six straight service points, four of them aces, as the Guards pulled back into the game, 21-16.
Segura liked what he saw when his team served consistently.
"We might be a serving team if we keep our serves together," the coach said, stressing that strong serving can lead to easy points and more confidence.
Despite Orta's surge, Calvary Chapel took the second game 25-17. Bell-Jeff faded in the third, losing the decisive game 25-11.
Orta, one of the players that Segura is leaning on early in the season, finished with 18 assists.
"We just need to work on our passing a little," the junior said. ":My sets need to be more accurate."
Chris Coquia had eight kills for Bell-Jeff and teammate Eric Davidians added 23 digs.
Orta stressed the importance of better communication, as the Guards learn to play together.
"Communication is always a big deal," Orta said. "That's one thing. I know that for a fact. I have to talk a lot more. That's pretty much it."