David Huan leads Cal volleyball to victory

New coach hopes to help lift program to greater heights


Mansi Swaminathan

David Huan, second from the right, speaks to the girls volleyball team during a break in the action.

There is yet another change at Cal High that will help elevate the athletic program to newer heights with the addition of first-year women’s varsity volleyball coach David Huan.
Huan is one of the club directors of Red Rock Volleyball, a local club in Alameda County. Huan, who was recruited as Cal’s new coach, has been coaching for more than 23 years and started his coaching career as a sophomore at UC Berkeley.
“My goals for every team that I work with is just always trying to help them get to the next level,” Huan said.
Huan’s primary goal is to push the team to develop their skills. He said he experienced a lot of challenges as a Red Rock Volleyball coach and a business owner during the COVID quarantine months. He mentioned that the experience was highly unpredictable and that they had to learn to adapt to the ‘new normal’.
From having no classes at Red Rock to slowly doing exercise routines through Zoom, Huan had quite a journey through the pandemic.
Many of his players believe that he has implemented new routines and good values for the team.
“The competitiveness that Coach David brings to the table gives a good environment,” senior defensive specialist Ha Ly Carlson said. “I would say that we have more of a routine this year. The construction of our practices are much different.”
Compared to last year when the girls used to do laps as a warmup, they started doing half-court dynamic warmups.
In comparison to last year, when the Grizzlies finished 6-12 in the EBAL, Cal got off to a fast this year start by winning its first six games and going 13-0 in non-league play.
Since league play has started, the Grizzlies have dropped six of seven games and are 14-8 overall.
The team won the Deer Valley Tournament last month and continues to improve.
With Cal’s latest set of victories, players say that Huan has established himself as a strong and focused coach. Most of the women’s volleyball team thinks the same.
With a fresh mindset and a new coach, the women’s volleyball team is looking forward to a lot more victories in their upcoming matches.
“We were really excited, actually, to have some change,” senior outside hitter Natalie Peete said. “We didn’t have a coach until right before the season started, so we were worried we weren’t going to get a coach.”
Peete is an experienced player who has been on the team since her freshman year. Adapting to a new coach was definitely not easy, according to her. The comfort level achieved with the old coach is being rebuilt since new changes are being brought to the team.
But Peete felt that they are lucky to have such an experienced coach and is excited nonetheless.
“I think our team is responding pretty well,” junior middle blocker Alana Villela said. “Our team really works well when it comes to speaking with new people and changes and stuff.”
Villela thinks that this change had a large impact due to Huan already bringing a difference to the team.
The competitiveness of this new environment sparks the team to work even harder to be prepared for the fall season.
“For me, you know, my goal as a competitor is to just try to win everything,” Huan said.