The Saints are the only Long Beach team listed on the CIF Southern Section’s preseason watch list, and they feature the unquestioned top player in the city: Aidan Grosz, a stud middle blocker who’s signed with Long Beach State.
Longtime Saints coach Alicia Lemau’u is trying to guide her team to success at the Del Rey League, after consecutive Camino Real League championships. It doesn’t hurt having a star player like Grosz.
“Oh yeah, he walks in the gym and and all the kids on the other team are looking at him like, ‘Is he in college already?’ I’m like no, and I’m glad he’s on my team,” said Lemau’u.
Grosz leads a team that is almost entirely seniors, with just two healthy underclassmen on the roster as the year starts. In the middle of that group of veterans is Grosz, outside hitter Nicky Mizraji, and opposite hitter Brandon Berry, all of whom have been four-year varsity starters. The Saints are trying to overcome an injury to Eamon Pool-Harris during football season that has left him out for the start of the year. Sophomore Jakob Aguilar will set for the Saints this year.
“We’re having fun right now, it’s nice having so many fourth-year seniors, but you have to work to make sure you’re not just saying the same thing over and over again,” said Lemau’u. “I work really hard to find different ways to motivate them. This year we’re talking about CIF–we’ve hung some purple banners, let’s hang a white one this year.”