Shadow Ridge’s boys volleyball team has just four returners from last year’s Class 5A state title-winning team.

Coach Luke Wilson said with a young squad he’s focused on getting his players to develop the next two-plus months in order to be playing their best at the right time.

“It’s now how many times you win in the season, it’s when you’re winning in the season,” Wilson said. “It’s March right now. We want to be winning in May. It’s going to be a slow build and we want to be winning when it matters.”

The high school boys volleyball began Thursday and this week marks the first full week of competition for local teams. Boys volleyball is a Southern Nevada-only sport.

Shadow Ridge graduated nine seniors from last year’s team, many of whom were key contributors that helped the Mustangs win the last two 5A state titles. They defeated Palo Verde in five sets (26-24, 21-25, 25-19, 23-25, 15-8) at home to win last year’s championship.

Among the team’s notable returners are junior Kingston Jerome, senior Jason Mersereau and senior Nate Lewis. Wilson said those three are going to be “big, key pieces” for the Mustangs this year.

“We have a younger squad this year,” Wilson said. “We’re going to have two sophomores and two freshmen on the team, but the year of growth is in front of us. We have a good group of senior leaders that are going to take that key role and we’ll build off that.”

Wilson said having the last two 5A title games at Shadow Ridge has helped the program with recognition.

“The interest in the game is growing,” Wilson said. “In our area in particular, kids are coming in saying they’re volleyball players and it’s not just a secondary sport.”

Wilson said there are other 5A contenders to look our for as well.

“There’s an up-and-coming team in Arbor View that’s going to be pretty good this year,” Wilson said. “Palo Verde is always good. They’re always going to be tough no matter what. The other team is Coronado, they’re going to be another tough one.”

Arbor View, Coronado and Palo Verde will compete in the Mountain League. Shadow Ridge is in the Desert League, which features Centennial, Green Valley and last season’s 4A champion Cheyenne.

Contact Alex Wright at Follow @AlexWright1028 on X.

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