NORWALK – For Diamond Ranch boys volleyball coach Mario Meza and seniors Kaleb Cruz and Faroq Gibani, the road to Saturday’s CIF Southern Section Division 5 championship match began three years ago.
That’s when Meza coached Cruz and Gibani on the school’s junior varsity team during the pair’s freshman season. He’s watched Cruz, an outside hitter, and Gibani, a middle blocker, transform the Panthers (22-9) from a nine-win team into a championship-caliber team.
In the biggest match of their careers at the school, their time spent together certainly paid off for the Panthers, who swept a tough Garden Grove team 27-25, 27-25, 25-20 in the Division 5 title match at Cerritos College. Cruz and Gibani led Diamond Ranch with 13 kills and three blocks each.