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Zakarian surpasses 100-win mark at helm of Viking volleyball

Tue Oct 18, 2022

In typical unassuming fashion, West Valley volleyball coach Armen Zakarian earned his 100th win Sept. 9 with a sweep of Shasta College at the Delta College Classic in Stockton. The achievement went largly unnoticed, as Zakarian was embarking on a new season with an almost-entirely new squad looking to defend back-to-back Coast Conference championships. It is unnoticed no longer.

After taking over the West Valley indoor and beach programs in 2015, Zakarian has steadily built Viking Volley into one of the nation's elite community college programs. After a pair of "under-construction" seasons in 2015 and 2016, WVC volleyball has averaged 24 wins per season, won two Coast titles (2019, 2021), two state tournament appearances (2018, 2021) and a state runner-up finish (2021). West Valley, under Zakarian, has posted a 103-65 overall record, 46-26 in the Coast, in seven seemingly short seasons.

While wins and losses tell the story on the surface, Zakarian emphasizes academics and life lessons as the cornerstone of his program. His athletes are consistently at the top of the West Valley and CCCAA team GPA charts and dozens of Viking players have transferred to four-year programs, including seven from 2021 alone, to continue their academic and athletic careers.

"For an incoming athlete who is looking to pursue volleyball in college, they usually look first at the success of a program, or its state ranking, or how many wins they have in conference," Zakarian said. "All those things are great, but our job at West Valley is to make athletes better in a multitude of fashions. We don't just train the athlete element; we aim to train the human element as well. We train our players to become better versions of themselves so they are ready to dominate the next chapter in their life."

The Vikings are just starting their 2022 Coast Conference schedule, and Zakarian and his Vikings are, as usual, focused on more than just wins and losses. However, throughout Zakarian's history at WVC, the wins just seem to keep coming.