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Duhoux's versatility leads the way for Sailors

Daily Pilot Athlete of the Week

Senior had 40 assists, five kills and three blocks in a recent big victory against league foe Edison.

March 30, 2013|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza
  • Newport Harbor's Steven Duhoux sets Kevin Rakestraw during a match against Huntington Beach.
Newport Harbor's Steven Duhoux sets Kevin Rakestraw… (SCOTT SMELTZER,…)

Steven Duhoux grimaced in pain on the court last week. He tried to ignore it but it was just too much to deal with, so he handled it the best way he could.

Each time the ball was on the other side of the net he tried to shake off the pain. The pain was still there and it wasn't going away.

The left thumb Duhoux jammed while blocking a shot hurt badly. The good news was his block put his boys' volleyball team, Newport Harbor High, two points away from taking a 2-0 sets lead at Edison.

When Duhoux reached the bench, his coach, Steve Astor, asked him how he felt and then encouraged him.

"You just got to do what you got to do and fight through it," Duhoux said Astor told him.

What else could Duhoux do? He was responsible for setting the team's offense. He couldn't sit out because the starting setter, Scott Russell, was out with a toe injury.

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Duhoux toughed it out and then things got tight. The Sailors lost the next two sets, and Edison forced a decisive fifth set. Duhoux and his team had been in this same position three days before against the same team.

While the venue was different, what wasn't was Newport Harbor's mindset. The Sailors pride themselves in being one of top conditioned teams in Orange County.

Duhoux is also one of those players who gets on his teammates when they're not working hard. He had to go after it, not wanting to stick out like a sore thumb because of his thumb.

Duhoux distributed the ball and the Sailors edged Edison for the second time in Sunset League play. He recorded 40 assists, five kills and three blocks, showing his versatility.

In his senior year, the Sailors are asking him to do a lot.

He gave up his favorite position before the season to play opposite. He isn't used to hammering shots, because he sets them up on his club team, the HBC Volleyball Club. He was looking forward to doing the same thing full time in his final season with his high school team.

When Astor came to Duhoux before the season, he told him he wasn't sure where he would start. He just told him it probably wasn't going to be at setter.

"He did a good job of understanding the team aspect of it. He's really taken hold of that. He's been a great leader for us," Astor said. "As you can see, he can do a lot of different things for us, which is [great]. We don't have tremendous depth one through 15 on our team this year, but eight or nine guys can play different positions [and that] gives us depth, and he's one of those main guys."

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