Volleyball | Mauricio Diaz

Volleyball coach Mauricio Diaz aids Southwest and Ransom Everglades

Southwest Miami coach Mauricio Diaz, center, speaks to his team.
Southwest Miami coach Mauricio Diaz, center, speaks to his team.

Special to the Miami Herald

Volleyball coach Mauricio Diaz, who led the Southwest boys to state titles in 2003 and 2008, has joined forces with Ransom Everglades’ potent girls program — and he has already made a significant impact as an assistant.

Diaz, who remains the Southwest boys’ head coach, has known Ransom volleyball coach Roger Peluso for years — a friendship forged by mutual respect.

A couple of years ago, Peluso invited Diaz to join him on the bench, but nothing came of the conversation — at least not right away.

Last year, Diaz asked if the offer still stood, and the only thing open at Ransom was with the middle school. Diaz took it, and then moved up to varsity assistant this year after a couple of positions opened up on Peluso’s staff.

“I’ve always wanted to work with [Diaz] to see why he got his kids to be so successful,” Peluso said.

Upon his arrival to Ransom, Diaz convinced Peluso, who had always used a 5-1 formation with one setter, to switch to a 6-2 with two setters.

Senior Nikki Colonna is Ransom’s experienced setter, and she helped the Raiders reach the Class 4A state semifinals last year, where they lost to eventual champion Orlando Bishop Moore.

Diaz helped convert 6-1 junior Caroline Sklaver from a middle blocker to a setter.

“We wanted to maximize our offense, and now we have two talented setters who are also explosive hitters,” Diaz said.

“I am offensively driven. I like volleyball at a fast pace. I like it to be brutal and violent. Defenders should be diving, and hitters should be hitting as hard as they can.”

Diaz said he has meshed perfectly with Peluso, whom he describes as more focused on defense.

“I have always been on good terms with Roger,” Diaz said. “He is all for the kids, all for growing the sport.

“There are no egos with us. I think the girls enjoy our different styles. Roger is very cerebral. He commits to teaching the girls the finer points of the game.”

Diaz is also very fond of Ransom and the school’s academic excellence. There is a possibility that his daughter, Aryanah — a skilled 11-year-old volleyball player — could end up at Ransom.

The real question, though, is if Diaz might one day leave Southwest altogether and commit to Ransom full-time.

“There is a possibility, but I can’t say for sure,” Diaz said. “I love Southwest. I was a student there. I love getting these boys who have no knowledge of the game and then getting them to play at a high level and go on to compete in college.

“For the most part, these are Cuban kids from Westchester who otherwise may not have gone to college. I’m from that same community.

“Right now, this is a good situation. I get to work some at Ransom, and I’m still able to help my alma mater.”

Read more Miami-Dade High Schools stories from the Miami Herald

  • Roundup

    Two Cooper City athletes sign with colleges

    Cooper City pitcher and first baseman Johnny Haney signed a scholarship with the Point Park University (Pittsburgh) baseball team. The left-hander is 6-0 so far this season with 31 strikeouts, three complete games and 1.28 ERA. He is hitting .317 with a homerun, 13 RBI and 16 runs scored.

  • High Schools roundup

    Doctors Charter boys’ track relay teams qualifiy for states

    The Dade Christian boys’ track 4x100 relay team will head to the State Championship for its second year in a row. Abigael Neus, Sam Mompremier, Jeanmaxon Adrien, and Cameron Floyd. Darwin Abreu qualified fourth overall in the mile. The 4x400 relay team, Torrian Wallace, Jovyn Pierre, Andrew Dodds, and Jonathan Gill needed to finish fourth out of 16 teams and run under a 3:42 to qualify for states. Freshman Jonathan Gill lead the team to a time of 3:36, awarding them fourth place to also qualify them for states.

  • State Tennis Championship

    Ransom Everglades’ Allegra Hanlon galls short of state title

    Everything seemed in place for Allegra Hanlon to end her high-school career with one more tennis championship. Then the rains came.

Get your Miami Heat Fan Gear!

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category