Spiked expectations

Boys volleyball squad looks to rewrite reputation

Jeremy Johnson , Sports Writer

An individual grows tired of being disrespected time and time again.
Imagine how an entire team feels.
That team is the boys volleyball squad who is looking to erase their unsuccessful past.

“With a lot of returning guys who hold more experience, I think we should be able to hold our own in our conference this season,” junior outside hitter Reilly Dougherty said.

The Vikings dropped their first match against Oak Forest 25-12, 25-18.

Head Coach Robert St. Leger said that putting more pressure on the defense will help the team be more successful.

“We want to be faster offensively, which starts with our setters getting the ball to our attackers quicker,” St. Leger said. “This ideally will confuse the defense and create more opportunities for our hitters.”

The ability to finish down the stretch will be important for a team looking to build a winning mentality.

“I just give it my all in practice so when it comes time to play I feel prepared,” senior right side Anthony Babinec said. “The key to tight games is to stay calm, focused, and mentally sharp.”

The 3-27 record that the team posted last year is something the team cannot afford to repeat.

“My goal since last year has been to win more,” junior outside hitter Erin Lee said. “I need to be more aggressive and also be a leader on and off the court.”

Leadership is essential to having success on the court.

The one voice people turn to for guidance remains unknown.

“We have players who from time to time will show leadership but nobody has consistently stepped up to the plate for us,” St. Leger said. “This is something that we’re really looking to find on a consistent basis.”

Everybody can’t try to be the star of the team. Role players are needed to balance the group out.

“Volleyball is obviously a team sport so without everybody playing their best you’re not going to be a successful team,” Babinec said. “I could be the best right side in the world but if we don’t have a good passer or setter it won’t matter.”

According to Dougherty, volleyball isn’t looked at as being competitive at all.

“Everyone thinks it’s a relaxed sport when it’s not,” Dougherty said. “If you want to play a relaxed sport, go stand in right-field on the baseball team.”

Dougherty said volleyball probably won’t ever be as popular as basketball or football, but it deserves a shot.

“If people gave volleyball a chance we could turn some heads,” Dougherty said. “If more kids tried out for volleyball, it would be taken more seriously and it would be more respected. Until that day, maybe having a winning record will give us some recognition.”