June 26, 2017

Three returning starters bring hope to team

by Kelly McKewin, Asst. Sports Editor

The boys volleyball team starts its season in hopes of competing for a Conference title and beating its rivals, while also maintaining its team chemistry and attitude.

“This season is going to be different in the sense of how it’s played and the at- titudes of the players. This team is willing to invest more than previous ones,” Jason Kopkowski, volleyball coach, said. “They’re usually fun, energetic and passionate. They play with a lot of passion, which is the way the game should be played.”

This year’s team only has three returning varsity starters. Tim Lee, senior, is one of the returning players and believes the team has the chance to do really well this year.

“I feel it (the season) will start off a little shaky but by the end we’ll do well in conference and as a team. It depends on mental strength and the focus on the goals,” Lee said.

Players and coaches created a list of long-term goals and daily standards to follow through on. Goals include playing for a conference title and beating Hersey and Buffalo Grove, the team’s biggest rivals. The team’s standards are to work hard everyday, hold each other accountable and to limit its unforced errors.

Coach Kopkowski believes that success comes in different ways, and that as long as the team is more successful than not, they will be accomplished.

“I expect to be a scrappy team. I expect our team identity to be a strong defensive team. That’s what we’re going to be at the core, but hopefully we’ll become more offensive,” Coach Kopkowski said.

Zack Nauert, senior, along with Jacob Del Toro, senior, will also return this year on varsity. Nauert believes the new team is com- ing together really well and should prove to have a good season.

“I’m excited for this year,” Nauert said. “I think we should definitely have a winning season this year and hopefully win a tourna- ment. Watching them as a JV team last year, they were really scrappy but good on defense. I think we’ll be really good.”

Since there are only three returning players, Lee thinks the team needs to work on its chemistry and coordination because most of last year’s JV play- ers have played together for a long time. He feels that it would help them work better together as a team.

“I’m hoping we can do well and push hard throughout the season without giv- ing up,” Lee said.

The team had its first game on Tuesday, March 19 at home against Maine East. Results were not available by press time.

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