6’8 junior guards net in 2nd year on varsity volleyball squad
By Ian C. Beck ’12
To the left of the volleyball net on the front line you will find a 6’8 Brophy junior who has made a name for himself as an outside hitter whose role is just that, hitting and blocking the ball.
That junior is Matthew Pohlman ’11.
As a freshman and sophomore, Pohlman played basketball and “thought about (volleyball) as a different sport.”
“I liked playing more and more and I just got drawn to it, it was a lot more fun,” Pohlman said.
Pohlman said his size is an advantage, but it is not everything.
“I don’t like to brag like just because I’m big I’m good at volleyball; I try to work as hard as I can,” he said.
His coach agreed there is more to Pohlman than height.
“Well, being 6’8” doesn’t hurt… but I think his evolving intensity is what has led to his emergence as one of the state’s best outside hitters,” said head coach Mr. Tony Oldani in an e-mail, addressing what makes Pohlman successful.
Mr. Oldani added that Pohlman came on as a typical freshman in that he had “little to no formal volleyball experience,” showing what he called “unlimited promise.”
That promise has now turned into aspiration as Pohlman hopes to play volleyball at the collegiate level.
“(Pohlman) now has team and personal goals that give his training greater focus and intensity,” Mr. Oldani said about Pohlman’s maturation from freshman year to now.
“Pohlman was extremely quiet when I first met him, and even now he is usually not the first to speak, but he cares a lot about the game and he has a definite want to always know more and become a better player,” said teammate Joshua Burkholder ’10 in an e-mail.
Burkholder added that while Pohlman isn’t the most vocal leader, he sets a perfect example of proper technique.
Other players have also noticed his enthusiasm.
“I’ve played with Matt for two years now and played against him during club season. He’s all around a great kid who has a lot of enthusiasm for the volleyball, the best sport out there,” said Sean Brady ’10 in an e-mail.
Brady added that he expects Pohlman to be even better next year.