Photo by Hunter Franklin ’19 | Nate Thompson ’18 spikes the ball against Chandler in a volleyball game on March 7, 2018. Brophy fell short over the course of five sets, 25-21, 25-22, 18-25, 19-25, 8-15.
By Andrew Jordan ’18
The volleyball team is looking to bounce back after a disappointing conclusion of last season.
Nathan Thompson ’18 and varsity head coach Mr. Toni Oldani are optimistic as they start the season.
“We’re returning a lot of starters, right now we’re just trying to fill in the gaps,” Thompson said.
Those starters are Thompson, Connor Dunn ’18, and Jakob Chavez ’18. These three were recognized as all-state athletes last season.
In recent years, not only has the volleyball program competed on a state level, but also on a national level. Some may be alarmed at how the season has started.
“The results early on may not be the same, but our expectations for how we proceed should look similar. We’re working on creating the same depth we had at the beginning of some of our elite teams from the past few seasons,” Mr. Oldani said.
“We’ve got a lot of new players on varsity, so, early in the year, we’re focused more on building our chemistry and culture,” Mr. Oldani said.
As of the writing of this article, the volleyball team owns a record of four wins to five losses. However, Mr. Oldani knows that they have a long season ahead of them.
“We’re a pretty inexperienced team with some big holes to fill,” he said. “The challenge will be the elite guys on the team having patience as we develop some of those players and knowing we need to be ready in May, not March.”
That inexperience comes in the form of guys that have never played on varsity before, most notably the addition of basketball stand-out Jaxson Baker ’18.
“The inexperience is definitely frustrating at times, but I always try to keep that positive mindset,” Baker said.
Mr. Oldani has already noticed his effect on the team.
“He’s the energy provider for our team no matter how things may be going on the court,” he said.
With regards to the rest of the season, the seniors and coaches have a clear vision of where they want to be in the future.
“We have so much room to improve that, by May, we’ll be scary,” Thompson said.