MILFORD – The Milford Eagles’ boys volleyball team has a mix of veteran players and those who don’t have any experience with the sport.
The important thing for head coach Jim Siciliano and his team is that the players who return play crucial roles for the team and have been on the team for three or four seasons already.
Such players include setter Jack Burgess and the team’s best hitter in Michael Swensen.
“It absolutely helps that we have guys in key spots returning,” Siciliano said. “With the other guys, we’ll need to learn as we go. Game experience will help, too.”
He said much of the team has at least junior varsity experience and the key will be “getting the bugs out early.”
Milford will also look for contributions from freshman Peter Kroeger as one of the team’s middle hitters.
“Guys don’t tend to have that much experience coming in from grade school,” the coach said. “But, we have some nice programs in middle school that should help us out for years to come.”
Siciliano said there have been games where the team plays well and others where it just falls apart. But, if the team plays like it’s capable of playing, he sees it having a winning record and being in the tournament for a couple games.
Head coach Julie Mulvey‘s McNicholas Rockets have a similar structure.
The Rockets will look to a couple seniors in Connor Games, Cole Tippmann and Justin Brunot.
Tippmann has a nice court presence and is a good leader. Mulvey is hopeful that Brunot will come in and help the Rockets with their blocking.
The bulk of leadership falls to Games, who Mulvey said has been a varsity player all four years.
“We’re hoping he leads us to great things,” she said.
McNick will also look for contributions from sophomores Andy Schmidt and Alex Wehmeyer and juniors Jacob Round, Grant Painter and Matt Barbara.
“The whole team has blown me away,” Mulvey said. “We held our own in a scrimmage with Elder and beat Carroll and Chaminade-Julienne to start the season. I would love to surprise some of those teams that have been the best in the area for a number of years.”