Shiela Phoha and Macy Militi
The last time the Jamesville-DeWitt High School Varsity Boys Volleyball team won Sectionals was back in 2013, but that isn’t stopping them from working towards winning it all this year. Although their record is 3-4, they are working hard for two hours everyday after school, focusing on their passing and blocking skills.
Both captains, senior Liam Kaplan and junior Matthew Cieplicki, as well as Head Coach Kyle Michael say their end-goal is to win Sectionals this year. “We haven’t gotten close to that the last couple of years but this year we have a much better team than we’ve ever had,” said Kaplan. Cieplicki adds, “It’s going to be tough but it’s possible.” They have lost to their biggest rival, Oswego, but they are hoping for a comeback in their rematch later this season on Oct. 4.
The team lost two starting seniors, but last year’s JV members have stepped up this year to help the team, according to Kaplan. “The team chemistry is pretty solid right now,” said Coach Michael, but he would like to see his players improve their communication on the court. He hopes his captains will see to that since they are both vocal leaders. The team has cookouts outside of practice for team bonding, but Coach Michael is not worried about his players because he knows they are all friendly with one another.
Cieplicki and Kaplan have both been on the team since they were sophomores. “I definitely know how varisty works and I know Coach Michael very well. I think that experience made me captain,” said Kaplan. Cieplicki has worked hard on and off the court to get to where he is today. His advice to underclassmen is to “keep playing, keep working hard, go to all of your practices, and you know you’ll get better.” “And,” he adds, “listen to your coaches.”
The J-DHS boys volleyball team has improved from last year and is working hard to reach their goal and go to Sectionals this year. The team aims to reach this goal by focusing on communication and working to improve their skills. They know that this will be tough but they are sure it’s going to be a great season.