On Saturday, May 25, the members of the McNicholas Men’s Volleyball Team will compete for the title of State Champions in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. After their first series of wins against Roger Bacon since 2010, players are confident that they have what it takes to secure the number-one title.
“I think our team has what it takes because of the chemistry we have with one another,” junior Grant Tore said. “We play our best when we’re able to talk to each other on and off the court, which is something we’ve gotten really good at this past year. There’s an amazing amount of talent and versatility on our team; everyone can and has played multiple positions this year, which is really helpful, especially when players are hurt.”
The team plans to carry on with routine practices until Friday, May 24, when they will make the long journey to Cuyahoga Falls, a suburb of Cleveland. Once there, they plan to take a break from practicing, instead spending the evening relaxing and bonding with teammates. The semi-final match is set to take place Saturday night at 5 p.m. at Walsh-Jesuit High School. If they win, they will move onto the state finals, which will take place on Sunday. “I know this team is capable of beating anyone in this tournament,” Coach Julie Mulvey said. “The skill is there; we just need to play our game, and we’ll walk out this weekend as Champs.”
For the five seniors on the team, Saturday’s events may be their last as Rockets. Kevin Fagin, Stefan Games, Robbie Kump, Evan McPhillips, and Christian Ray have spent their last three years as varsity players for McNicholas Volleyball.
“Every one of our seniors has been crucial to the lineup,” Mulvey said. “They each bring their own assets to the team, in both skill and attitude. Together, they’ve been able to lead us down a very fun road.”
“The seniors bring so much to the team, especially leadership,” Tore said. “They keep the team focused and working, and they’re able to pick us up when we get down about a bad play. They have so much energy.”
This isn’t the first time the state tournament has seen the men of McNicholas Volleyball. In 2008, the team competed in the state finals, only to go home with second place. This year, they hope to make school history as the first men’s team to go home with the state trophy.
“When I look back on this year’s season, I hope to remember one thing in particular;” said junior Jeremy Tiettmeyer. “The day we won the state competition!”