Players use club volleyball to prep for season

KYLIE IRWIN

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This year, the varsity boys volleyball team has a number of boys that play together in the same program in the off-season.

Sophomores Jacob Cole, Cooper Baddley and Brian Nuevo and juniors Neal Reilly, Sam Toomey, Tommy Morin and Landon Bones all play for the Northern California Volleyball Club. Reilly, Cole, Morin and Toomey all play for the same team, while the other boys are scattered throughout the club.

Reilly, a pin hitter, feels that playing with his high school teammates outside of the high school season provides many benefits regarding the team’s togetherness and performance.

“With any sport, you have to build up chemistry from the beginning of the season,” Reilly said. “With us four already playing together for the past six to seven months, we already know where to go when certain plays happen.”

Many players on the team play club volleyball outside of high school competition. Most play for NCVC but some play for other clubs.

Bones, a defensive specialist, plays for an NCVC team and recognizes the many positive effects that playing for a club team can provide.

“Playing on NCVC helps both myself and other players develop a better overall skill-set for playing volleyball. Being able to play year-long helps keep and perfect the skills and game awareness that I learned from it,” Bones said. “Forming teams with players from both your own high school and others allows you to learn how to adjust to different players on both sides of the net during any form of playing. Overall, every aspect of play from individual skill to team chemistry to knowledge of the game is coached to the players of NCVC.”

Roseville High School varsity boys volleyball coach Cindy Simon feels that the boys’ additional practice time together during the off-season allows them to further develop their skills and has proven very beneficial in regards to what she has seen from them so far.

“The four [Reilly, Cole, Morin, and Toomey] are all starters,” Simon said. “I can tell with just conditioning and tryouts they’re having fun, they’re laughing, they’re helping the other guys out, I think that they’re good leaders but they also know how to have fun.”

After coaching the varsity boys team two years ago, Simon has returned to the role this year with high hopes and believes that this year’s team is very strong.

Simon was almost able to take the varsity boys team to the playoffs the last season she coached and hopes to advance even further this year.

Last year, under coach Jason Cole, the varsity boys team had a successful season and ended up earning a co-championship title –alongside the Ponderosa Bruins. Although Cole is no longer the team’s coach, Reilly feels that the boys are still capable of a very successful season under Simon.

“We’re favored to make playoffs again, but our goal is to win Sections this year because that is where we lost last year,” Reilly said. “I honestly don’t think Simon coaching will make that much of a difference. It’s up to the players more than the coach. The coach can only do so much, they can’t play the game for you.”

Morin, a libero, is confident in Simon’s coaching ability because she has years of coaching and playing experience.

“I’m really confident in her and I feel like we’ll do well this season again,” Morin said.