Open season

Gears of victory begin to whir following close victory against FZW


Eliza Swanson

Senior Max Jarus sets the ball to teammate senior Collin King for a play. Both players have been playing with very few errors so far this season.

Garrett Allen, Staff reporter

Throughout the two sets the varsity boys volleyball team played in their match against Fort Zumwalt West last Tuesday, March 28th, there was significant uncertainty as to how their eventual victory would come to occur. They finished both 25-23, which remains about the closest a set of volleyball can get, against one of our chief opponents in the conference.


Currently 3-0, the once-undefeated freshman team of boys now stands as a formidable varsity team for this year’s road to state, with the help of their captains, seniors Max Jarus, Nathan Goestenkors, and Collin King.


“I would definitely say that there’s a few tough teams that we’ve got to get our stuff together before we face, but we have a solid team,” King said. “Last night was two really close games.”


King, six feet three inches tall, is the team’s center middle.


“I’m mostly in charge of making sure the ball doesn’t come back up over the net,” King said.


Closely in-touch with the Collin’s and the team’s emerging prowess has been their head coach, Coach Mark McAfee, who has led the varsity boys team since the school began.


“Our senior middle, Collin King, is doing really well – his hitting percentage is off the charts. He stands as the team’s chief blocker in-match, and has been doing that job diligently so far,” Coach McAfee said.


“Our passing job has been pretty good, Trent Diener, our libero, has been doing great in terms of passing to his fellow teammates. And Nathan Goestenkors is tearing it up, he’s one of the area leaders in kills per set. He’s doing about 4&1/2 kills per set right now, where three kills is pretty good on its own,” he added.


A kill per set in volleyball represents each time a player downs a ball on the other team’s side and scores a point – making a “kill.” Goestenkors’ striking skills were needed on Tuesday, as well as those of senior Cameron Zelei, a right-side hitter.


“We just beat a team that is probably the most difficult in the conference besides maybe Howell. It’s a good start,” Zelei said.


“We’re 3-0. We picked Zumwalt West as being our main competition for the conference title. We beat them in two at their house, now we just have to take care of the rest of the conference,” added Coach McAfee.


“We did let them creep up on us a couple times, and we still have some things that we need to work on – coverage and communication for the most part”, he said.


“We could work on court IQ, knowing when to set a certain player, when to focus,” Zelei said, “For example, last night there was a player that was dominating on the other team, and when he was out, that was when we needed to get points. Figuring those moments out is what we need to focus on, to really get points when we need it.”


“Our goal [in the end] is to get to state. Our biggest opponents are Lafayette and SLUH. Everyone else in the conference is beatable,” said Zelei. “We have a pretty good chance.”


And as according to Coach McAfee, this year we have a team to watch, as our varsity boys currently rank seventh in the preseason – well within Final Eight bounds.
“Everybody’s contributing; everybody’s doing good work. We’re pretty solid all the way around.”