...From the pages of Suburban Family Magazine's Spring High School Sports Preview...
Cherry Hill East Cougars
Players to watch: The Cougars (pictured) graduated all-South Jersey second-teamer Jake Rudin, but have several starters returning, led by senior outside hitter Tanner Smith. He was second on the team with 75 kills last year and also had 60 service points. Senior setter Ben Golden led the Cougars with 269 assists and senior Kyle Baker returns as the starting libero. Also back are senior middle blocker Aaron Molotski and senior setter/libero David Clark.
Outlook: The Cougars had an 8-9 overall record and 5-5 mark in the Olympic Conference American Division in the first year under head coach Ori Haver. With several key players returning, they’ll aim for a winning season.
Cherry Hill West Lions
Players to watch: Several of Cherry Hill West’s team leaders have moved on, but sophomore Andrew Robertson is a promising returner who had a solid freshman campaign. The outside hitter was second on the team with 59 kills and added 34 blocks and 111 digs. Junior Mark Marrazzo is a returning starter at middle blocker and junior opposite Hunter Dunn is also back.
Outlook: The 2014 season was a rebuilding one for the Lions, who will look to bounce back and improve on a 2-19 record.
Players to watch: Clearview graduated its best player, four-year starter Adam Herman. Senior Tyler Hickman is a key returner who led the team with 111 assists last year. Other returning seniors are Jacob Meisle and Ben Chierici. Juniors Amol Lotia and Henry Bally and sophomore Ryan Miller are also back and seeking bigger roles.
Outlook: The Pioneers have had back-to-back losing seasons after an extended run of success. They hope to become competitive in the tough Olympic American this year.
Players to watch: Eastern graduated a terrific senior class that included all-state first-teamer Billy Fischer and all-state third-teamer Wade Coomer. The top returner is all-South Jersey third-team outside hitter Tyler Cavarocchi, who had 42 kills and 61 blocks last year. Junior middle blocker Johnny Shamir is another returning starter. Other players with varsity experience are seniors Nick Woodward, Ben Gershenfeld and Jay Farnsworth and junior Robert Cinalli.
Outlook: A memorable 2014 season included an 18-3 final record, a perfect mark in the Olympic American and the division title, and a trip to the South Jersey semifinals. The Vikings will surely miss last year’s seniors, but Cavarocchi will help keep them competitive.
Players to watch: Kingsway graduated just two seniors, but both were all-South Jersey third-teamers. But the Dragons return an experienced group led by senior outside hitter Stan Storchevoy, who was fourth in South Jersey with 220 kills and added 98 digs. Senior middle blocker Dayo Adepoju had 134 kills and 67 blocks and junior opposite Jeremy Otten added 107 kills and 65 blocks. Senior libero Bradley Martin led the team with 194 digs and senior middle blockers Nehemiah Arzeez and Marcus Robinson are other key returners.
Outlook: The Dragons went 19-7 and reached the South Jersey quarterfinals before falling to eventual state champion Southern. They have the talent to make another playoff run this spring.
Players to watch: The Quakers lost a solid group of seniors that featured all-South Jersey first-teamer Jeff Nelson. Several veterans return, including senior setter Bobby Daglian, who has started for three years and led the team in assists. Senior opposite Jon DeLorenzo and junior libero John McGinley are other returning starters and junior middle blocker Mike DiMarino is also a key player. Junior Jordan Austin could also be ready for a bigger role.
Outlook: Moorestown made a huge leap last year from the season before, winning 10 more matches, finishing with a 17-12 record and reaching the South Jersey quarterfinals. They’ll aim for another winning season despite their losses to graduation.
Paul VI Eagles
Players to watch: A whopping 10 seniors from last year’s team have moved on, so Paul VI will have to break in a new lineup. Junior outside hitter Fabio Gentile and junior setter Nick Simpkins are the most experienced returners and will look to become the leaders. Other returners are juniors Osborn Ye and Pat Beuchle.
Outlook: The Eagles posted a solid 12-10 record and qualified for the South Jersey playoffs last year. It will be difficult to match that record with so many new faces, but they’ll look to improve as the season wears on.
Washington Township Minutemen
Players to watch: The Minutemen graduated all-conference second-team libero Joe Casaletto, but most of the other starters are back, including senior outside hitter Austin Alcantara, who led the team in kills. Junior setter Tyler Dolgos led the team with 101 assists and opposite hitter Nick Mammarelli is another junior who gained valuable experience. Senior middles Matt Molnar and David Dlug and juniors Mike Gallagher, an outside hitter, and Alec Munro, a middle, are other returners.
Outlook: The Minutemen gained on-the-job training last year and will attempt to improve on a 3-11 record in a tough conference. They hope to qualify for the state tournament.
Click here for team schedules.
Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Family’s High School Spring Sports Preview, January, 2015.
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