CHERRY HILL EAST COUGARS
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Although Cherry Hill East graduated Calvin Chan, its leader in kills and only all-conference player, there is a solid nucleus returning. The big hitters will be senior middle blockers Jack Connor and Suraj Depani, who each started last year and were key contributors to the attack. Senior outside hitter Will Quay is another important veteran back in the fold. Senior Nam Hoang saw time at setter last year and will look to move into the role on a full-time basis, and senior Kevin Ng returns at defensive specialist. Other veterans include senior outside hitter JY Shin, junior outside hitter Owen O’Connell and junior libero Akash Patel.
OUTLOOK: The Cougars went 8-11 last year in a rare losing season, but it would not be surprising to see them contend for a winning record under new head coach Conor McVeigh.
CHERRY HILL WEST LIONS
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Cherry Hill West brings back the orchestrator of its offensive attack in senior setter Samarth Patel. He recorded 157 assists last year and was rewarded with all- conference second-team accolades. The Lions graduated their two leaders in kills, but junior outside hitter Oscar Ke and senior Cole Johnson hope to take over as the top offensive weapons, and Patel will surely be looking to set them up. Javion Saunders will make an impact after coming off a strong season last year as a defensive specialist. The team is also excited to welcome junior Marcos Santana back after he missed most of last season due to injury. Other returners include experienced junior middle Ryan McGrath and all-around utility player Dhruvil Patel, a senior.
OUTLOOK: The Lions have been inching closer to a winning record in recent years—they finished 8-10 in 2019—and they are optimistic this could be the season.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Senior Ethan Miller is heading into his third season as the starting setter for Clearview and is poised for a big final campaign. He posted a staggering 531 assists last year to go with 135 digs, 36 blocks and 28 kills on his way to all-conference second-team honors. One of the main hitters Miller will be looking for is senior middle blocker Zane Martin, who had 107 kills and 31 blocks. Senior Hunter Thurston and several underclassmen will look to step up and contribute at outside hitter. Seniors Alex Daly (81 digs) and Zack Braun (33 digs, 26 kills) are other key returners.
OUTLOOK: Last season was a remarkable one for the Pioneers, who got off to an 11-0 start on their way to a 22-4 final record, captured a share of the Olympic Conference American Division title and reached the sectional semifinals. They suffered some key losses to graduation but have enough returning talent to stay competitive.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Both of Eastern’s all-conference players graduated, but senior outside hitter Brian Noh could make a run at the honor this season. He recorded 80 kills as a junior and will look to lead the way for the Vikings. Junior middle blocker Christopher Healey is another key returner who had 44 kills and 22 blocks last year, and senior Parth Shah is back as the starting libero. Eastern will be breaking in a new setter following the graduation of two-year starter Andrew Tang. Other experienced players hoping to have an impact are seniors Daniel Feliciano, Ya s h Patel and Miit Patel and juniors Isaac Master and Hemil Patel.
OUTLOOK: The Vikings are coming off a strong season, as they improved by five wins from the year before and finished with a 16-9 record. Longtime coach Tom Armour will have his guys ready to compete again this spring.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Senior outside hitter Carter Tran led Kingsway with 177 kills and 110 digs to go with 39 blocks last year to make the all-conference second team. He is the latest in a long line of Dragon stand- outs and is poised for a big final season. Senior middle blocker Nick Poulson (155 kills, 49 blocks, 82 digs) and senior outside hitter Matthew Lunsk (105 kills, 31 blocks, 46 digs) are other top talents who are expected to carry the load. Senior Elija Gatling is an experienced middle blocker and junior Dalton Britner (74 assists) will look to become the starting setter. Junior outside hitter Max Ma has made great strides since last season and junior defensive specialist Jason Chan is another important returner. Junior Kush Patel will look to contribute as well.
OUTLOOK: Even though the Dragons were not quite at the same level as previous years, they still posted a 17-16 record, reached the final of the Gloucester County Tournament and the sectional quarterfinals. This team expects to contend every season and this one should be more of the same.
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Moorestown graduated a deep and tal- ented senior class in 2019, but retains a strong nucleus led by senior outside hitter Dov McGuire-Berk. He was second on the team with 116 kills and added 58 digs and will be a leader on and off the court this spring. Junior middle blockers Logan Jagodzinski (99 kills, 41 blocks) and Ajay Bhalodia (48 kills, 18 blocks) emerged as key players as sophomores and will be important pieces again. Junior Jimmy Fletcher is a candidate to take over as the starting setter, and other returners looking to have an impact are senior Atakan Yilmaz, juniors Brenton Steiner and Owen Hughes and sophomore Jack Duffy.
OUTLOOK: The Quakers compiled an impressive 18-4 record last year—giving them 37 wins in two seasons—and advanced to the sectional quarterfinals. If they can fill in some important positions around their returning standouts, another winning campaign appears likely.
PAUL VI EAGLES
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Paul VI is paced by seniors Jake Bradford and Sam Raymo, who both made the all-conference second team as juniors. Bradford, an outside hitter, was among the team leaders in kills and will again lead the attack, while Raymo starts at middle blocker and is a key both offensively and defensively. Senior Ben Trauger is another important veteran who has started for three years at defensive specialist. Chris Cornforth graduated after starting at setter for three years, but senior Nate Vanatta will look to take over the job. Other possible contributors include seniors William Frank and Mitchell Olson, juniors Raffaele Di Capua, Scott Hewitt and Chima Ottih and sophomores Hudson Raymo and Adam Boberick.
OUTLOOK: The Eagles made a lot of progress in 2019, as they improved by six wins and finished with an 11-11 record. With a solid core in place, they hope to stay competitive this spring.
WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP MINUTEMEN
PLAYERS TO WATCH: Washington Township is happy to welcome back all-conference first-team selections Tyler Jones and Justin Bautista. Jones, a junior setter, broke out in a big way in his first year as the starter, as he recorded 677 assists to go with 33 kills, 42 digs and 101 service points. Bautista, a senior libero, led the Minutemen with 266 digs and was second on the team with 128 service points while adding 17 kills and 48 assists. Jones will have a talented offensive weapon to set up in senior outside hitter Ryan Cleary, who was second on the team with 152 kills. Junior outside hitter Anthony Trivers (51 kills) was the MVP of the Gloucester County Tournament and senior David Forcinito (30 kills) is another veteran contributor.
OUTLOOK: The Minutemen enjoyed a special season in 2019, as they went 24-4, captured their first Gloucester County title and reached the sectional semifinals. The talent is in place for another successful year under coach Barb McBrearty, who is entering her 23rd season at the helm.
BOYS VOLLEYBALL CALENDAR
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Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Family Magazine, Volume 10, Issue 11.
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