Boys Volleyball Wins SEC Colonial Division
On May 5, the NHS boy’s volleyball team defeated Science Park to become division champions. The team is currently 19-3 overall and 10-0 in the Super Essex Conference (SEC).
Nutley won the match in two intense sets. The score of the first set was 12-25; the second set was 23-25. Sophomore Gavin Warburton led the team in kills with nine and senior Alex Tramontana followed closely behind with six. Senior Joey Duca also led the team with 20 assists.
Practices leading up to the game generally stayed the same because what the boys were doing was working well so far. “We were excited to show ourselves and show what we’re capable of. We got no recognition from any websites tracking men's high school volleyball so we wanted to show what we could do,” said Junior Kaan Aydin.
The boys have been very successful and have shown great improvement since their program started last year. Head coach Kevin Reilly was pleased with the season's outcome: “Coaching a successful team is the greatest challenge a coach can ask for. While focusing on development, you also need to focus on player mentality and keeping everyone level-headed. Just because we beat a team once, does not mean we should expect to be handed a win if we see them again. We talked a lot about our success painting a target on our back, and the boys really responded well to that message.They treated every opponent with respect and didn’t take a single match for granted.”
Reilly noted that many of the team kept improving their skills during the off-season. “When we first got back into the gym as a team this spring, Coach Gewecke and I were blown away by the growth. From that point, it really became a job of coaching cohesion, working toward the right mindset, and playing our brand of Nutley volleyball,” he said.
Reilly believes that the team's determination -- both on and off the court -- contributes to their success. “One of the greatest things about the student-athletes we have, is that they all have a desire to win. There’s a true hunger to get better every day. We have guys who arrive to Saturday practices early, and leave weekday practices late. Seeing that from your teammates is contagious. Once that desire is in place, the rest is easy. As coaches, we need to remind our players that there’s a difference between good and great. It’s the effort in the offseason, the effort after practices, and the effort on every close ball in a match that separates the good teams from the great teams. Fortunately, we have a great team of volleyball players, and even better young men.”
The boys are currently set to play the first round of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) Tournament on May 25 in the NHS gym at 4:00 PM. All upcoming schedules are posted on @nutley_volleyball_boosters on Instagram or on NJ.com.