Serving Success: All-senior team allows for program to grow


Sophia Gassett

The senior team and varsity boys volleyball teams practice together. The teams practiced on Feb. 27 to work on serves and returns.

Emma Lazarczyk, Editor-in-Chief

As boys volleyball sees more involvement from all grade levels, senior boys have formed their own volleyball team this year, creating a single grade team for the first time.
According to four-year returner senior Daegan Jensen, breaking away from the other classes allows for the team to be closer and build a strong bond for their final year as a class.
“With all of us being seniors and this being our last year, we go out there to have fun, but also compete,” Jensen said.
Created by John and Erin Rodriguez, the boys club volleyball program has been at Miege for five years. However, this is the first year for a separate senior team, as well as a new coach. After graduating in 2012, Lindsay Zych Franco made her return to the school community as the girls program head coach this year and has now taken on the role of the boys senior team coach.
“A lot of the boys were inquiring about if I would coach, so I thought I would give it a shot,” Zych Franco said. “It is a little bit different than girls, and I figured it could be fun, so I might as well try.”
With the division between seniors and the rest of the grade levels, two varsity teams have been created.
“We have a competitive varsity which is made up of a whole bunch of club players, and then the senior varsity team,” junior Tyler Bittel said. “It is going to be different this year obviously because there are a lot more seniors coming out this season.”
As a three year player, Bittel as well as fellow junior Alexander Quenzer believes allowing the seniors to form their own team will benefit the program as a whole and allow for the club players to be more competitive on the court.
“I think it will be a lot better this year, because last year the junior varsity and varsity had to get split up, so there was a lot of talent on junior varsity that couldn’t quite play on the varsity because it was meant for the seniors,” Quenzer said. “Now that we have both teams, we are able to split up the talent better and have better performances at games and tournaments.”
According to Erin Rodriguez with three teams in total, the program hopes to evolve as a program and grow to become a KSHSAA-recognized sport.
“We are seeing boys volleyball grow at an incredible rate and also have more involvement and support from the girls side, which is awesome, because I feel that both teams working together going forward will be amazing for the volleyball program and the school,” John Rodriguez said. “My favorite thing, which applies to every team we have and had, is that the boys challenged themselves and came out for a sport that is not well marketed to boys.”
According to senior Griffin Loehr, three seniors have played all four years. Joining his friends on the court, senior Oscar Ludwikoski believes everyone on the team can get a little bit better each day.
“I wanted to join volleyball because my friends were doing it and loved it,” Ludwikoski said. “I hope we find a good groove and win a bunch of games.”
Along with Ludwikoski, seniors Jack Elder, Nathanael Hayward, Vincent Lopez and Grant Nicely also joined the team after deciding to try something new.
“I have always been a fan of volleyball,” Hayward said. “It is a great sport with a great atmosphere behind it, and it will be fun to play with all of my friends.”
With major changes this year, returning players still hope to play the best they can even with the newcomers joining.
“My goal for the upcoming season is to first just have fun with my brothers on the court,” Loehr said. “And second, to win the championship and beat Rockhurst.”
For both teams, practices started in January and, according to the players, progress has already been seen amongst the players, as well as team chemistry.
“I think our main goals this season are to perform well at the two major tournaments,” Quenzer said. “We got third last year, but I think we can get first this year.”
As the season continues to grow, the senior varsity’s first game will take place after the return from Spring Break.
“It’s the last time almost all of us are playing a sport competitively,” Ludwikoski said. “So, fun is the goal, but nobody wants to go out losing.”