RIVERSIDE — The 2018 season is young, and so are about half the student-athletes on Carroll High School boys volleyball coach Tim O’Brien’s team. Despite that bit of youthfulness on the roster, the Patriots have now won their first two matches of the 2018 season.
In convincing fashion, Carroll defeated Greater Catholic League Co-Ed foe Purcell Marian in straight sets, 25-6, 25-6, 25-6, March 27 at Carroll High. Carroll had swept Division-I Middletown on the road in its March 23 season opener.
“It feels like we’ve only had a couple weeks of practice, but overall I like what we’re doing,” O’Brien said. “We’ve got a lot of new kids on our varsity team this year, but we also have a good group of seniors. I think we have six seniors this year, so it’s nice to have that kind of leadership back, while implementing some new kids into the program. It makes that transition a lot smoother. So yeah, we’re definitely excited.”
That excitement and intensity was reflected early on as the Patriots jumped out to 4-0 leads in the first two sets, then they rolled out to a 9-0 run in the final set. Carroll held the lead throughout Tuesday’s three-set match.
Six-foot-five junior outside hitter Jon Brun had two kills, a service ace and a block in the first set alone. Brun and teammates Cameron Provonsil and Evan Jones each recorded six kills in the win. Braeden Shelek served up a pair of aces to go with one kill, Max Herrmann recorded three kills, Zack Mowery came up with a block, Spencer Bethel and Ethan Perkins both had a service ace and a kill, Braden Seymour had a kill, and Reed Cusack came up with an ace and two kills in the Patriots’ win.
“I thought tonight, Evan Jones really had a good game on our outside. Spencer (Bethel) does a great job and is very consistent with our setting, and Braeden (Shelek) at libero, those three positions are pretty solid in terms of consistency,” O’Brien said. “We always know what we’re going to get with those three guys.”
Of the 14 players listed on the Carroll roster, Bethel, Cusack, Jones, Provonsil, Braden Hawkes and Jacob Royse are seniors.
Purcell coach John Berling said his 0-2 Cavaliers are almost entirely new to the varsity game.
“Tim O’Brien is a good friend and a great coach, and Carroll has a pretty strong team,” he said. “Hopefully, we can work through this and learn from it. We’ve got Hamilton Badin (Wednesday night at home), so maybe a little home excitement will get us going.”
Wednesday’s contest with Badin will be the Cavaliers’ first home contest of the season.
Carroll is back in action on Wednesday, March 28 as well. They head south to take on GCLC North division foe Fenwick for a 6 p.m. contest.
Contact John Bombatch at 937-372-4444, Ext. 2123.