TBy Colin Capece ’18
The Chaminade varsity volleyball team put the finishing touches on another exemplary season Tuesday, May 16, with a three-set sweep against the Cougars of St. John the Baptist to capture a NSCHSAA championship for the second time in three seasons.
The Flyers were in control of the match from wire to wire and put on a vintage offensive performance to take home the title with style. They raced out to an early lead in set one and never looked back, capturing the set 25-15.
The Crimson and Gold displayed more of the same offensive firepower in the following set to win 25-13, leaving the team one win away from the title. St. John the Baptist fought hard until the very end of the match and even took the lead for the first time in the middle of the third set. The Flyers however showed true championship resolve and never lost their focus. Chaminade rallied to tie the game at 20, and after trading two points with their opponent, took the lead for good when a dink by junior Shawn Connell fell between two Cougar players. Tom Butler ’17 closed out the match with two float serves, and the ecstatic Flyers rushed the court when Alec Brutschin ’17 slammed home the final kill.
The victory was a true team effort, as the Flyers paired their potent offense with outstanding defense to dominate the Cougars. The backcourt tandem of Will Sanchez ’17 and Matthew Darcy ’17 combined for more than 20 digs, while setters John Chave ’17 and Mark Streiber ’17 together contributed 26 assists. Additionally, Connell played like a brick wall, continuously stuffing Cougar attackers at the net for 14 blocks.
The win against St. John the Baptist capped a fine playoff run which saw the Flyers defeat rival St. Anthony’s in Friday’s semifinal to reach the championship match. Head Coach Salvatore Trentacoste was selected as the NSCHSAA coach of the year, and Butler, Chave, Sanchez and Streiber earned all-league honors.
While a memorable season of volleyball came to a close on Tuesday, the Flyers possess a strong core of younger players who will be the primary contributors in 2018. Connell, Nicolas Aubry ’18 and John Paul Lynch ’18 all played important roles on this year’s squad and will look to be the leaders of the team next season. Current juniors Brian Noble and John Power will also compete for a spot in the team’s rotation. The future is certainly bright for the varsity volleyball team, and both players and coaches will be ready to defend their title come next spring.