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Hopewell Volleyball

Season Preview of the Hopewell High School 2024 Boys Volleyball Team

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The 2024 Home Opener for the Hopewell Boys Volleyball team will take place tomorrow evening as the Vikings will host the Moon Tigers.

Their regular season got underway last week as they faced two quality opponents on the road. Coach Rob Hall’s team opened the season taking on No. 5 ranked Seton-LaSalle and lost in a tightly contested contest. Following that, Hopewell picked up their first win of the season with an impressive showing against Trinity, which returned their entire roster from the previous season. The Vikings won that match 3 games to 1.

Because of their impressive start, Hopewell is now ranked No. 10 in Class 2A, after starting the season unranked.

Prior to tomorrow’s home opener, Hopewell Sports Nation spoke with Coach Hall about this 2024 team. This is season No. 4 for Hall at Hopewell, who’s excited for this season and the future of the program.

“I’m encouraged (about the start of the season), I think we played well for the most part, but we have to limit some of our own errors,” said Hall. “But overall, I was happy with our performance with it being the first week.”

“I like the overall team chemistry that we have on this year’s team. The players really seem to get along very well, as they’re friends off the court and it’s been a very positive environment to practice in. I really believe that goes a long way in sports. When teammates get along well, they want to have each other’s backs out there.”

I asked Coach Hall more about the topic of team chemistry and the importance of it. This is something that’s critical for all sports, not just high school. For example, following their season ending loss in the NCAA men’s basketball, Duquesne men’s basketball coach Keith Dambrot referenced the team chemistry as being one of the best that he’s ever been around and was a big reason why his Dukes team was able to rebound from a 1-5 start in conference play to win the A-10 Tournament and qualify for March Madness.

“I just think that between all of the open gyms we’ve had and the games, they’ve become close. Some of them were friends beforehand but I just think when you’re close with someone off the court, it syncs in when you’re playing games. I think it’s easier to sacrifice and be unselfish to a friend than it is to a kid that you don’t get along with or hang out with all the time. When you’re truly friends with someone, you want them to succeed and it’s ok if they take your spot or they’re succeeding more than you because your friends.”

While it’s still very early in the season, Coach Hall gave his early take on what he believes the strength of this 2024 team will be.

“I think the fact that we get after it and really hustle,” said Hall. “We try to not give up too many free points. I think this year, compared to the last couple of years, we’re a lot more balanced offensively. The last two years, we were really relying on Jake, who was our star player. This year, we really have four guys that could put the ball away, so we’re able to spread the ball around more. We’re more unpredictable on offense.”

HOPEWELL 2024 BOYS VOLLEYBALL ROSTER

No. 1 Quincy Sannan (Freshman)
No. 2 Alexander Alvarado (Sophomore)
No. 3 Justin Obeldobel (Sophomore)
No. 4 Evan Lahtinen (Sophomore)
No. 5 Gustavo Martins (Sophomore)
No. 6 Seth Young (Senior)
No. 7 Eric Sheller (Freshman)
No. 8 Oliver Pickens (Sophomore)
No. 9 Richard Polovina (Senior)
No. 10 Dominic Buchanan (Freshman)
No. 11 Jacob Pollick (Sophomore)
No. 12 John Wargula (Sophomore)
No. 14 Luca Flitcraft (Freshman)
No. 15 Christopher Nguyen (Freshman)
No. 16 Gannon Berg (Senior)
No. 17 Brayden Mowry (Sophomore)
No. 18 Matthew Yeager (Senior)
No. 19 Paul Thompson (Junior)
No. 20 Nathan Frederick (Sophomore)
No. 21 Max Bridgman (Senior)

Assistant Coaches: Malcolm Meredith and Adam Barkman.

HOPEWELL’S 2024 TEAM CAPTAINS- 

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-Seth Young

-Richard Polovina

-Max Bridgman

“They are really good leaders for us,” said Hall. “All three of these guys are four-year players, have been around us and all know what’s expected from them. We’ll be leaning on them for their leadership and play on the court. These three players are pretty tight.”

OTHER PLAYERS TO WATCH FOR HOPEWELL THIS SEASON-

Alex Alvarado- “He’s a sophomore outside hitter. He’s really been impressive so far. He’s gets a lot of digs and kills. I think against Trinity, Alex had 18 kills and like 36 digs. He had a monster game against Trinity statistically. He’s a smaller outside hitter but he’s very smart and has really improved a lot from last year.”

Paul Thompson– “He’s our setter. He’s shown pretty good ball control, he’s limited his ball control errors and does a good job of spreading it around and being unpredictable, which is what we want from him. I think this year, he’s taken a little more command of the court now that he’s the setter. I look forward to what he’s going to do this year. Paul was actually just named player of the week by the Coaches Association.”

Jacob Pollick– “Jake is probably our biggest weapon offensively. He’s a lefty, he switched from the middle to the right side this year so that we could get him the ball a little bit more. We’re hoping that he can develop into being our go to guy this year which is saying something considering he’s only a sophomore.”

FUTURE OF HOPEWELL BOYS VOLLEYBALL-

Hall is not only excited about these players but a lot of other members of the roster as the future looks extremely promising for the Hopewell Boys Volleyball program.

“I’m very excited with the way the program is going,” said Hall. “Each year, our numbers have gone up and up. They years before I took over, they were getting like 10 kids total or slightly over. This year, we started with 22 players but two quit. Each year, we’re getting more and more kids. I’ve done different things such as having an alumni night where we invite all the former players to come back. I think something like that helps with the community aspect. Plus, every year, we do a free youth clinic, which gets some of the young middle school kids some experience in playing the game because we don’t have a junior high team like the other sports. So, we need to get creative in how we can introduce some kids to the game at a younger age.”

Come out to the high school tomorrow night to cheer on the volleyball team in their home opener. The JV match against Moon begins at 6 PM, followed by the varsity match at 7 PM.

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