Boys volleyball previews: Hinsdale Central, Hinsdale South set for season
With the boys volleyball season set to begin, Hinsdale Central will do so with a lower level coach guiding a new-look team. Hinsdale South returns several starters from a team that struggled last year, but is looking to reverse that trend.
Nickname: Red Devils
Coach: Alan McCloud
Danny Flynn sr. OH
David Whinery sr. OH
Steven Yarbrough sr. OH
Grant Kelly jr. MH
Kurt McConnell so. MH
Kian Peterson so. S
Devin Steuck jr. S
What to watch: There's a new look on the bench as lower-level coach Alan McCloud steps in on an interim basis for Kelly Watson, who is out on maternity leave. The new look on the bench mirrors a new look on the floor.
"We have just a few seniors that were on the team last year and this year's team is more juniors and sophomores, so it's going to be a pretty new team," McCloud said.
Senior outside hitters Danny Flynn and David Whinery bring back the most experience for the Red Devils. Classmates John Hardek, Sean O'Neill and Steven Yarbrough were with the varsity team last year but did not see as much playing time as Flynn and Whinery. Senior Rigas Pappas is back playing volleyball after sitting out the last two years.
"We're looking for Danny and David to step up and be leaders on and off the floor because of their experience," McCloud said.
Devin Steuck and Kian Peterson will handle the setting duties according to McCloud, and the Red Devils might use one or the other, or both.
"They're looking pretty good so far," the coach said. "It's such a crucial position and because neither one has set at the varsity level before, it's kind of a trial by fire. They've set at the lower levels, but now they're going to be asked to run more complex stuff."
Elsewhere, new faces will move into new places. Hardek set a little bit last year but could slide over as a right side hitter. Grant Kelly and Kurt McConnell are 6-foot-4 middle hitters, though roles could change for any player as the season unfolds.
"Because so many people are new to the varsity level and guys don't necessarily have that experience, things are pretty open right now," McCloud said. "We're not sure right now if we're going to have a rotation of six or seven guys or nine or 10 guys, but we know it's going to take a team effort for us to be successful. Not many positions are set, so we're looking for the guys to push each other."
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