Boys volleyball: Serve-receive key for St. Joseph Cadets

Progress isn’t always measured in wins and losses, but St. Joseph coach Allen Aldrich is optimistic his team will continue to improve enough to earn the necessary wins to qualify for the postseason. 

“We have gotten a little better each year. I have set an expectation of making the state tournament this year,” said Aldrich, whose team will need eight wins to extend the campaign beyond the regular slate. 

“To accomplish this, we will need to win our out-of-conference games and be able to get at least four wins in the very tough FCIAC – hopefully more. I believe we can be competitive with most teams we will play. 

“The team will need to have good passing on serve receive to make this happen. When they can pass well from serve receive everything else comes together for them. Our biggest strength is probably our net play. We have a good group of hitters and height at the net for effective blocking. Also, almost all our players have varsity experience coming in and have been playing together for almost three years now.” 

The Cadets have a veteran presence, as they look to double their win total of four from a season ago. 

Captains are Tyler Higgins, who will serve as setter, and Dan Matyszczyk, who will move from the setting position to outside hitter. Both captains will play both front and back row. 

Two seniors new to the varsity squad are Mark Leonardi, who will be playing outside hitter, and Chris Rossetti, the team’s second middle hitter and back row player. 

Seniors Hayden Falk and Reid Popick are defensive specialists in the back row.
Will Brady, another senior, is a weak side hitter. He will play opposite the St. Joe’s setter and will be depended upon to block opposing team’s outside hitters. 

Junior Ian Argento is the top option as a hitter. Argento used to play basketball but stopped to put his focus on volleyball and has made tremendous progress on his game. 

“Ian played on several travel teams in the offseason. I have even had a few questions about him from Division I and II colleges,” Aldrich said. “I expect a lot of close, exciting games this year with our squad. Just not sure my heart is ready for it.”