By Marco La Vecchia
Four years ago, the Salesian Volleyball team went undefeated in the regular season and fought hard in the championship. Covid took over the next season. And the Season after that was comparable to the NBA’s “bubble.” So what has become of the team now that many of covid’s restrictions are over? Do they still have the hot hand in the league? How has the team changed?
The reminisce of that undefeated season still rests on today’s experienced seniors. After all, today’s seniors were freshmen when they went undefeated. They went from being lead by Sean Maldonado ‘19, Mark Nilaj ‘19, Andy Soto Burgos ‘19, and Bledion Taraku ‘19, to being the new leaders of a new team. Yes! This is what lies on the shoulders of Seniors Marco La Vecchia ‘22 and Mathew Mckoy ‘22. They were starters since that freshman year and have only learned to hone their skills ever since.
For example, Captain and Senior Marco La Vecchia tried out, got in, and furthered his talents at a Club called Legacy in the Bronx. He, then, became the league’s first ever player of the week. He led the Eagles to a 3-0 season-opening win in Queens vs Holy Cross with 8 kills and 8 aces.
His new-found jump serve hasn’t been answered and fellow Captain Matthew Mckoy has no flaws with his all-around great play. And their success is spreading as new time players have taken the league by storm! First time player Jose Deleon ‘22 put on a show at the first ever Edmund Rice Invitational Tournament hosted by Iona Prep. His wingspan and jumping ability caught the league by surprise. He and Marco La Vecchia were nominated by coaches from every team for spots on the “All-Tournament Team.”
Freshman Lorenzo Tirabasso ‘25 filled a big whole as the teams starting Libero. We see that new members of the Varsity team have stepped up big, giving the team a spark for another championship season.
The key aspects of the team, hinted at us by Coach Chris Dotoratos, are the team’s youth and resilience. The team has never been scrappier, and the key aspects of the team are their culture. Screaming from start to finish, the Eagles take pride in every touch they make. They play for each other and the fun they have on the court proves it.
In terms of mentality and identity, the team has their eyes on the future. As we build around our experienced seniors, Coach Dotoratos and Coach Nicholas Dacaj look toward the playoffs as they use the regular season as a large preparation tool. Although another undefeated season would be desirable, the team wants to finish the job more than anything. Every game, practice, touch on the ball is in light of the playoffs.
Please support and come out to see our Eagles Fly! Have fun! Learn the game; grow the game.
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