By Kyle Quick:
--New Haven’s Junior Varsity Volleyball team’s resolve and determination led them to an overall season record of 22-3-1, propelled them to a first place finish in the Pacific Tournament and Four Rivers Conference Champions for the second straight year.
Good teams win games, but great teams win games separated by just a few points. New Haven did what great teams do; find a way to win.
The Lady Shamrocks won their first 12 games, which included the Pacific Tournament. During that time span, New Haven lost just one set, which came during pool play in the at Pacific and a point differential of 250-146. New Haven would suffer their first loss in two sets to Borgia, falling to 12-1.
New Haven went on winning their next five matches by defeating Hermann, Sullivan, Fatima, Pacific, and St. Clair before falling short to Owensville. This was their first loss in conference play. (5-1) After an easy win over Linn, New Haven faced off against Union, which was a must win game if they wanted a share of the conference title with Owensville. The Shamrocks did what great teams do; they won a match they had to win.
JV Coach Denis Carey talked with us about his team’s successful season. Carey began by jokingly saying, “I thought about telling Jaime [Hoener and Varsity coach] if she wanted me to come back she was going to have to give me those kids [this year’s JV team] back because they were so much fun to coach.”
There are several characteristics that contributed to New Haven’s successful season.
Carey said, “The biggest thing is they came to practice every day, ready to do good, and just really seemed to enjoy volleyball. Some years you have to push the kids along, drive them, getting them to work each day. This team just wanted to play and had their own self drive.”
Rarely do you find teams who are as good as friends on the court as they are off. Carey said one reason they know each other so is the amount of time they spend together. They all get along and “care about one thing… winning.”
Carey said, “Everyone is very unselfish. It seemed like every game, if one player was having a bad night, someone else would step up. It never was about who had the most kills or served the most points it was whether they won or loss.”
Coach Carey agreed they were fun to watch and at times were smooth as “butter”. Throughout our conversation Coach Carey mentioned numerous times that the players were overall good people and a fun group to coach.
It should be exciting next year to see if they will be able to continue their success at the variety level.