Boys volleyball starts strong

Maggie Kahn, Reporter

After over 25 years of coaching both girls and boys varsity volleyball at LT, Joann Pyritz retired this past fall. As his first year in Pyritz’s position, coach Brad Skendzel is ready to create stronger bonds with the players.

“I’m looking forward to work more closely with the players than I have in the past, and getting a real chance to see not just how [the players] develop individually, but [how they] develop as a team throughout the course of the season,” Skendzel said.

Last season, the team ended with a record of 13-23, not performing as well as expected, middle and outside hitter Ray Bonner ‘19 said. The team plans to train intensely during practice in order to achieve more success this year.

“We need to focus on training as if every ball and every drill was a game winning point,” middle hitter Sam Peters ‘20 said. “Our team will be very successful if we can get used to high pressure situations and pure dedication.”

Achieving these goals may be slightly difficult for the boys, considering some players are younger and have not played at the varsity level before, Bonner said.

“[The younger] players will be forced to quickly adapt to the faster and more aggressive varsity game,” Peters said.

Despite these minor setbacks, the team appears to have strong offensive skills, Skendzel said.

“I think we can hit with the best of them,” Skendzel said. “Regardless of position, whether it be from our pin hitters or from [the] middle, even including in [the] back row, I do think that offensively we are going to do very well.”

The boys anticipate a prosperous season under Skendzel’s guidance, Peters said. Due to his experience from being the assistant varsity coach for eight years, they know he will bring out the best in them.

“I think Coach [Skendzel] will carry over Coach [Pyritz’s] tradition of LTVB being known for its sportsmanship and spirit,” Peters said. “He is also trying to create a team full of well-rounded players that will benefit all areas of the court.”

Skendzel intends to help the team get as far as they can in regards to conference and state, even though competing at the varsity level can be challenging.

“[I want the boys] to come everyday to work hard and improve,” Skendzel said. “It’s not always about the wins and losses but [it’s also about seeing] the improvement of our players and then as a team as we progress through the season.”

The team’s next game is on April 15 against Lake Park High School in the NC field house at 5:30 p.m.