Boys volleyball serves, boasts four college commits

Players aim to make sectional cuts, welcome new team members


Tim Shepard warms-up before home game against Oak Park River Forest High School on April 11 (Garrity/LION).

Katie Garrity, Reporter

After a strong start to the season with minimal losses, the boys volleyball team continues to work hard with a goal of making it through the IHSA Sectionals. With four NCAA committed players, the team is shaping up to be one of the strongest teams in the past few years at LT, varsity head coach Brad Skendzel said. 

“I think there’s a good mix between our players on this team,” Skendzel said. “Besides being competitive, we have an emphasis to play on a high level, which has been shown in our practices, and that’s good to see. You don’t always get to see that with a team that is skilled but also has that drive.”

Practicing six days a week, attending various matches throughout the school week, and occasional tournaments on the weekends, the boys have been training since the season began in March. 

“The team is very fun and loose, at practice we all go hard but we always have each other’s backs,” team captain Connor Carroll ‘23 said. “After someone makes a mistake, we help them bounce back.”

While the team includes many returning players who played a large role last year, strong juniors who won conference last season with the sophomore team have joined the varsity level. 

“We get along really well and we play well together,” Leo Wiemelt ‘23 said. “We compliment each other’s strengths and likewise cover each other’s weaknesses. I was a little worried because of the key players that graduated, but we have been fortunate to have really good returning players and lots of newcomers to step in.”

Wiemelt, one of the four college committed players on this year’s team, is continuing his volleyball career at the Division I level at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) after beginning volleyball his sophomore year. 

“UCSD was a school that I looked at even before being interested in playing in college,” Wiemelt said. “I figured it would be a great fit for me as I would be able to go to a big school at a good location with good academics, while also being able to play DI volleyball.” 

Both team captains, Carroll and Sam Levinson ‘23, are continuing their careers at the Division III level. Carroll will be attending Aurora University this fall after playing volleyball since sixth grade and Levinson will be playing at Springfield University after a successful three years playing at the varsity level at LT. On May 14, middleblocker Filip Topor ‘23 committed to play volleyball at the Division III at Milwaukee School of Engineering, the fourth player from this year’s team to continue volleyball in college. 


So far this season, the team has won against Brother Rice High School on March 21, a team ranked top 20 in the nation. They have also won various tournaments, like the Argo High School Invitational Tournament, the Downers Grove South Tournament, and the Richards Invite.   

“I love that the game allows everyone to show off their athleticism,” Levinson said. “There is a lot of skill involved when it comes to controlling a small ball coming at you quickly with just your forearms and hands.”

The IHSA Sectional Semi-Finals are on May 27, making sectionals the main goal the team has had for the season. 

“I just want to continue to see that work ethic and that effort, exhibited day in and day out,” Skendzel said. “As a coach you always want to see those players progressing to their capabilities and then taking it to the next level when they have that opportunity. It’s fast, it’s back and forth, there’s always something that is going on in the team aspect that goes behind it, and the strategy that goes into it as well.”