Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Boys Volleyball Prospective

from today's Waukesha Freeman --

Crusaders seek state title
CMH to play Kaukauna in quarterfinals
By Daniel Mike Freeman Staff

WAUKESHA – The Catholic Memorial High School boys volleyball team has some talented upperclassmen.

Senior libero Dan Casper was a second-team all-state pick as a junior. Junior outside hitter Trevor Novotny was a first-team all-Classic 8 pick as a sophomore. Junior setter Tim Heyrman received honorable mention from the Classic 8 last year.

And the addition of two stellar sophomore middle hitters has brought everything together. It also has the Crusaders in the WIAA state tournament, where they’ll play Kaukauna in a quarterfinal match at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

“It all starts with the pass,” Catholic Memorial coach Mike Hanneman said. “In order to set our middles, we need good ball control so Tim can get them the ball. Once we establish our middle, then the opposing middle has to hold in the middle and is late to the outside.

“We run a quicker offense to the outside, and that gives us solo blocks and allows us to get more kills.”

Those sophomores, Eric Schmitz and Tony Mack, have opened things up for Novotny, who leads the team with 392 kills.

“A lot of the other teams have big outsides where they can hit over blocks,” Hanneman said, noting Novotny stands just 6-foot. “He’s one of the smaller (outside hitters). We’re probably one of the smallest teams in the state.”

Senior opposite-side hitter Kevin Koprowski ranks second on the team with 144 kills, while Schmitz had 133 and Mack 132. They owe many of those to Heyrman, who has 813 assists.

But most of CMH’s offense begins with the defense of Casper. The 5-10 libero has a team-high 292 digs, which is the beginning of each offensive sequence.

“He’s really good at getting in that right spot to make a play defensively,” Hanneman said of Casper. “That gives us more opportunity to put balls away.”

Novotny has a team-high 58 aces, while Casper and Schmitz had 28 apiece.

“We’ve been working a lot on our serving,” Hanneman said. “We’ve been trying to get gaps in other teams’ serve receive to keep them off balance.”

CMH has beaten Kaukauna twice this season, but neither match was a runaway. Junior outside hitter Alex Judkins has a team-high 352 kills, while junior outside hitter Chris Patterson has 207 for the Ghosts.

“We know they have real good outside hitters,” Hanneman said. “Our game plan is to feed our middles, establish them and open up the outside. We need to take advantage when we do.”

The winner will play Saturday against the winner of Friday’s Nicolet vs. Westosha Central quarterfinal game. Franklin, Marquette, Greendale and Wauwatosa East play in the other half of the state bracket.

“Nicolet, Tosa East and Marquette are some of the better ones out there,” Hanneman said. “We wouldn’t see the other two until the finals, but we have to get there. We have to worry about Kaukauna first.”

Photo credit: Robert F. Borkowski/Special to The Freeman Catholic Memorial’s Trevor Novotny sends the ball over the net past Kettle Moraine’s Adam Martell during Thursday’s sectional final.

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