Skyline racks up regular season win in boys volleyball, falls in playoff
Aug 05, 2019 04:36PM
● By Josh McFadden
The Skyline volleyball club went 20-8 during the regular season and lost in the second round at state. (Photo courtesy of Josh Henderson)
By Josh McFadden | [email protected]
In any sport, every team has its sights set on reaching the state tournament. The Skyline boys volleyball club achieved that goal but bowed up faster than players and coaches had hoped.
The Eagles posted an impressive 20-8 record during the season, building on the tradition it has established the past few years. Skyline entered the season with talent and experience on the court. Unfortunately, the regular season success didn’t translate as well in the playoffs, as the Eagles fell in the second round to Olympus and finished in ninth place overall.
It didn’t help that middle blockers Derek Madsen and Keaton Clark, both seniors, were out with injuries. The setbacks required head coach Josh Henderson to bring in a pair of inexperienced youngsters from the sophomore team into the lineup for state. Though the replacements performed admirably, Henderson and the squad missed the leadership of the missing players.
Though the second-round loss was disappointing, Henderson was pleased with his team’s effort during the year. He also admired his players’ attitudes and dedication to the club.
“For me, the most memorable thing about coaching this year is watching how much fun the team had playing the sport,” he said. “They were engaged in practice and very few of them ever missed practices or games.”
Henderson said the team was especially proficient in blocking this season, which frustrated opponents and made it difficult for them to score points. He also highlighted the play of senior libero Jack McDonald, senior outside hitter Kyler Osguthorpe and senior outside hitter Tim Lont.
“(McDonald) was our defensive anchor on the court,” Henderson said. “He is really good at reading hitters and gets a touch on just about everything. Jake was our most vocal player. (Osguthorpe) was our player with the most experience. As an undersized hitter, Kyler was great at using multiple attack strategies to help the team score points. (Lont) was our most imposing attacker. At 6-foot-6, with a decent vertical, Tim's attack was difficult for most teams to deal with. Watching Tim hit over the top of blockers was a common sight to see.”
With all three of these players already graduated, Henderson faces a tall order in finding students to take their spots. The Eagles will bring back setter Quade Sorenson, who’ll be a junior on the 2020 team. Henderson is hoping for some other players to emerge as team leaders next season as the Eagles look to move deeper into the state tournament.