The Homewood-Flossmoor High School boys volleyball team made it through regular season play, won the regional title and advanced to the sectional round in tournament play before losing to Marist High School.
Head Coach Mark Ciesielski said extending the season into the playoffs was an entire group effort, but he was especially happy for the nine seniors on the team who got to play this year after the pandemic abruptly ended the season in 2020.
“They stuck with it and stuck together over four years of playing, and they just really became a tight group that enjoyed being together and loved competing against each other, but really enjoyed the successes of each other. There was no selfishness on the team. It was just really neat to see these guys come together,” Ciesielski said.
With only eight conference games on the schedule, coach Ciesielski hustled up more playing time for the team.
“I just started calling coaches from all over the place trying to get us as many games as possible,” he said. “I knew with this team, it just wasn’t going to be fair (after last year), and I just wanted them to have as much of a full season as we could.”
The Vikings played 23 matches against some very good teams. Each match consists of the best of three games played to a score of 25. A team is six players.
“We wanted to play the best because we wanted to see where we stood, and it was a really good season,” he said. “Our 12 losses came only against seven teams, and all of those seven were in the top 10 in the state.”
Volleyball is one of the fastest growing sports for boys, Ciesielski said, and he’s anxious to grow the H-F team. This season he had H-F alumnus Wyatt Patterson, a former professional volleyball player, speak to the team about the sport. Ciesielski said seniors Kenyon Haynes and Dillon Taylor have accepted volleyball scholarships to Edward Waters College in Jacksonville, Fla.
Team members are:
- Seniors: Nevin Adams, Ramon Martinez Jr., Christian Van Voorhees, Kenyon Haynes, Jake Whitver, Marquel Fianagan, Louis Lampley, Elijiah Jean-Simon, Dillon Taylor and Nicholas Johnson.
- Juniors: Sean Coen, Bolden Jones, Cameron Reid, Trip Shonkwiler and Charlie Van Etten.
Coaches working with Ciesielski are varsity assistant Matt Small; junior varsity coaches Sean Carls and Dana Noble; and freshman coaches Jason Volkman, Michelle Kozik.