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Shen boys' volleyball falls in pool play

posted Nov 23, 2015, 6:26 AM by John Coletta

Shen boys' volleyball falls in pool play

'This team really is something special'

Michaela Kilgallen November 21, 2015
Mitchell Debortoli (15) and Tyler Schnaible of Shenendehowa go up for a block aGainst Cicero-North Syracuse Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015 during the NYSPHSAA boys' volleyball championships at Suffolk County Community College.
MICHAELA KILGALLEN
Mitchell Debortoli (15) and Tyler Schnaible of Shenendehowa go up for a block aGainst Cicero-North Syracuse Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015 during the NYSPHSAA boys' volleyball championships at Suffolk County Community College.

“If you can make history it’s always great,” senior Tom Hurley said. “This team really is something special.”

Hurley and his teammates are the first Shen team to ever compete in the NYSPHSAA boys' volleyball championship, hosted Saturday at Suffolk County Community College. The Plainsmen got knocked out in pool play.

“It was a phenomenal experience,” senior Mitchell Debortoli said. “I’m proud of this team that I got to be on.”

Although they didn’t make it into the final round, earning a spot in the championship classifies Shen as one of the top four boys' volleyball teams in New York, along with McQuaid, Cicero-North Syracuse and the 2014 champions, Sachem North.

“I think at the end of the day when you’re facing the best teams in the State of New York it comes down to ability level across the board and not making mistakes,” coach John Coletta said. “Today we made a few mistakes. Knowing that we know what to work on in the off-season to make our program that much better is extremely valuable.”

Each team played a total of six sets, two against every competitor. Shenendehowa ended the day with one win and five losses.

“I think at times the boys felt that maybe they had a little more to give in the games,” Coletta said. “New environment, new situation being in the state final four. I think they realized they had what it takes.”

During the team’s final set, they rallied against McQuaid, the champions from 2010-2012. Shen fought back only losing by four, compared to 25-11 in the first set.

“I think overall we didn’t play to our potential,” DeBortoli said. “But I’m happy with the way it ended.”

This season was the last chance for Shen’s seniors who have seen the team’s progression over the last few years.

“We knew we had the talent but we just had to put it all together,” Hurley said. “Just click at the right times, play good and make it to states and see what happens.”

According to Coletta, at the beginning of the season, achieving this level of play was a hope but far from an expectation. And he says the same mentality still stands for next year.

“My expectations are going to be exactly the same as this year: try and play the best volleyball each day, try and be the best team that we can each day,” he said. “If that happens to take us here that will be fantastic but we know that we’re going to try and focus on being the best team we can be.”

Despite the numbers up on the scoreboard, the championship experience was a silver lining to the day’s losses.

“It was a lot of fun getting to leave school yesterday and getting to have one more weekend of volleyball together was great,” Coletta said. “It was everything we hoped it would be.”

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