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The Explorer

The Student News Site of Hudson High School

The Explorer

The Student News Site of Hudson High School

The Explorer

The dedicated seniors of the Boys Volleyball Team

The+Hudson+Boys+Volleyball+team+last+season+after+playing+St.+Ignatius+at+the+Regional+Championship.
Ken Klemencic
The Hudson Boys Volleyball team last season after playing St. Ignatius at the Regional Championship.

The Hudson Boys Volleyball team had a 24-1 record at the end of the previous season. The group wants to build on its almost flawless season. They hope to reconstruct the team to its maximum potential, as nine of the fourteen players are graduating. After such a large turnover, the squad needs its returning players to step up and take the lead. With their heads held high and confidence that they can rebuild and make another run at states this year, the team is playing with the odds stacked against them. 

The returning players, which include Luca Carvalho, Joaquim Andrade, Spencer Yerkey and Thomas Shaffer, aim to demonstrate that the Hudson team remains a strong foe to other competitors. They will face various challenges early in the season as they develop their chemistry and learn to play as a unit. The team wants to overcome these challenges and become a serious contender by the end of the season. The group knows that events may unfold differently from their original plan. Early on, adjusting to the changes, building a solid team dynamic and finding that unique chemistry on the court will be hard. But they are sure they can get past these challenges if they work hard and are persistent.

Luca Carvalho’s enthusiasm for the game is infectious; he plays well and invites others to participate. Shaffer stated, “Luca Carvalho got me to go to one of the open volleyball gyms right before volleyball season started.”

Shaffer’s best memory was the volleyball team’s first season trip to the states. There were a lot of fans, so the atmosphere was enjoyable. Even though Hudson lost, Shaffer said it was still enjoyable. Shaffer stated, “Kellen Gromosiak was our best middle blocker last year. He was able to hit a wide variety of shots and was extremely tall. His blocking was a significant factor in our flawless run.” This acknowledgment demonstrates the team’s understanding of its advantages and how these will help it succeed despite the difficulties associated with rebuilding.

Just like Shaffer, senior Joaquim Andrade got into volleyball when his friends eventually were able to pressure him into playing. Joaquim shared, “I had lots of friends who had been playing volleyball for a while who constantly put pressure on me to play. Immediately after playing it a couple of times, I knew I loved it.”

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Andrade’s headphones help him focus and enter the zone on game day. After games, he uses the bus rides home with his teammates to unwind and celebrate victories with music and singing. These strong connections have created a positive and supportive environment for Joaquim, which has helped him succeed as a player. He once said, “I know I’ll play well as long as my knee feels good and I have my headphones on.” Later, he recalled, “Nothing beats the music and singing on the bus rides back from away games after a big win.” During last year, Andrade mostly had to play right-side hitter, which is the most adaptable position because they are strong both defensively and offensively. In addition to hitting the ball from the front and rear rows, they can also help the middle blocker on blocks during defense. He now wants to play outside hitter, which is his strongest position. Helping to stop an opponent’s shot from the point where the ball crosses the net is the outside hitter’s defensive role. Their primary objective is to pass the ball during the attack before launching the last assault. Andrade is a great player for his team and will surely continue to be a successful player on the court.

Like Joaquim, Luca Carvalho, also became interested in volleyball. He played volleyball with friends in his upperclassmen year. Since they invited Carvalho to the open gyms, he has developed a strong passion for it. “I went to the open gyms with them and I found out that I had a knack or it,” Carvalho recalled explaining how he first became interested in volleyball. “I’ve loved it ever since.”

One of Carvalho’s best Volleyball memories is when his team recently emerged victorious from the Chicago Chi-town Boys Challenge competition. By fostering an encouraging and supportive environment, the coaches and support staff also made a difference in helping the players succeed. They also assisted the players in honing their techniques and tactics. Hopefully, they will accomplish their objectives for the school team this upcoming season. “I know we won’t be as good as we were last year when we got to the final four in the state, but I look forward to being able to play with my friends and compete with other teams,” said Carvalho. Carvalho is an excellent athlete who enjoys the challenge of competition. These qualities will help him and his teammates succeed on and off the court, no matter if they don’t rank as high this season.

As the restructuring of the Hudson Boys Volleyball team begins, the team starts the new era with optimism and determination. With nine out of the fourteen players leaving for college, the four seniors are looking to step up. The returning players must take the lead and help create a sense of unity and forge a chemistry between the players. Players like Luca Carvalho, Joaquim Andrade and Thomas Shaffer are great pillars as they exemplify the team’s passion and resilience. The Hudson Boys Volleyball team is ready to rewrite its legacy and demonstrate that they are still able to contend with the very best. 

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About the Contributor
Christopher Rego
Christopher Rego, Reporter
Christopher Rego is a senior at Hudson High School. This is his first year in Journalism. Christopher likes to watch YouTube and play chess. He also likes to listen to different podcasts like Ologies by Alie Ward or Smartless. Besides school, Christopher likes to go on bike rides and hang out with friends. Christopher participates in Model United Nations and Chess Club. He is looking forward to talking about technology and other various topics.
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