Volleyball Teams Spike Interest at Garden City High School

Yes, Garden City High School has a varsity volleyball team, actually two.

The Trojans have a boys and girls varsity team that have both flown under the radar while taking a back seat to the more dominating sports. However, the boys and girls on the volleyball teams put in the same effort and time as the mainstream sports.

In an Olympic year, terms like spike, set and dig may be a little more familiar to the sports world but one could venture to say that most Northeasterners don’t really know what they mean. Well there are about 40 or so boys and girls in the high school who not only know what they mean but all try to perform them on a regular basis.

The Garden City boys team is a very young group of athletes. And although the team has no seniors they do have some experience on the squad. Of the 11 juniors, three sophomores and five freshmen there are three players returning for their third year and five returning for the second year.

Coach Mike Weiner has one expectation: "I want my team to learn, grow and advance every point, every game and every match." With that in mind Weiner is looking not only at this season, but also next year when he believes he will have the same group of boys on the court, only next year they will have the experience and knowledge to compete at a higher level.

As Weiner says, "We have a two-year goal – to learn, grow and build a strong foundation so we can finish this season with all the knowledge we possibly can. So next year we are one step ahead and can make a strong push for the playoffs."

The key players in the lineup for the Trojans are three-year starting setter Tom Zwicke and two-year starter middle Kyle Beckmann. These two, along with libero Harry Demeris, setter/outside Michael Brennan and middle Grant Henneberger form an already solid foundation that will continue to grow throughout the season.

The boys are a respectable 3-6 on the season with five remaining conference matches.

On the girls side of the court Garden City went into Nassau County Conference A-1 as the 7th seeded team out of 24 Class A schools. The girls are seeded by school size and ability in Nassau County, unlike many other sports. And although the Lady Trojans advanced to the Conference semi-finals last season they know that they are in arguably the most competitive conference on Long Island.

"One thing that people should know is that although we lack size and experience, we are very competitive within our conference and in tournaments," long time coach Phil Opinante said.

Currently the girls' record may not seem like they are headed in the right direction (they are 1-5 in Conference play) but Coach Opinante, and those that watch the team closely, would disagree.

As Opinante pointed out, "Our goal is to improve within each and every competition, and to be successful as measured in attitude, effort and improvement by striving to attain individual and team potential. Hopefully, we'll make some noise in the Nassau County Class A playoffs."

The team does miss the presence of their top player from last season, Emily LaCourte, as she moved to Suffolk County but they do return their three captains. Senior setter/outside attacker Jackie Jahelka, senior setter and right side attacker Jackie Seskin and Lucy Donohue, a middle/outside attacker, form the core of the team.  

The girls have six games remaining before the seedings are set for the playoffs and they are looking forward to closing out the year strong.