Weekly Feature

2014-09-10 / Sports

Marauders reach quarterfinals of Clarence tourney

Volleyball preview
by BRANDON KILIJANSKI
Reporter


St. Joe’s senior setter Joe Koszelak blocks a ball during the Clarence Tournament on Saturday. Koszelak led the Marauders’ into the gold bracket, finishing in the quarterfinals. 
Photo by Patrick McPartlandPurchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com St. Joe’s senior setter Joe Koszelak blocks a ball during the Clarence Tournament on Saturday. Koszelak led the Marauders’ into the gold bracket, finishing in the quarterfinals. Photo by Patrick McPartlandPurchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com The St. Joe’s volleyball team expects to be one of the top teams in Western New York all season long.

They have one of the area’s best setters in senior Joe Koszelak, therefore a loss in the quarterfinals of the Clarence Tournament on Saturday was a bit of a disappointment.

“We were upset that we didn’t make it all the way Saturd ay,” said head coach Mark Anzalone. “We expect to be number one and that’s what we want. The key is consistency, we can certainly do it. We want a Monsignor Martin title and to be at the top of the league.”

Koszelak has been a starting setter for four years — his freshman and sophomore year on junior varsity — and he started last season for the varsity squad as a junior.

“He always finds a way to give our guys a hittable ball,” Anzalone said. “I think he knows how to distribute the ball, he doesn’t let it become obvious to the defense where it’s going. We have a lot of options and chooses them all at the right time.”

On Saturday, the Marauders were in a pool with Iroquois, Orchard Park and Eden. St. Joe’s defeated Iroquois both games, and split with Orchard Park and Eden.

“It was a good pool. We were hoping to come in first, but the kids played hard and played well,” Anzalone added.

Their record was good enough to advance into the gold bracket, but Clarence coach was able to beat Anzalone them in the quarterfinals in a close match.

Throughout the entire day, St. Joe’s played scrappy defense which made it difficult on the opposition to put points away.

“We never gave up on a ball, there were a lot of opportunities where it looked like the ball was going down or hitting out of play and we never gave up on it,” Anzalone said. “There were many times we had multiple guys diving for the ball. We showed a lot of hustle and hard work.”

The Marauders’ offense was led by their outside hitters Jacob Donn and Anthony Berardi, and right side hitter Nick Oakes.

“All three are strong hitters and smart hitters, they make adjustments,” Anzalone added.

On Thursday, St. Joe’s started its season with a match against Lancaster. The Marauders had the advantage winning two of the first three games and could have put the fourth game away. St. Joe’s led 17-11 in the fourth, but Lancaster came back to win the set and then eventually the match.

“This group has been working hard for four years. It’s a really good group of guys putting the time in,” Anzalone said. “We have a lot of club players, so I’m excited for them to showcase themselves.”

email: brandonk@beenews.com

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