Greenwich boys volleyball team ready to quickly gain experience

Greenwich High School senior captain Packy Hanrahan sets the ball to his teammates during Tuesday’s practice. — Paul Silverfarb photo

Greenwich High School senior captain Packy Hanrahan sets the ball to his teammates during Tuesday’s practice. — Paul Silverfarb photo

What the Greenwich High School boys volleyball team is lacking in experience, they are making up for in athletic ability and determination.

For head coach Pete Georgiou, although the team might not be as talented in its volleyball skills as other teams in the past, that doesn’t mean the GHS head coach doesn’t expect big things from his team.

“We graduated a lot of our players and we only have a couple of returners coming back on varsity,” Georgiou said. “We’re going to try and step up our defense and hopefully force other teams to make errors on us. We’re not going to be a power hitting team this year. We are young when it comes to age and experience level. We want to do the basics right and hopefully if we play great defense we can frustrate other teams.”

Last year, the Cards entered the class L tournament as the No. 4 seed, the team’s best entry into the postseason ever.

After the first-round bye, Greenwich hosted No. 5 Glastonbury, but fell 3-0 (21-25, 18-25, 15-25).

This year Big Red will be lead by senior co-captains Packy Hanrahan and Aiden Rafferty.

“Both are great players and good role models,” Georgiou said. “As a captain, I want them to both be my eyes and ears on the court. They are there to help mold the team and show some positive reinforcement. We got a lot of freshmen and first-year juniors and seniors that will see a lot of varsity time. The captains have been with me for a few years and will have to lead by example.”

“It’s great to lead this team,” Rafferty said. “We’re coming off our best season in the program’s history and it’s a lot to follow up on. We lost a lot of great players last year, but we really put together a solid squad this year. I think we have a lot of potential and I think if we do everything right, we can do some great things in the postseason.”

One of the team’s biggest strengths is its athletic ability. When looking at the team practicing, you can spot a few bowlers, football players, tennis players and baseball players that are now calling the volleyball team home.

For Georgiou, having a squad full of athletes is a very important aspect ot the team.

“It’s a positive for us,” Georgiou said. “We have a lack of volleyball experience but we have athletic kids that come out and pick up the game really fast. A lot of my athletic kids are at least showing the heart that they want to be out there. That’s one thing you can’t teach and hopefully they will pick up the skills.”

In addition to the two captains, Georgiou is expecting good things from freshmen Daizo Mori, Davis Lee and Erik Katsigiannis. However, that doesn’t mean Georgiou is not looking at other players.

“Every day these kids go out, go 100% and realize that every practice is like an audition for starting time,” Georgiou said. “A good scenerio for me is to have difficulty picking out my starting six for a game and hopefully it’s because they are pushing each other versus the opposite.”

Despite the lack of volleyball experience, Georgiou still has high goals for the team.

“We want to be at least where we were last year and try to advance past that,” Georgiou said. “At this point right now, we’re going to take it one game at a time and work on our basics.”

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