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BVT Boys Volleyball Building Program

The Blackstone Valley Tech boys volleyball team started its season 0-5, but head coach Barbara King can see how close the Beavers are to breaking through.
"We are certainly progressing," she said. "Our first match of the season against Douglas went five games and so did our match against Keefe Tech. I am happy with the progress we are making, we have a great group of kids who are not getting down on themselves at all."
Inexperience was expected to be a challenge for the Beavers' roster this year. With very few players having any significant varsity experience, closing out matches has not come easily. In the loss to Douglas, the Beavers dropped the fifth set 16-14. BVT came up on the wrong end of a similar final set against Keefe Tech, a 15-13 loss.
"It was tough to lose like that after paying so well," King said of the close defeats. "We are trying to build this program back up, so we work with what we have and keep them positive and let them have fun. We want them to come back next year and encourage underclassmen to join the team."
Junior Antonio Sullo has anchored the Valley Tech attack. He registered 28 kills against Keefe and, at 6'8", has begun to draw attention from college coaches. "[Sullo] has been awesome, a real leader for us on the court," King said. "He enjoys working with the younger kids and helping get them up to speed."
King added she would like to see Sullo, a fiery player, keep his emotions in check. "I think that is the biggest challenge, he can get frustrated if he is not hitting well, though for the most part he has been," she said. "He is only a junior and if we can keep that part of his game in mind, he is going to be a huge factor."
Another junior, Alex Bianco, moved over to volleyball last season after playing baseball as a freshman. He has stood out as the Beavers' setter and combined with Sullo to form a strong one-two punch on the attack. Junior Zach Hendriks has hit well from the right side and, as one of the quicker and more athletic players on the team, has also been strong in the back row.
King has been particularly impressed with the play of junior Jared Robert, who she calls the biggest surprise for BVT so far. "He has really come along and I think we took some pressure off of him by making him just a front row player," she said. "He is getting more and more confident and has improved both his hitting and his blocking."
King is also impressed with her team's attitude. Despite a rocky start to the season, the Beavers remain focused on the goal of playing better volleyball as the season progresses.
"We want to be competitive and I think through the first part of the season, we can already see the progress we are making," she said. "The kids are starting to learn the game and play with more confidence. These are not the type of kids who get down on themselves, and it's been enjoyable to work with them every day after school."




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