The 4th Annual Niagara Region Boys' Volleyball Showcase Thursday, December 14th saw Team Blue defeat Team White three sets to one (26-24, 18-25, 25-16 and 32-30). The match held at Welland Campus athletic Centre featured student-athletes representing 18 local high schools, showcasing the elite talent level that exists in the Niagara region's boys' volleyball.
“Great showcase last night” said Knights men's volleyball coach Nathan Groenveld. ”The level of play last night was incredibly high and it was a great display of the quality of players, coaches and teams we have in high school volleyball in Niagara. There was a great atmosphere in the gym last night with good crowd, we have an amazing volleyball community here in Niagara and they came out in full support.”
The showcase MVP for Team Blue was awarded to Sir Winston Churchill’s outside hitter Alexander Mrkalji. When asked about Mrkalji’s performance Thursday night, Groenveld was very impressed with how dominant the high school senior was over all fours sets of Thursday night’s event. “Mrkalji was unstoppable as an attacker and from the baseline as a server. He put on a show last night with some amazing spikes at some unreal angles.”
The other members of the Team Blue included Stephan Legagneur (ESC Jean Vanier), Kole Popat (Centennial CS), Connor Vanderkuip (Smithville Christian), Matthew Ferron (Holy Cross), Mathew Collision (St. Michael), Alex Page (St. Paul), Bailey Stewart (Thorold Secondary), Michael Lavassuer (Stamford), Jesse Raso (Notre Dame), Joel Coopman (Greater Fort Erie), Micah Niewets (Eden), Patrick Alvarez (Blessed Trinity), Matt Calverly (EL Crossly), Vangel Matic (A.N. Myer), Dallas Melnick (A.N. Myer), Andrew Sindall (Beamsville) and Dayton Follick (St. Francis)
The showcase MVP for Team White was awarded to Eden’s Josiah Esau, who played at multiple positions in Thursday night’s event. “Josiah Esau is a very skilled volleyball player” Said Groenveld. “He continued to play at a very high level while lining up as a setter, right side and middle blocker. The kid has a bright future ahead of him.”
Rounding out the rest of Team White were high schoolers Thomas Rigas-DiDomenico (A.N. Myer) Jacob Fontaine (Jean Vanier), Anthony Perna (Centennial SS), Jordan VanHerwynen (Smithville Christian), Adam Topolinsky (Holy Cross), Dan Kessler (St. Michael), Matthew MacLean (St. Paul), Braydon Harrietha (Thorold Secondary), Ethan Wilding (Stamford), Will Spencer (Sir Winston Churchill), Ethan VanNatter (Greater Fort Erie), Dylan DiFabio (Blessed Trinity), Justin Levere (Blessed Trinity), Forest Turpel (E.L. Crossley), Omesh Jayaweera (A.N. Myer), Tanner Vail (Beamsville) and Alex D’Elia (St. Francis).