Lowell, Chelmsford lead competitive MVC field – Lowell Sun

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Last year was an exceptional year for local boys volleyball teams.

In the Div. 1 North  bracket, four of the five top seeded teams were local: Chelmsford, Lowell Catholic, Greater Lowell and fifth-seed Westford Academy. The Grey Ghosts went the deepest out of those teams, winning the sectional before losing to Needham in the Eastern Mass. semifinals.

Although those four teams all lost a lot of talent through graduation, there’s still plenty of talent remaining for this season. Westford expects to have another big season behind senior right side hitter Jake Aylward. Chelmsford will look to Theodor Farag. Lowell Catholic returns three league all-stars with middle hitter John Nangle and outside hitters Patrick Nangle and Josh Barahona. Greater Lowell will lean on setter James Ratsakhuk to lead the offense. Lowell, which finished 8-3, will look to Izaviah Hong and  Kython Ses to keep the team competitive.

Billerica also hopes to improve behind league all-star Ankush Patel.

Billerica

League: Merrimack Valley Conference
Last Year’s Record: 3-7
Senior Co-Captains: Ankush Patel, outside hitter; Ajay Bijlani, middle hitter.
Other Returning Letterwinners: Ethan Cliff, jr., outside hitter; Joe Liete, jr., opposite hitter; Bobby Kinsella, jr., opposite hitter; Evan Aliberti, jr., opposite hitter.
Promising Newcomers: Kirtan Patel, jr., middle hitter; Moneil Tailor, sr., defensive specialist; Aiden Le, jr., opposite hitter; Josh Rodriguez-Ortiz, jr., defensive specialist; Aryan Patel, soph., setter; Kyle Troung, soph., outside hitter.

Coach Brittney McGinness (6th season): “We’re coming off a season that included the graduating of many of our starters. We have a lot of the guys back from last year who are ready to have a ‘normal’ season and excited for what is in store.”

Chelmsford

League: Merrimack Valley Conference

Last Year’s Record: 11-1, MVC League Champions

Returning Letterwinners: Theodor Farag, sr., middle/outside hitter; Matt McCarthy, sr., outside hitter/setter; Owen Rega, sr., opposite hitter/setter; Paul Graham, sr., middle/outside hitter; Ashton Rich Roxas, sr., defensive specialist; Jonah Abraham, jr., outside hitter/defensive specialist; Victor Lam, jr., setter/outside hitter; Elijah Lafontant, jr., defensive specialist; Josiah Russell, soph., middle/opposite hitter; Royce Roxas, soph., opposite hitter/setter.

Promising Newcomers: Ethan Dehaan, jr., opposite/outside hitter; Danilo Nunes, jr., outside/opposite hitter; Bennett Prees, jr., middle/right side hitter; Ken Damon, jr., outside/opposite hitter; Jack MacPhee, soph., setter/opposite hitter.

Coach Edgar Valdez (5th season): “My goal this year is to continue to build the program up and promote volleyball in the area, as we had more people tryout this year than ever before. We play in the MVC which is always tough because every game is important and every week we beat up on each other. The outlook for the season this year is to push to be one of the teams again and make a run in the tournament.”

Greater Lowell

League: Commonwealth Athletic Conference

Last year’s record: 8-2

Senior Quad-Captains: Logan Sras, middle/outside hitter; Keiser Zayas, middle hitter; James Ratsakhuk, setter; and Darren Loueth Prum, all-around.

Other Returning Letterwinners: Juan Naut, jr., libero and Anthony Bui, jr., outside hitter.

Promising Newcomer: Ason Oeun, soph., outside hitter.

Coach Nate Howe (2nd season): “We have a lot of talent concentrated in our senior class that have high aspirations for the outcome of their season. These kids have poured all their effort into preparing for this season spending most of the offseason in the gym. They’re expecting their hard work to pay off with a successful, competitive season. Logan Sras coming off a torn ACL last year is committed to play D3 volleyball at Regis College next year. He wants to go out with a bang after last season was cut short by his injury. James Ratsakhuk has goals to set his career high in assists to great hitters like Darren Loueth Prum. Our middle Keiser Zayas prides himself on his defensive work and being a brick wall blocker. They continue to work hard to compete for a CAC title and state tournament berth.”

Lowell

League: Merrimack Valley Conference

Last Year’s Record: 11-3

Senior Co-Captains: Izaviah Hong, all-around, Kython Ses, all-around.

Other Returning Lettermen: An Tri Thach, sr.; Mustafa Salih, sr.; Eddie Djatcha, jr.; Walter Palacio, soph.; Cody Fitzpatrick, soph.; Ceasar Joseph, soph.; Ayden Roeum, soph.; Eric Nguyen, soph.

Promising newcomers: Alex Chau, sr., setter; Ethan Ho, sr., libero; Tevin Lout, sr., all-around; Jimmy Chea, sr., outside hitter; Ivan Kim, sr., outside hitter.

Coach Paul McCarthy: “We look forward to a hopeful season with a returning veteran group with the addition of some players who COVID kept from participating last year.”

Lowell Catholic

League: Commonwealth Athletic Conference

Last year’s Record: 10-1

Senior Co-Captains: John Nangle, middle hitter; Hunter Boucher, setter.

Other Returning Letterwinners: Patrick Nangle, sr., opposite hitter; Braden Boucher, sr., outside hitter; Jake Reuling, sr., libero; Ethan Sawyer, sr., defensive specialist; Josh Barahona, sr., outside hitter; Zach Dubuc, sr., outside hitter; Ryan Allen, sr., setter; Andrew Grieco, sr., defensive specialist/outside hitter; Harry Grayson, sr., middle hitter; Luke Van Horn, jr., outside/middle hitter.
Promising Newcomers: Jayden Lopez, soph., middle hitter; Will Witkos, jr., defensive specialist; Miguel Vasconcelos, sr., middle hitter; Jaythan Otero, sr., opposite hitter; Srikar Kopparapu, jr., middle hitter; Aiden Falvey, jr., middle hitter.

Coach Cameron Connors (5th season): “I am looking forward to work with a very experienced and dedicated team. With all the off-season work in the weight room and the team looking to get together whenever possible I expect us to mesh well together. We hope to repeat our league success while taking on very challenging non-league opponents. With there being two divisions now we are hoping to make our mark on the newly opened division two.”

Westford Academy

League: Dual County League

Last Year’s Record: 14-3

Senior Tri-Captains: Matthew Zegowitz, middle hitter; Jake Aylward, right side hitter; Andy Lamprey, libero.

Promising Newcomer: Jacob Holahan, sr., outside hitter; Evan Galli, sr., defensive specialist; Aarush Singhsr, sr., setter; Matthew Zegowitz, sr., middle hitter; Tejas Kudva, sr., outside hitter; Alexander Joos, sr., middle hitter; Ryan Smith, sr., defensive specialist; Abhisar Anand, jr., rightside hitter; Peter Burdin, jr., outside hitter; Ankit Nakhawa, jr., setter; Ryan Sun, soph., right side hitter.

Coach Brandon Eang (2nd season): “I’m sure we’ll be competitive and have a winning record.”

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