The area’s lone boys volleyball program, St. Francis Borgia Regional, will continue its quest for success in 2019.
CJ Steiger returns for his sixth season as Borgia’s head coach. Steiger led the Knights to a 7-13 record in 2018.
“I’m hoping to get a winning season for the first time since coaching here,” Steiger said. “We had 20 come out this year.”
Borgia hosts matches Friday and Saturday.
The Knights host St. Dominic Friday at 6 p.m. and Cape Notre Dame Saturday at 1 p.m. Home matches are played in the Wingbermuehle Activity Center.
Top players for the Knights include senior Jacob Miesner, who made the Archdiocesan Athletic Association honorable mention team at outside hitter.
Junior libero Mitchel Mohesky was the AAA newcomer of the year last season and he will lead the defense.
Overall, Borgia has three seniors with Miesner and Robert Halsted at the outside hitter spots. Jackson Piontek is the third senior.
“All three will play a big role for us this season,” Steiger said.
Hopes for a season above .500 will rest with the junior class, Borgia’s biggest in regards to numbers. Will Poepsel and Cole Fischer are the middle hitters and Mohesky will be the libero.
Junior Eric Jankowski will run the 5-1 offense.
“Our junior class is our strongest class as a whole with numerous key contributors,” Steiger said. “Mitchel Mohesky is our leading passer/ball control person that allows our big hitters to be more effective. Eric Jankowski is our junior setter that will control our offense and more times than less, we will go as he goes. As our main setter, we will mostly run a 5-1 around Eric.”
Steiger said there are two more seniors. Zack Dickinson is expected to be a right back defender. Nate Rickman, who has played football at Borgia and Legion baseball for New Haven, is a first-year senior.
“I am excited to see what contributions we will get from Nate, who at an athletic 6-4, is already swinging extremely well and crushing the ball for a first-year player. He picks up extremely fast on the movement and transition and blocks really well using his athleticism.”
Borgia lost two players to graduation, All-AAA hitter Ray Mauntel and Noah Elbert.
“We did lose a pair of seniors last year in Ray Mauntel and Noah Elbert who were very productive players for the past several seasons for us, but we do have several players capable of stepping in for them if they realize their potential,” Steiger said.
In the AAA, Steiger feels St. Mary’s remains the team to beat. He also feels Borgia can make some noise.
“St. Mary’s is always the team to beat in our conference, but I am optimistic about how well we will compete with everyone else in our conference with a goal of a winning record being attainable,” Steiger said.