Boys’ volleyball overcomes early struggles


Tim Buckley

Vejas Cuplinskas prepares to spike.

Rahim Kouferidji, Sports Editor

The RB boys’ varsity volleyball team is looking to bounce back after an average 9-8 start to their season. The Bulldogs have potential, they just need to work and polish certain aspects of their game.

“We haven’t figured out how to finish games. We had a match last weekend in which we had a triple match point,  so we were up 24-20, and we ended up losing the game. That’s been our weakness,” said Dan Bonarigo, head boys and girls volleyball coach and math teacher.

Close matches seems to be the theme of this season, as three of the Bulldogs’ losses have been decided by two points.

“[We need to] work on putting the ball onto the other side because we make too many unforced errors, meaning that we make the errors ourselves without the other team pressuring us in any way,” said sophomore Vejas Cuplinskas.

General inexperience and a lack of chemistry might be the culprit of this, as the Bulldogs had twelve returning members on the varsity roster last year, with only three returning members this year.

One of the most experienced members is three-year varsity starter senior Jason Bageanis. Bageanis, along with Colby Campbell and other returning players lead the rest of the team through their play.

“The other players on the team are great people on and off the court. On the court they are supportive teammates who pick you up when you make a mistake and off the court they are great to hang out with,” said sophomore Matthew Hanson.

The team’s toughest competition so far have been Metea Valley, Wheaton North, and New Trier High School. The team also beat Hinsdale Central April 9, the school that has eliminated RB in the playoffs the past two years.

Only time will tell, but it seems that early hardships will only strengthen the Bulldogs. They have the tools they need to succeed, they just have to put everything together and continue to improve.

“We’re very athletic. We can compete with anybody,” said Bonarigo.