The 2015 season was the 10th for the boy’s volleyball program, which has been led by head coach Robert Spier and assistant coach Brian Mooney for all 10 seasons.
A string of division titles ended this year, but the Pirates put together a strong foundation for the future and reached a major milestone with the 200th win in program history.
“I like to think of it more as a team milestone than a coaching milestone,” Spier said. “I really don’t care about that. We’ve only been around for 10 years, so I find it awesome to accomplish this feat in such a short amount of time.”
Cinnaminson failed to make the playoffs, but Spier was happy with how the team fought throughout the season and made adjustments to new positions.
“I had to take a step back and realize that three of our starters this year didn’t play JV last year. We had a sophomore setter in Ryan Fisher who didn’t set last year. Allen Barrett was playing a new position this year. Pat McCarthy went from playing middle to power. Matt Burns didn’t play varsity last year. We brought in a frosh (Eddie Choe) and by end of the season he was able to see balls he should be getting to next year. From last year’s varsity team, Pete Selnek was the only one in the same position. I was used to year after year having guys play same position, but we had to change things up.”
As per the last couple of season, boy’s volleyball took part in the Backyard Brawl, a challenge created by Spier between Cinnaminson, Moorestown and Pennsauken. Each school hosted a tri-match during the season. The final tri-match of the year is when Spier witnessed the strongest win of the season outside of the program’s 200th.
“The win over Pennsauken in the third round of the Backyard Brawl was probably our most impressive win because we had lost to them twice already and it’s easy to get defeated when you see the same team so many times and they beat you so many times. The fact they didn’t throw in the towel and say we can’t beat these guys and then fought and won. It was a lot of fun.”
Spier is hopeful that the boys were able to build a strong foundation for the future based on the work they put in during the 2015 season.
“I think so. The downfall is that four of our guys are seniors. But, with the guys we have left, Eddie is gonna be huge next year. Fisher is gonna be huge next year. Pat is gonna be huge next year because he can play middle and power. With 8 frosh this year, they’re going to definitely need to pick it up. They are excited about it. It is good they got one year of experience under their belt at JV. We will have four new guys at varsity next year. It is something we can work through and if we do well, in two years we will be great because we will have a whole squad of juniors who have played together for three years.”
Even though boy’s volleyball missed the post-season and did not put together a record like in year’s past (16-18 in 2015), Spier was pleased with how the team handled adversity in 2015.
“Now, a week later, I just think about how far these guys have come and what they have done as a team. Our record wasn’t as great as it has been in the past. We didn’t have the same buildup as in the past, where kids played four years together. What they were able to do in two and a half months together was amazing. We were going to play smart, give it everything we had, fight all the way to the end and they did it as a team.”