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Norwood - Local Town Pages

A New Season for The Norwood Boys Volleyball Team

By Christopher Tremblay

In the past, the Norwood boys’ volleyball team has not seen a lot of athletes banging down its doors to play for Coach Paul Nimblett. However, this year is a little bit different. After the team earned themselves a spot in the South Division Tournament, the Norwood Coach has had more players take an interest in the sport. Although the Mustangs got into the tournament, they fell to Newton South in the first round.

 “Last year, we only had 11 players,” Nimblett said. “This year, we are up to 25, giving us enough for both a varsity and junior varsity team for the first time in a while. Over the past few years, it has been tough with Covid and the shortened season, but kids are looking to play now that all the mandates are out.”

The underclassmen of the JV team are working to not only eventually become varsity players but are giving Norwood a chance to build for the future. According to the coach, he’s glad to finally have a JV team again; one where the underclassmen will become a big part of the school’s program.

While the JV begins to revamp the school’s program with the underclassmen, senior Coleman Keady is returning to the court as the team’s setter after a year’s absence due to wrestling being moved to the spring season last year. 

“It’s big to have him back,” the Mustang Coach said. “Coleman is a leader who not only knows the system but was a big part of our offense when he was last on the court.”

Senior Matt Alves has never played the sport but has always thought about giving it a try. Thus far he is picking up things right away due to his athleticism. Despite being a first-year player, Nimblett believes that he should have a great year and is excited to see what he can do as a middle hitter for the squad. Alves covers a lot of ground on the court giving the Coach the opportunity to play him all around.

With Keady back in the fold, Korbyn McWhirk, who sometimes worked as the team’s setter last spring, will be primarily a hitter this year. Karl Badiola, another senior, is back and brings experience to the outside hitter position, but much like Alves can play other positions. Badiola will see action in both the front and back rows and has a great serve.

“He [Badiola] has a great float serve that has a lot of movement to it making it tough for the other team to pass,” Nimblett said. “He had a lot of success with his serve for us last year.”

Other key components to the Mustangs lineup are junior Khang Nguyen, a really good passer who can play the back row and possibly libero; junior Joe Greene, who comes in with good skills and has fit right in while picking things up rather easily; and sophomore Jason Le, who after playing last year as a freshman now returns with a year of experience under his belt.

Junior Zach Smith played sparingly last year but is ready to move into a right-side hitter position giving him more of a role this season.

With the Tri Valley League already having a bunch of skilled teams, Dighton-Rehoboth has recently been added into the mix.

“Milford and Nipmuc are the top teams in the league and Norton and Bellingham will be tough,” the Coach said. “With that said, I believe that we will defiantly be able to compete with them. Once we get a few games in, experience will come – I can’t wait to see what this group is able to accomplish.”

With the new tournament acceptance policy, this year will be very important to teams to not only be competitive against the top tier teams but try to take a set or two whenever they can. The new rankings will rely on how well you do against these teams’ power ratings to earn yourself a spot in the tournament. 

Nimblett and his team know what they have to do if they want to get back to the tournament and take last year’s performance a step further. The Mustang Coach firmly believes that his team can accomplish that feat as long as they play together as a team.