HC boys’ volleyball prepares for advancement in the 2023 season


The varsity team wins the silver bracket championship to end the 2022 season.

Sydney Cain, Reporter

Women’s volleyball has been viewed as a more traditional form of the sport in the past. However, in many places, men’s volleyball has also gained interest. HC’s boys’ volleyball program has developed greatly since its first season in 2020. Still, there is room for improvement. Coach Luke Grupe is prepared to take the necessary steps in order to accomplish more in the 2023 season. 

“[High school boys’ volleyball presently has] a lot more experienced teams,” Grupe said. “Basically, that first season was an introduction, more of a gym class environment than a competitive environment.”

The HC boys’ volleyball team presented an unprecedented opportunity for many when it first started out, though these skills didn’t come easily.

“The guys just came out and they enjoyed playing,” Grupe said. “They didn’t even care if they broke the rules, like getting in the net. They just wanted to play and have fun which kind of showed the joy of the game.”

Due to increased experience and an increase in participating schools, high school boys’ volleyball has become more contentious.

“[Boys’ volleyball] has grown a lot,” Grupe said. “That first season we only had three teams, basically three high schools doing it, now we have twenty-five. It’s a lot more competition, we have guys that have played for a longer time now.”

As players develop a deeper perception of volleyball, intensity becomes a more apparent aspect of the sport.

“They [became] more knowledgeable on how the game works,” Grupe said. “They have more game sense. A lot of them just go out there and do their own thing but they actually started learning some of the more technical aspects of the game, which was good.”

Beyond HC’s program, it would be beneficial to men’s volleyball’s overall growth for more schools to participate.

“For further development, it’s just continuing to grow and getting more schools into [boys’ volleyball],” Grupe said. “Definitely getting more schools nearby so they can grow as well. If the counties start growing, it makes the competition grow.”

In order to develop individually, the players involved have to bring certain characteristics of a quality athlete and teammate to the table.

“I expect them to just enjoy the game,” Grupe said. “They’re there to get better and not just to goof off all the time. They know that; thats one of the requirements if you join. You’re there to have fun but you’re there to compete and get better at the sport.” 

The team has been recognized for their diligent players that work to improve the program.

“The guys that are on the team are really devoted,” Grupe said. “They come to open gyms throughout the whole year. We’re trying to get more guys interested, so they’re constantly asking their friends to come out and just try it.”

The student body has overlooked boys’ volleyball in the past, which has hindered growth for the program. 

“If you come and support [the team], then it helps our program grow,” Grupe said. “It allows us to recruit more guys because sometimes we don’t get as much interest as possible. It would be nice if some people thought of us as a really good men’s sport, sometimes they don’t.”

Now that men’s volleyball is becoming more popular, there are many goals the team is hoping to achieve throughout this season.

“[A goal for this season is] to win against all the city schools,” Grupe said. “Tates Creek, Lafayette, and West Jessamine would be a challenge. We want to improve, last year we finished fifth out of the twelve teams that competed. This year we want to stay up there or even be higher.”

The determination of HC’s boys’ volleyball program has been made clear through their progression. The most helpful way to support men’s volleyball is to extend recruitment of other athletes in hopes HC and other schools will gain more interest. Non-participants can contribute to the HC boys’ volleyball team by being more supportive and attentive to matches this season. Growth is still being prioritized by the HC boys’ volleyball team and coaching staff.