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Mar 14, 2023

Saint John Vianney Boys’ Volleyball Seeks State Title

By Shanna O’Mara

Jack Farah

The Saint John Vianney boys’ volleyball team finished last spring with an impressive 16-5 overall record and 11-1 in the B North Division. The Lancers advanced to the quarterfinals of the state tournament but could not hold on for the title. Back with many key players from 2022, the team is hungry for a championship.

“The expectations are the same every year: you come to Saint John Vianney to compete for championships, and we will push our guys hard all season long so that they will grow together and be prepared for whatever comes our way,” Head Coach Jessica Gadaleta said. “Last year, we won the outright B North Championship with signature wins over Colts Neck twice, Red Bank Catholic twice and Freehold Borough once. We advanced to the semifinals of the Shore Conference Tournament with key wins over Pinelands Regional and an upset win over fourth-seeded Jackson Memorial. We also advanced to the quarterfinals of the state tournament with a win over Jackson Liberty, but we fell to the eventual state champion, Old Bridge.”

Expected to lead the team this spring are captains Matthew Brana (Sr. OH), Joshua Hrabosky (Sr. S) and Jack Farah (Sr. OH). In 2022, Brana was an All B-North selection and was selected as part of the Second Team All-Shore. Farah was a First Team All-Shore pick and two-time team MVP. 

“Jack leads our team in kills, aces and digs,” Gadaleta said. “He is poised to set the SJV program record for kills in his final season with the Lancers.”

Also returning in ’23 are Anthony Velardo (Sr. L), Zach Martin (Sr. MB), Daniel Herndon (Sr. MB), Frank Blunda (Sr. DS), Carl Lindmark (Sr. OPP), John Skibniewski (Jr. S), Nico Aquilone (So. MB), and Peter Gioachinni (So. S). 

“Last season, Colts Neck was our biggest rival because they gave us the hardest competition in our division and those matches always went three,” Brana and Farah said. After divisional changes, Colts Neck is no longer on the regular season schedule, but the Lancers could face them in the postseason. 

Gadaleta said the team also looks forward to facing Red Bank Catholic, whom SJV hosts on Tuesday, April 25.