Boys’ Volleyball | Season Preview

Cardinal Gibbons boys hoping for better ending this year to its volleyball season

 <span class="cutline_leadin">Over the top:</span> Corry Short hopes to lead Cardinal Gibbons to its first boys volleyball state title in nine years.
Over the top: Corry Short hopes to lead Cardinal Gibbons to its first boys volleyball state title in nine years.
Joe Rimkus Jr. / Miami Herald Staff

Boys’ volleyball season overview


March 21Jungle Queen Invitational at Gibbons

April 11-12 Smoothie King Invitational

April 28-May 3Districts

May 6State play-in round

May 9-10State tournament at Pine Crest


Southwest Miami (2003, 2008)

Longwood Lyman (2004, 2013)

Cardinal Gibbons (2005)

Boca Raton Spanish River (2006, 2007)

Orlando Bishop Moore (2010, 2012)

Orlando Timber Creek (2009)

Loxahatchee Seminole Ridge (2011)


1. CARDINAL GIBBONS (Coach Mike Zarate, 6th year at CG, 9th overall). Last year: 20-3 (Round of 16). Top players: Corry Short, 6-4, Jr.; Jake Leventhal, 6-1, Jr.; Tyler Theobald, 6-1, So.; Ryan Gunvaldsen, 6-5, Sr.

2. ARCHBISHOP McCARTHY (Coach Karen Frank). Last year: 18-7. Top players: S Joe Figueroa, 5-10, Sr.; MH David Maniglia, 6-4, Jr.; OH Michael Moreiras, 5-10, So.; L Luis Vazquez, 5-8, So.

3. ST. THOMAS AQUINAS (Coach Eric Wurts, 6th year at STA, 14th overall, 146-63). Last year: 19-3 (District finalist). Top players: MH Nicholas Rusk, 5-9, Sr.; OH Sean Davis, 6-2, Sr.; S Stephano Rivera, 6-0, Sr.; OH Robert Carsello, 6-0, Sr.

4. CHAMINADE (Coach Jason Johnson, 11th year, 169-74). Last year: 20-5 (round of 16). Top players: Edward Fuerst, 5-9, Jr.; Mark LeBeau, 5-9, Sr.; Ryan Tetoff, 6-6, Jr.; Zachary Wilkerson, 6-4, Jr.

5. WEST BROWARD (Coach Jennifer Cameron, 3rd year at WB, 5th overall). Last year: 11-5. Top players: Stephan Sanchez, 5-11, Sr.; Dane Logvin, 5-11, So.; Jeffrey Passerello, 6-0, So.; Misha Chavez, 5-11, Jr.

6. DOUGLAS (Coach Andy Valor, 1st year). Last year: State quarterfinalist. Top players: Tyler Smith, 6-4, Jr.; Matt Castionos, 5-9, So.

7. TARAVELLA (Coach Adam Milewski, 1st year at TAR, 9th overall). Last year: 13-6. Top players: OH Mariano Pennini, 6-4, Sr.; S Patrick Goodrich, 6-0, Sr.; OH Nicolas Gastesi, 6-0, Sr.; MH Chet Weinstein, 6-3, Sr.

8. SOUTH BROWARD (Coach Leo Jimenez, 10th year, 134-66). Last year: 15-7. Top players: Adam Roberti, 5-11, Sr.; Steven Garay, 5-10, Jr.

9. AMERICAN HERITAGE (Coach Lori Rembe, 10th year at AH, 23rd overall). Last year: 5-8. Top players: Greg Holodak, 6-0, Sr.; Tyler Gordon, 6-1, Jr.; Kevin Patterson, 5-9, Sr.; Dave Dulay, 6-3, Sr.

10. McARTHUR (Coach Ray Lockhart, 14th year, 174-88). Last year: 12-8. Top players: Gabriel Castillo, 5-10, Sr.; Felix Rivera-Vega, 6-5, Jr.; Reinaldo Quesada-Artiles, 6-0, Jr.; Kristopher Goeffert, 6-5, Sr.

11. COOPER CITY (Coach Warren Denise). Last year: N/A. Top players: Dan Heintz, 6-5, Sr.; James Roberts, 6-1, Sr.; Kerven Deasdouin, 6-4, Sr.; Jared Cohen, 5-11, Sr.

12. MONARCH (Coach Walt Drexl, 9th year at MON, 15th overall, 153-139). Last year: 3-12. Top players: OH Bruno Teixeira, 6-1, Sr.; S Sean Drexl, 5-7, Fr.; OH Tyler Johnson, 6-0, Jr.; MH Ryan Clark, 6-2, Jr.

13. SOUTH PLANTATION (Coach Audie Lam, 2nd year at SP, 4th overall, 49-78). Last year: 7-10. Top players: Cole Johnson, 5-7, Sr.

14. PINES CHARTER (Coach Carlos Pita, 3rd year at PPC, 4th overall, 16-21). Last year: 3-14. Top players: OH Sam Hopkins, 5-10, So.; OH Bradley Villa, 5-8, Sr.; MH David Weeks, 6-5, So.; S Jacob Kuebel, 5-8, So.

15. WESTERN (Coach Nancy Medlock, 3rd year, 8-28). Last year: 4-14. Top players: Marco Sanchez, 5-7, Jr.; David Laccopola, 6-4, Jr.

Special to the Miami Herald

Cardinal Gibbons junior Corry Short, a 6-4 outside hitter, can make a strong case for being the best boys’ volleyball player in the state.

Short plays for USA Select A1, which puts him on the pipeline to get on the U.S. national team.

He’s also one of two returners who made first-team All-Broward last season — the other is Archbishop McCarthy senior setter Joe Figueroa, who, at 5-10, might have some issues with height when it comes to college scouts.

Short certainly has the academic credentials to attract recruiting interest — a 4.75 grade-point average and a 1970 SAT score.

So far, he is being recruited by UC Irvine, Stanford and Princeton. The latter two schools are looking for an SAT score of approximately 2100.

“I’m working hard to get my scores where I need them to be,” said Short, who excels in math and science and is interested in studying business or engineering in college. “I’m pretty confident I can get my score up.”

Nicknamed “Big Red” because of his hair color and the six-inch growth spurt he experienced a couple of years ago, Short figures to be the first Gibbons boys’ volleyball player to compete in college since coach Mike Zarate took over the program in the spring of 1999.

During that span, Gibbons has made it to three regional finals but lost each time, failing to get to state.

Last season was surely the most painful end to a Gibbons season. The Chiefs had a 2-0 lead in sets before losing the next three, including 16-14 in the deciding game.

“[That match] has been ringing in my head for the past year,” said Short, whose sister, Mary-Kate, is a 6-2 rising senior and a team captain for the Division I Holy Cross volleyball program. “I honestly don’t know [what happened].”

Gibbons lost two four-year starters from that team — outside hitter Dylan Hall and opposite hitter Brandon Veliky.

Replacing them will be 6-1 sophomore outside hitter Tyler Theobald and 6-1 freshman opposite hitter Mark Cataldo.

“I’ve been trying to teach them about confidence,” said Short, who is in his second year as Gibbons’ captain. “When the game is close, be confident and take a rip.”

Besides Short, the other returning starters are 6-1 junior setter Jake Leventhal; 6-5 senior middle blocker Ryan Gunvaldsen; 6-1 junior middle blocker Dillon Dannenhauer; and 6-0 junior libero Canyon Gerbrachg.

Since the FHSAA starting holding state finals in boys’ volleyball in 2003, the only Broward school to win a championship was Gibbons in ’05.

This season, Gibbons, McCarthy and St. Thomas Aquinas are considered to be Broward’s best teams.

Several schools — including Plantation, University and Northeast — have dropped boys’ volleyball.

Read more Broward High Schools stories from the Miami Herald

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