Broward High Schools

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

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.