MOUNT VERNON — The Mount Vernon boys volleyball team has achieved quite a bit of success over the past few years. The Yellow Jackets have made several trips to the state tournament and won five straight Ohio Capital Conference titles.
As they prepare for a run at a sixth title, the challenge is big for the Jackets, who lost seven seniors from last year’s squad.
“We don’t have any starters back in the positions they played last year. We have a lot of players in new positions, so it’s going to take time to jell,” said Mount Vernon coach Alan Cassell. “I think we have some talent and once our team gets used to playing together, we’ll be fine.”
The Jackets will look to four seniors to provide the leadership needed to make it back to the promised land. Setter Bryan Downs, libero Dan Eddy, outside hitter Josiah Burney and middle hitter Cole Shoemaker will be counted on for everything from making big plays to teaching the underclassmen what it takes to stay at the level Mount Vernon is used to being at.
“I think our senior leadership will be a strong asset,” Cassell said.
That leadership has already shown its face as Downs is moving from libero, which he played the last two years, to setter in an effort to make the team stronger overall.
“He’s one of the best liberos in the state, but he’ll help us most here (at setter),” Cassell said. “I’ve asked several of them to play different places, which will help make the team better. Bryan will play libero in college and he’s giving that spot up to help the team.”