MOUNT VERNON — To Mount Vernon senior Matt McManaway, volleyball is everything.
When he’s not practicing with his teammates on the high school team, he can be found in Columbus with his club team. Soon, he’ll be adding sand volleyball to his resume.
It’s about to start paying off. McManaway’s club team has qualified for the USA Volleyball Junior Nationals tournament in Reno, Nev., next week.
McManaway will soon leave to join his team, Vanguard Volleyball 17U National, in Reno for the club tournament, which starts Monday and runs through Thursday, July 4.
McManaway’s team consists mainly of 17-year-olds from central Ohio. Some of the best in the state are on the team, including Evan Feltz, Division II East Region Player of the Year. Feltz and his St. Francis DeSales squad knocked Mount Vernon out in the regional championships this past spring.
But, no offense taken by McManaway.
“He’s my best friend,” said McManaway. “We all know each other. I’ve stayed at everyone’s houses and stuff.”
Indeed, many of the players on Vanguard are good friends. McManaway told the News that his experience on his club team is teaching him the value of teamwork — on and off the court.
He also has had chances to learn from unique sources. Earlier this year, members of the Ohio State University volleyball team helped out in practice.
“At first, I was like, ‘Wow. These guys are insane. They’re unbelievable,’” said McManaway. “But then, after watching them a little bit. I wanted to be better than them. I wanted to beat them. I think that’s why our coaches bring them in — to make us work harder.
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