homepage logo

Boys volleyball: Quick-learning Syracuse atop Region 1 after sweep of Farmington

By BOB JUDSON - Special to the Standard-Examiner | Apr 16, 2024

SYRACUSE — Like most players this year, boys volleyball is relatively new to Syracuse High junior Gabe Meredith.

But Meredith is a quick learner and he put what he’s been taught to use in the second set against Farmington on Tuesday afternoon.

Meredith went low to dig out a kill-shot attempt by Farmington’s Dylan Borland and kept the ball alive, where Josh Godfrey put away the game-winner in set two for the Titans.

“(Borland) is my club teammate, so I have a little experience of where he was going to angle that; my coaches told me to back up to the line and scoot up to be able to absorb the ball,” Meredith said. “I hoped I would do it just right and it worked out as well as I thought it would.”

The Titans rode the momentum from the Set 2 win and swept Farmington 3-0 in a Region 1 tussle of the top teams in the standings.

Syracuse took each of first two sets in similar fashion, breaking away from 21-21 ties to win 25-23 and 26-24.

“We went back and decided to work on our alignment and do what we do in practice and be confident,” Meredith said. “We know we have the skill, we know we’re good and that we can finish, we just have to do it, leave it all out there and if we lose, we lose … come back and win the next one.”

On a roll, Syracuse (9-6, 4-0 Region 1) jumped to an early lead in the third set and won handily, 25-19.

As high school volleyball has debuted in its inaugural season, players have gravitated to the sport in a number of ways, and Meredith says he simply took a chance.

“I actually started touching a volleyball this time last year. Our libero, Branson Hamblin, his sister told me come and try out because I was tall. I played club all summer and offseason and wanted to hopefully get a varsity spot, which I worked hard for and earned,” Meredith said. “I went from the lowest JV team to a starting varsity position.”

Meredith finished the match with seven kills, five digs and two blocks. Other stats of note for Syracuse included 28 assists by Caleb Roskelley, along with five digs, while Chase Barrett had 13 digs, eight kills and two aces. Davis Caldwell added 13 digs and eight kills.

Farmington (7-6, 3-1) had not reported stats by deadline Tuesday night.

Syracuse coach Corrie Vigil said it has been a challenge launching a new varsity program.

“Right now, we’re down to 21 players; it’s slim pickings. We have three or four players who have played a lot and we’re trying to mesh them with the new ones,” Vigil said. “Branson Hamblin, our libero, my setter Caleb Roskelley, Davis Caldwell, my outside and Chase Barrett have a lot more experience than some of the others. My middle, Josh Godfrey, he’s a basketball recruit. He’s never played before; He’s come a long way since the beginning of the season.”

So how did a sub-.500 team suddenly reach the pinnacle of Region 1, four matches into the schedule? Meredith credits coach Vigil for doing it by design.

“She scheduled some of the biggest teams; we knew we would have a hard preseason to be ready for the tall teams in region,” Meredith said. “Here we are hoping to go farther. Keep it undefeated all the way through.”


Join thousands already receiving our daily newsletter.

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)