Tiger volleyball takes on anyone willing; Oakville High boys win most of the fights


The boys’ volleyball team at Oakville Sen-ior High is not afraid to play anyone.

The Tigers (7-2) have taken on all comers this season from public to private schools and despite a couple of hiccups, the Tigers have been on quite a roll.

“We just have a good group of boys and we’re the only public school out there that plays all of the private schools,” Oakville head coach Becky Czuppon told the Call. “We’re really lucky with our kids in that they are just flat out athletic.”

That athleticism was in display last Thurs-day as the Tigers traveled to Lindbergh for a 25-20, 25-18, two-set victory over the Flyers.

The game not only chalked up a win for Oakville, but it also gave the Tigers an opportunity to shuffle some players in and out of the lineup.

“One of the nice things about playing some of the public schools is that everyone gets the chance to play,” Czuppon said.

Juniors Ben Duckworth and Tony Man-iaci led the Tigers with 5 kills each. Duck-worth leads Oakville with 62 kills this season. The outside hitter also has 16 blocks and 54 digs.

“Ben is one of the strongest hitters for us on the outside,” Czuppon said. “He’s a great athlete that has a lot of skill. He’s really been putting up the numbers on both offense and defense for us.”

Maniaci, who plays the middle hitter position, has amassed 29 kills this season with a team-leading 30 blocks along with two digs.

“Tony’s quick and closes the hole really quickly on blocks,” Czuppon said. “He’s fast and reads the block really well and makes good decisions. He’s someone who’s got a lot of potential.”

Junior Josh Haegele led the Tigers with 32 assists, while sophomore J.D. Gaspar-ovic recorded one solo and four assisted blocks against the Flyers.

Haegele has a team-leading 214 assists. The Tiger’s setter also has 31 digs, 16 blocks and eight kills this season.

“Josh has started for the past three years for us and a lot of schools can’t say that about many players,” Czuppon said. “He’s kind of like the quarterback of our team and he does that very well for us.”

Gasparovic is third on the Tigers with 22 blocks. The middle hitter also has 29 kills and one dig this season.

“J.D.’s really come around and now it’s a matter of him getting experience and getting more confident,” Czuppon said. “He’s got a lot of potential.”

Oakville is back in action at 5 p.m. today — Thursday, April 28 — as they travel to Parkway South.

“Right now it’s just a matter of us keeping the eye on the ball and staying focused against a well coached team,” Czuppon said.

“It’s going to be a matter of us playing consistent ball and focusing on the weak elements of our game,” she added.