The Pope John Lions boys’ volleyball team had completely dropped off the radar in the high
school volleyball world after they went 0-17 in the 2022 season.
With returning head coach Tyler Singh getting the boys to regroup and think about the new season as a new opportunity, the Lions improved to 6-16, winning their final game of the season to end the improved season.
Things didn’t start well for the Lions as they began the season with a 0-4 record and seemed to be heading towards another disastrous season. On April 15th, however, the Lions won in exciting 2-0 fashion over the Thomas Edison Energy Charter Tigers for their first win since 2021. It was Coach Singh’s first win as well with the boys team.
Though they lost to the Dover Tigers a couple days later, the Lions rebounded with another win, this time a 2-1 victory over the Science Park Chargers.
After another loss, the Lions won again against an unforeseen opponent. The Don Bosco Prep Ironmen are excellent at a lot of sports, but the Lions controlled the game and won 2-1.
With a 3-6 record, the Lions were feeling good, but that wouldn’t last long. A six-game losing streak would bring the team down to a 3-12 record.
On May 8th, the Lions defeated the College Achieve Central Phoenix to earn their fourth win of the season.
With another loss the next day, the Lions had a bitter feeling entering their Senior Day game against Dover. They would use that to win 2-0 on the special day. Junior captain Jayden Agner was very pleased with how the Lions did on Senior Day and how they were doing this season.
“Getting even one win this season feels good because last season going 0-17 was tough,” said Agner. “This is a big step in the right direction for the program; a program I want to see succeed because we have the potential to do so.”
The Lions won their final home game against the Newark Vocational Terriers to end the regular season with a 6-16 record. This was a great season for the program, and Agner hopes that the Lions will build on this season for seasons to come, especially with a strong coach in Coach Singh.
“Coach Singh has played a big role in our success this season because she’s helping the younger guys develop good technique, how to play, where to play and I think it’s a big help overall for the small team that we have,” said Agner.
The playoffs are still ahead, and the Lions are looking to stir up trouble as they make a miracle run for the state championship.