By Nolan Navarrete ‘24

On March 18, the Brother Rice varsity volleyball team started their season against Sandburg High School. Coming off a great playoff run last year, the Crusaders look to get back to a deep postseason run and ultimately win it all.

The Crusaders bring back starter and key player, junior Paul Baker. Paul is a proud alum of St. Germaine, and he started on the varsity squad as a freshman and has never looked back since. He has established himself as a leader in the classroom and on the court.

Baker said, “This year is a big difference from the past seasons. I usually had a lot of upperclassmen around me, which made me feel very good. Now, they have passed the torch to my teammates and me to take leadership roles, and we are prepared for that. I am excited to see what we can do this season and make it back down state.”

The Crusaders’ former legendary head coach Dan Dwyer recently retired from coaching. The Crusaders are now led by Coach Brandon McGinnis, a 2013 Brother Rice grad. McGinnis looks to continue the standard of high level performance at Brother Rice. McGinnis has experience of playing in an IHSA state playoff run, serving as a huge contributor to the 2012 varsity team.

As the Crusaders looked to start their season off right, they had a big home-opener versus Sandburg. The Eagles are usually a great program and are always a tough game, especially at the beginning of the season.

The Crusaders took the win, comfortably winning the first set with a score of 25-20. Then, they squeezed out a huge set win in the 2nd with a score of 26-25. The juniors dominated this game for the Crusaders. Carter Mosel, Paul Baker, and the Mikrut brothers all had numerous kills throughout the game.

Mosel said, “It is fun getting back into the high school season. It is always great to play as well as we did against a competitive Sandburg team, especially to start the year.”

The Crusaders finished out opening week with a record of 3-3. Keep an eye out for this gritty and tenacious team as they take on the Griffins of Lincoln-Way East on March 25.

As always good luck. and go Crusaders!