The Voice of the Loy Norrix Community

Knight Life

The Voice of the Loy Norrix Community

Knight Life

The Voice of the Loy Norrix Community

Knight Life

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Loy Norrix Athletic Director Andrew Laboe sends 10 Knights off to college at the annual signing day event.
Loy Norrix Athletics congratulates seniors playing sports in college
Ethan Williams and Max Berlin May 24, 2024

The new men’s volleyball team opens opportunities to a new student demographic

The+team+gathers+as+they+receive+a+talk+from+Coach+Macomber.+
Credit: Guest Photographer
The team gathers as they receive a talk from Coach Macomber.

“My favorite thing about the sport is the brotherhood. It’s like no other team that I’ve ever been on,” said senior Ethan Loiselle. 

Historically, volleyball has been considered primarily a women’s sport, but as students break away from gender norms, high schools are starting to include men’s volleyball as an option for students in search of a spring sport. 

The rules of the game are very similar whether played by men or women, the only major difference is the height of the net: in men’s volleyball, the net is 7.5 inches higher than it is for women.  

Men’s volleyball is fairly new to Loy Norrix, with the team playing its first season in the spring of 2023. This makes Norrix the third high school in Kalamazoo County to offer the sport and the 69th in the state.  

For senior Talahn Sandifer, the opportunity to participate in a high school volleyball team was unexpected but exciting. He is one of the few players who had knowledge and experience of the game before LN’s first season. 

 “I was always interested in the sport because it was something that I understood through and through,” said Sandifer. 

With the large amount of interest surrounding this new opportunity, the athletic department wanted to include as many students as possible. This meant creating three teams: one varsity and two junior varsity. The junior varsity teams are called JV white and JV blue to help differentiate the two.

Coach Noah Macomber played for the men’s volleyball team at Grand Valley State University (GVSU). In total, he has five years of combined coaching experience for both men’s and women’s volleyball. At Norrix, he started the men’s volleyball team and has dedicated his time to the team’s development. 

“I love seeing athletes find joy and success in the sports that I have had similar experiences in. Since men’s volleyball is a new sport, the amount of growth we see in the players daily is very exciting,” said Macomber.

Despite the overwhelming interest in the program, they are not a school-funded sport, which has created several challenges.

“Finances are our biggest obstacle. We rely heavily on parent volunteers to help shuttle kids to and from the game,” said Macomber. “It is also challenging to find coaches who are willing to help out, since the coaching staff is all volunteering to coach and we don’t have the funds to pay them. This year, we have an awesome JV coach who is really helping them improve and learn the game, but it would be nice to be able to compensate him for all of his help and that just isn’t in the cards at the moment.”

Regardless of being a new team with financial roadblocks, Macomber believes the team has what it takes to be successful and has high expectations for the season. 

“We are looking really good so far, and our goal is to bring a conference championship to Norrix. We are also looking at winning a district title and, potentially, even a regional or state title,” said Macomber. 

Aside from winning their matches, the seniors on the team want to ensure that the program is set up for the future and believe this is just the beginning. 

“My main goal for this season is to help grow and shape this program into a strong foundation for a great team for the years to come, as this sport moves closer to being recognized as a school sport by the MHSAA,” said Loiselle. 

Loiselle is currently playing his second season. Although he has not played for long, he is considering continuing in the sport at Grand Valley State University in the fall. 

During this season, the three teams played against schools like East Kentwood, Gull Lake and Kalamazoo Christian. The season runs until early May, depending on the team’s success. 

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About the Contributor
Sophia Ciokajlo
Sophia Ciokajlo, Photo Editor
Hi, I am a senior and this is my second year on knight Life. This year, I am the Photo Editor. I chose to join Knight Life to stay informed on school events. In my free time, I enjoy playing lacrosse, hanging out with friends and trying new things.
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    cottieMay 14, 2024 at 10:38 am

    Great info! Been wondering about this new LN team sport for men.

    Reply