Boys volleyball: Shelton has talent for successful campaign

Shelton High coach LeAnne Bianchine has high expectations for her squad. 

“I believe this team is going to be solidan SCC title is definitely in our future,” Bianchine predicts. 

And when Bianchine says future, she is talking about this spring. 

“Our goal is definitely to win the SCC this year. We feel like we have the talent to get the job done,” Bianchine said. “Our defense is solid, we cover well, we’re hitting well.” 

Shelton lost a handful of players to graduation from last year’s teamwhich went 10-10 in the regular season to qualify for both the Southern Connecticut Conference and Class L state tournaments. 

Captains are outside hitter Luke Ferrigno, middle hitter Jordan Peck and libero Skyler Kim. 

Outside hitter David Niski, right side hitter Max Klein, middle hitter Jack Gangi and setter Matt Tokarski are top players. 

Klein is a returnee and newcomer all at once. 

“We call him the secret weapon,” said Bianchine, noting that in addition to being off the radar all of last year, Klein is a lefty hitter which is a surprise to the opposition. 

Kim rules the back row, Ferrigno is a strong hitter and very good all-around player, and Peck leads the offense out on the court. 

“They work hard. I see there’s a lot of potential here,” Bianchine said. “The boys work hard, they practice hard. They’re dedicated to the sport, that’s for sure. I’m always pumped. I love being a coach at Shelton High School. I bleed black and orange.” 

ROUNDUP: Tokarski had 28 assists when the Gaels swept Kolbe Cathedral, 25-14, 25-20 and 25-13 on Friday night. David Niski led the attack with 16 kills, to go with seven aces and five digs. Jordan Peck had eight kills, four digs and a pair of aces. Skyler Kim had 12 digs and five aces. Tokarski had three digs and blocked three shots. Shelton dropped a 3-2 decision to Masuk High on Saturday. The Gaels won the first two sets (25-15, 25-23), before the Panthers won out (25-23, 25-23, 15-12). Leading Shelton were Tokarski (5 kills, 4 blocks, 38 assists), Niski (3 aces, 31 kills,15 digs) and Kim (12 digs). The Gaels opened with a 3-0 (25-7, 25-4, 25-10) victory over Stamford. Tokarski had 11 aces, two digs and 20 assists. Luke Ferrigno had 3 aces, 2 digs and 4 kills. Niski had 2 digs and 10 kills. Daniel Hand bested Shelton, 3-1. Peck had 4 aces, 6 digs and 8 blocks. Niski had 3 aces, 8 digs and 21 kills. Max Klein had 13 digs and 6 kills. Shelton High swept Xavier of Middletown, 3-0, on Monday. Peck (6 aces, 5 kills, 4 blocks), David Niski (3 aces, 11 kills, 7 digs), Klein (2 aces 17 assists, 4 digs) and Vinnie Mallozzi (ace, 2 kills, 5 digs) paced the Gaels.