MHSAA – Schwartz volleys to top

December 2, 2016 by  
Filed under Provincial and Territorial News


Schwartz volleys to top



It was during Schwartz family camping trips, and his parents would get him out on the beach volleyball sand pits.

“When we would go camping there was a beach volleyball court,” Schwartz said, “and they would kinda help me learn how to bump and how to set.”

You never know where those pickup beach volleyball games are going to lead. In Schwartz’s case, it put him on a path to being named the province’s top high school boys’ volleyball player in The Sun’s annual coaches poll.

“He’s got the talent as much or more than anyone else, but it’s the other things that set him apart,” Selkirk Royals head coach Jeff Scarcello said. “He’s a hard worker. He knows how to put his team first. He knows it’s a team game. It’s not all about him. He pushes others to be better in every area of their life.

“He plays with integrity, plays hard, has strong academics, a great family and is a nice guy. I’ve got a couple young kids who come to tournaments all the time. He’s friendly with them, talking to them all the time. He’s just a kid that you want to have on your team.”

Schwartz, a 6-foot-4 left side hitter for the Royals, had more than just beach volleyball in the summer pushing him towards the sport. His three older siblings – brother Lucas, and sisters Emily and Sarah – also played for the Royals, and Schwartz was the rare youngster who would actually sit and watch them play instead of running around the school with other kids his age.

“I was paying attention,” Schwartz said.

That might be why Scarcello says Schwartz has court vision that is second to none in Manitoba high school volleyball.

“The pass doesn’t go where it needs to or the set doesn’t go where it needs to, but he has the ability to see the blocking defence as they shift and make a shot that no one saw coming,” Scarcello said. “He has the ability to make the pass on the left side and then go hit on the right side. He can play any position.

“He’d be just as good of a setter as he would be a hitter. He’s just very talented all the way around.”

Schwartz’s skills have resulted in scholarship offers from the University of Winnipeg, the University of Manitoba and the University of British Columbia-Okanagan in Kelowna, B.C. He plans to make a decision after the Royals, who are the No. 1 seed, complete the 4A provincial championship this weekend. Selkirk meets the No. 5 Vincent Massey Vikings on Friday night at Investors Group Athletic Centre in one semifinal, while No. 2 Dakota battles No. 3 Miles Mac in the other.

The Royals will be looking for Schwartz to lead the way in the kill department, but the Grade 12 student loves volleyball more than any other sport because of its team dynamic and is looking forward to that shining through in the final four.

“You can’t touch the ball more than twice when it’s on your side of the net, so the ball always has to be shared,” Schwartz said. “You can’t just take control basically by yourself, so the team dynamics are really high. When there’s high team dynamics there’s high chemistry and you learn how to play with other people and you learn really valuable skills.

“My family definitely put values on me that I now hold high to myself. That’s where I got it from.”

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