The student news site of Mount Carmel High School

The Caravan

The student news site of Mount Carmel High School

The Caravan

The student news site of Mount Carmel High School

The Caravan

MC Volleyball is ready to strike

Jack Breakey ’24
Caravan Volleyball prepare to face off against Carmel Catholic on March 21, 2024.

As Mount Carmel basketball steps off the court, Caravan volleyball takes control of it.

The spring sports season officially kicked off last week, and MC volleyball has high hopes, though the team has had a challenging start to the season going  0-3. But early struggles are not necessarily indicative of what this squad is about.

“This team is committed,” said head coach Brooks Nevrly, “They’re fun to be around, they’re fun to play with. It’s kind of how we develop that team chemistry.”

The current rosters are considered large for a volleyball team. Currently, varsity has 15 players and JV has 16. Because there are so many players, plans were made to have a freshman team, which hasn’t happened in a long time at MC; however, due to a lack of coaching staff, the plan was canceled, leading to varsity and JV changes.

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 What stands out most on the roster this year are two freshmen, Mick Carr and Mihailo Popovic, starting on varsity.

“Those are two guys to watch to see how good they become,” said Coach Nevrly.

The team’s upperclassmen talent comes from juniors Ethan Battig, Aydin Provost, Aidan Sauseda, and seniors Tyler Purcell, Alec Padilla, and captain Michael O’Keefe, who is also known for his accomplishments in the 2023 MC golf season.

“I love the energy [of this sport],” said O’Keefe, “In golf, you don’t really see your competitors, but in volleyball, you’re looking right at them.”

The Caravan is a part of the Chicago Catholic League’s White Conference for volleyball, so the team is in for some tough competition. Other teams in the CCL White are Marmion Academy, Providence Catholic, St. Francis, and Montini Catholic.

“DePaul is a team where we do not play well in their gym,” said Coach Nevrly, “But at home we kill them.”

While the Caravan has to go up against some tough competition this season, they’re still excited and motivated as of right now.  

“It’s a lot of fun and it gets really intense,” said Padilla, “The tough part is not getting into your own head, just cause it’s a game of mess-ups. It can be really intense but really exciting. When one of your teammates does good, it hypes everyone up.”

The team has had success in the past, though, with winning several IHSA Regional Championships but hasn’t captured one since 2019. Last year, the team finished 2nd in the Chicago Catholic League’s White Conference with a 4-4 conference record and 16-14 in the overall season. 

“Even though we lost four starters last year,” said O’Keefe, “which was a huge loss, a lot of the kids on the team just stepped up to fill the roles.”

Coach Nevrly has been the head coach since last year’s season and now coaches with his older brother, Nolan Nevrly, who also serves as the JV coach.

“He’s there to win but also see his players develop,” said Brooks about his brother, “and he likes everyone to have a positive attitude.”.

The team is filled with positive vibes and overall hopes to do well this season. 

“I hope to be better than last year,” said Padilla. “We have a good group this year. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun”

The season just began and there are plenty of upcoming games. On April 6th, the Caravan will face the Loyola Ramblers in the Cacciatore Gym followed by Homewood-Flossmoor on April 8th. On April 25th, the team will face their conference rival the Marmion Cadets at home and Providence Catholic Celtics on May 7th.

For the next few months, the Cacciatore Gym belongs to the Spiking Caravan.

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About the Contributor
Jack Breakey ’24
Jack Breakey ’24, Staff Writer
John “Jack” Breakey is a Senior at Mount Carmel High School. Jack resides on the South Side of Chicago in the Morgan Park neighborhood. He also attended grammar school in the neighborhood at St. Cajetan School.  Jack is a member of Caravan Broadcasting Network as their Senior Producer and also a member of the MC Model UN club and a Peer Leader. Outside of school, he’s a member of the Chicago Fire Department Gold Badge Society. For hobbies, Jack enjoys bike riding, watching movies, playing video games, and researching government. One of Jack’s favorite pastimes is listening to music. He is a large fan of rock and roll, especially Bruce Springsteen, Jimmy Buffett, and the genre of bluegrass. This influence came from his father, Thomas Breakey, Mount Carmel class of 1982, and an active Chicago firefighter. His father has been a large inspiration for Jack, who has become a better man because of his father. Jack's dream job is working in international relations or national security. He researches current world events and conflicts while also being a student of history. Who knows? Jack might become the real Jack Ryan one day.