Team chemistry a change factor for Brick Dragons this year


BRICK — There is a different vibe for Brick Township’s volleyball team this year. The change in chemistry is not hard to notice for the players. Sophomore outside hitter Skyler Rizzo saw the difference at the group’s first practice in July.

“It was just a whole new world,” Rizzo said. “Now we play more as a family, last year it took us to get halfway through the season to start playing together more, now we are doing so much better and have come a long way since last year.”

After earning one win in 2015, two wins in 2014 and three victories in 2013, the Dragons received their first taste of winning after finishing 8-11 last year. The team featured the same six players a year ago, but head coach Joe Smyth expects to have a rotation of about nine players this fall.

In his second year as the head coach, Smyth has 8 seniors returning for the fall season.

“I have a bunch of seniors that could all be captains,” Smyth said. “They are all great girls, they all work their butts off and they all have the same goal.”

Having the same goal is something Brick has lacked in the past few seasons. Senior setter Maddie Crowe takes over one of the two captain positions and is making an effort to stress the meaning of team.

The thing that separates this group from past teams is attitude according to Crowe. With a core group of experienced players, Crowe is confident the Dragons share the same mindset.

“There is no negative attitudes with this team, we are all together,” Crowe said “Sometimes with the seniors in the past years, it got to the seniors’ heads a little bit and this year we are all seniors and we just mesh together.”

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Connor Northrup
Connor Northrup is a Sports Reporter at The Ocean Star. He can be reached at or at 732-899-7606, ext 15.