The student news site of Jones College Prep High School


The student news site of Jones College Prep High School


The student news site of Jones College Prep High School


Set-ting up for success

Jones boys volleyball looks ahead after a near-perfect start to the season

The Jones College Prep Varsity boys volleyball team has crafted a stellar start to their 2024 season, coasting towards the playoffs after starting the season with an undefeated 9-0 record.

Varsity Coach Howard Hu is very happy with the success of his team this season.

“I think the boys are doing well,” said Hu. “We are 14 and 3 and our only losses have come against Niles North, Lane Tech, and Glenbard West.”

One of the team’s three losses came recently when they participated in a tournament against many strong suburban schools.

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“We did a Brother Rice tournament,” said Hu. “We lost 17-25, 17-25 to Glenbard West, who was the number one team in the state, but we won the rest of the games against Oswego East, Lincoln-Way Central, and Homewood-Flossmoor.”

After their undefeated start to the season, multiple recent losses changed the mentality of the players.

“I think we need to continue working and not settle,” said Hu. “I think our first and second losses were good reminders to stay humble, but I always tell my players that you can learn from losing as well.”

The players understand the importance of looking to grow and improve, especially during the season.

“Our team is doing pretty well, but we’re losing some games that we should be winning,” said captain Spencer Lee ‘24. “However that doesn’t mean our team is doing bad at all, it just means we have some things to work on.”

Hu had high hopes for his team entering the season, but he still understands the effort his players need to put in to reach their goals.

“At the end of the day, I know that it requires work to gel as a team and so I don’t expect us to be undefeated,” said Hu. “I did expect us to be good though, and we are.”

While many of the team members have built relationships over previous seasons, they still provide warm welcomes for newcomers.

“I didn’t play last year but I think I am meshing well with the rest of the guys,” said Peter Stewart ‘24. “Connor, Dallas, and Spencer are all great leaders, they’re all patient with me and it feels like an environment where I can succeed.”

This strong team dynamic carries into their play, where Lee feels the play of the team as a whole trumps any individual performance.

“I don’t think of volleyball as an individual sport,” said Lee. “Me performing well has nothing to do with team success, so even though we have some hiccups right now I think we will be able to work through them as a team.”

Multiple players reference the team’s recent errors, but they also have maintained a positive outlook moving forward.

“The season is definitely not over, we’ve made some errors but we’ve also had some really big improvements,” said Stewart. “I’m looking forward to the rest of the season and I hope that we can just play better as a team and overall.” 

Looking forward to the end of the season, Hu hopes to repeat last year’s playoff success.

“I think we have a really good chance [of winning regionals],” said Hu. “We’re tied for number one in our conference right now, and our wins against Whitney Young, St. Ignatius, and Mt. Carmel give us a good chance of having an easier regional bracket.”

Though his goals of winning in the playoffs still stand, Coach Hu emphasizes how much he cares for his players. 

“My favorite part [of coaching volleyball] is seeing players improve and grow their love for the game,” said Hu. “At the [Brother Rice] tournament we saw coaches berating their players and I’m the total opposite. It’s about believing in your players and wanting them to be the best they can be.”

Lee admires the rest of his team and what they have built together.

“We’re an incredible team, all of these guys are exceptional at what they do,” said Lee. “We’ve also all meshed very well together, and I can’t think of a better group of guys to be playing volleyball with.”

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Jonah McClure '24
Jonah McClure '24, Journalism II

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