Senior volleyball player discusses start of season

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Khalis Smith (middle) posing for a picture after winning the Paul Loggan Invitational last season.

Sam Roberts

Senior Khalis Smith has been playing volleyball for two years. He is a middle blocker on the NC boys volleyball team, as well as a member of the Counterpoints show choir.

“My favorite part from last season was definitely when I got to play and cheer for my teammates and friends,” Smith said.

Smith started his volleyball career last year, and made an impressive jump to varsity for the 2023 season.

“This season, I am looking forward to playing a sport with my friends one last time,” Smith said.

The boys volleyball team is a close-knit group. Smith hopes the team can put the pieces together to lead them to a state title later this spring.

“I actually started playing last year because I needed the gym credit. Once I started playing I really liked it because I get to use my height when I play,” Smith said.

The 6’4” senior shares that height is definitely an advantage in volleyball. Last season, the IHSAA declared men’s volleyball a sport.

“I think it’s about time that men’s volleyball is a sport. It is a really fun sport and everyone should consider trying out,” Smith said.

Last season, the Panthers advanced to semi-state. It was the first time in program history that the men’s volleyball team won regional championships.

“I am looking forward to our game at Cathedral because it will be our first actual game,” Smith said.

The Cathedral team fell to Roncalli last year in semi state, who ended up winning the state title and going 35-1. Roncalli only dropped 6 sets the entire season, and only one of those was during the state tournament.

Roncalli will definitely still be the team to beat this year, but with a strong NC team, the Panthers are hoping to win if they match up against the defending state champs.

“Our team has a positive, fun, and cool vibe because we always know when to joke around and when we have to focus,” Smith said.