The Revere High School athletic program is adding boys volleyball to its slate of varsity sports teams.
The newly formed team, under the direction of head coach Lianne O’Hara, will play its first varsity match against Madison Park at the Roland Merullo Fieldhouse.
O’Hara, who also coaches the RHS girls volleyball team, welcomed more than 20 athletes to the first preseason practice last Thursday. The large turnout will allow O’Hara to field a junior varsity team as well.
“We had two boys who competed for the girls varsity team in the past – because of Title IX, boys are allowed to play,” said O’Hara. “I thought that with the sufficient interest expressed by the boys to play volleyball, we should start a boys’ program.”
Junior David Del Rio, who competed for the girls team, said he’s looking forward to taking the court
in the boys’ program.
“I’m really excited because in the girls’ game I was limited in my ability to play in the front row and now I can,” said Del Rio. “There’s a lot of teamwork in volleyball and I like that aspect of it. It’s a really exciting game because you never know where the ball’s going to go.”
Del Rio said Coach O’Hara deserves a lot of credit for giving boys at the school an opportunity to play a new sport.
“I’m very happy for her because now she’s coaching both boys and girls and she gets to have a view of the different styles of play,” said Del Rio.
O’Hara has 20 matches scheduled for the inaugural season. Varsity matches are best-of-five while JV matches are best-of-three.
“I’m super excited,” said O’Hara. “We have our uniforms and we’re ready to go. Volleyball is a fun game to play and we should be competitive in our first season.”
O’Hara thanked Director of Athletics Frank Shea for laying the groundwork for the new program.
“I appreciate his support – he’s had my back 100 percent of the way,” said O’Hara. “He saw the need for the program. I think volleyball is the fastest- growing sport in the country.
O’Hara will be trying to duplicate her own success as a head coach in other sports. Her girls’ volleyball teams have qualified for the State Tournament in each of her three seasons. As the former girls basketball coach, Revere rose to the No. 1 ranking in Massachusetts with 18 consecutive victories in Division 1. She is currently an assistant baskeball coach at her alma mater, Bishop Fenwick High , where she was a multi-sport standout.