Westosha Central’s Connor Muff returns for another season of Falcons volleyball, which seeks to defend their Southern Lakes Conference title this year (File Photo)

By Jason Arndt

As Westosha Central High School enters its boys volleyball season, coach Wayne Schultz knows his team, with a strong senior nucleus, made preparations to power through its second year in the Southern Lakes Conference.

In their inaugural SLC season, the Falcons glided through their slate, finishing undefeated at 7-0 to capture the conference title.

Overall, Westosha Central went 18-10, but saw its season end in the sectional semifinal to Kenosha Indian Trail.

The Falcons, however, face the task of replacing SLC player of the year Drake Muhlenbeck, who attends Erskine College, Brett Niederer and Parker Krumm.

“We always hate to lose great players, but what I love about high school, is it creates opportunities for others to step in and became great players,” Schultz said.

The opportunities entering this season start with the seniors, Schultz said, who believes the team is ready.

“Our lineup will be senior heavy this year,” said Schultz, who marks his 11th year as a coach. “We have a strong core of seniors who have gone through the program and are ready to do great things this season.”

Among the returning seniors is 6-foot-4 setter Connor Muff, who has 2,100 assists in three seasons, 400 shy of snagging the school record.

According to Schultz, Muff has shown tremendous leadership, and he is among the best in Wisconsin.

“Connor Muff is a three-year starter and one of the best setters in the state,” said Schultz.

As junior, Muff collected 911 assists, contributed defensively with 133 digs and had 141 kills to claim first team all-SLC honors.

Joining Muff is 5-8 senior libero Jack Polick, who was first-team all-conference last year, when he had 273 digs.

“(Jack) is a complete package as a libero,” Schultz said, noting he is a strong passer and defender.

Along the front row, the Falcons have middle hitters Jason Olson and Mason Welter (6-5).

On the outside, the Falcons bring back Matt Bruzas (6-2 senior), Colin Mast (6-0 senior), Alex Salerno and Joey Michelau (6-3 junior).

Olson and Welter, both seniors, combined for 347 kills last season with Welter chipping in 224.

For the 6-5 Olson, Schultz said most of his kills happened towards the end of the season.

“We look for great things from our returning middles Mason Welter and Jason Olson,” he said.

Both middle hitters were named second-team all-conference last year.

Salerno, a 6-1 junior opposite, looks to bolster the Falcons offense, where he had 128 kills as a sophomore.

Additionally, Salerno contributed on defense with 110 digs.

Michelau, in limited action, had 17 digs and 36 kills as an outside hitter.

New to the team is senior outside hitter Cooper Brinkman (6-4), junior outside hitter Luke Nosek (6-1), senior middle hitter Jimmy Schneider (6-2).

In a look to the future, Schultz welcomes two sophomores, 5-7 libero Paul Lynch and 5-10 setter Tyler Horton.


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