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Boys 16 Adidas

By illprepvb, 12/16/19, 2:45PM CST

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Another Illinois team that hopes to walk away from McCormick Place with a bid to nationals is Adversity 16 Adidas, which won Bracket BB to finish ninth in the B16-Palos Point Series #2 on November 23-24 and handed SPVB 16 Elite its first loss of the season Sunday.

Members of Adversity 16 Adidas, coached by Conor Eaton, are middle blocker Patrick Akers (Libertyville), middle blocker Chase Bonder, middle blocker Connor Dell, setter Stefan Gjaja (New Trier), outside hitter Christian Headley, outside hitter Matthew Herron, libero Timothy Noginsky, setter Tread Rosenthal, libero Murad Shahzadah and outside hitter Ryan Uemura. 

Gjaja, Headley and Noginsky trained with the USA Volleyball A2 High Performance Program last summer in South Carolina.

“We’ve got a lot to learn about ourselves,” Eaton said. “There’s a lot of things that we’re good at because they’re talented volleyball players, but they’re still learning how to play the game itself with six players on the court.

“With our guys right now, it’s all attitude,” he added. “We do well if we do well the first 10 points of the game. But if we start facing a lot of adversity against the better teams right now, we struggle keeping our confidence.”

On a side note, Eaton is a California product who played for Balboa Bay Volleyball Club and Long Beach State. He recently returned from playing abroad professionally for the past six years. 

Eaton has been married for the last three years to former Stanford All-American Bryn Kehoe, who guided Latin School of Chicago to the IHSA Class 3A semifinals in 2018 and is coaching a 14s girls team at Adversity.

“We met at (adult volleyball) nationals in Detroit in 2015, and I never left her side after that,” he said