Cardinal Gibbons’ Skilled Setter, Gabriel Nejad, Makes a Remarkable Impact on the Team’s Journey

The Cardinal Gibbons boys’ volleyball team recently concluded a thrilling playoff run, propelled by the exceptional performance of their skilled setter, Gabriel Nejad. Head Volleyball Coach Mike Zarate, a seasoned leader with a remarkable coaching background, guided the team’s success. Coach Mike, who has been instrumental in shaping young volleyball players at Cardinal Gibbons since 2019, also holds the position of President and Lead Coach at Ocean Bay Volleyball Club (OBV).

In the dynamic game of volleyball, the setter position often goes unnoticed by many fans. However, the crucial role played by setters in orchestrating the team’s offense cannot be overstated. Gabriel Nejad, a talented 16-year-old setter who recently joined the team, immediately showcased his abilities and made a significant impact on Cardinal Gibbons’ performance.

Nejad’s journey began at the Ocean Bay Volleyball (OBV) team while attending the Design and Architecture Senior High (DASH), a prestigious magnet school located in Miami’s Design District. Recognizing Nejad’s potential, Coach Mike believed that Cardinal Gibbons would provide the perfect platform for the young setter to thrive. After making the decision to transfer from DASH, Nejad joined the Cardinal Gibbons Volleyball team, following a recommendation from his coach.

Upon joining the team, Nejad was warmly embraced by the senior players, who recognized his talent and welcomed him as an essential part of their unit. The inclusive and supportive environment fostered a successful collaboration that elevated Cardinal Gibbons’ performance to new heights.

In the recently concluded FHSAA state championship match held at Polk State College in Winter Haven, Cardinal Gibbons engaged in an intense battle against Southwest Miami. Although they fell short in a four-set match, the collective effort of the team and Nejad’s crucial role as the setter cannot be undermined.

Throughout the championship match, senior outside hitter Logan Keothavy displayed exceptional skills, leading the team with 17 kills, 21 digs, and four blocks. Senior middle blocker Thiago Zamprogno contributed 13 kills, while senior outside hitter Daniel Sappia added 12 kills and 13 digs. These remarkable performances were a testament to the leadership they provided both on and off the court.

Coach Mike Zarate emphasized the pivotal role played by Logan, Thiago, and Daniel as guiding figures within the team. Their unwavering commitment to excellence, showcased through their exemplary attitude and work ethic, served as an inspiration to every member of the team. Their selflessness and resilience fostered an inclusive and united team spirit, propelling Cardinal Gibbons towards their impressive playoff run.

Noteworthy victories along the way included a thrilling five-set triumph over Winter Park in the state semifinal and a dramatic comeback against Lake Howell in the state quarterfinal. These triumphs demonstrated the team’s unwavering determination and never-say-die attitude, solidifying their reputation as a formidable force.

Gabriel Nejad’s presence as the team’s skilled setter proved instrumental in orchestrating Cardinal Gibbons’ offense. His ability to distribute the ball efficiently enabled his teammates to shine and contributed significantly to the team’s success.

As Cardinal Gibbons celebrates their remarkable season, individual achievements have also garnered attention. Thiago Zamprogno’s commitment to excellence earned him a spot at UCLA, while Logan Keothavy and Daniel Sappia will continue their volleyball journeys at North Greenville University and Hobart College, respectively.

The journey of the Cardinal Gibbons boys’ volleyball team, coupled with Gabriel Nejad’s impactful role as a setter, serves as a testament to the importance of skill, teamwork, and leadership in the sport. Nejad’s seamless integration into the team, along with the guidance provided by the senior players, significantly contributed to their impressive playoff run.

Cardinal Gibbons, a prominent high school in Miami known for its strong athletic programs and commitment to academic excellence, boasts a storied history in boys’ volleyball. The team continues to produce exceptional athletes who excel both on and off the court.

Ocean Bay Volleyball Club (OBV), one of the largest volleyball clubs in South Florida, has been instrumental in shaping the talents of players like Gabriel Nejad. In 2010, OBV’s 18s, 17s, and 16s teams were crowned AAU National Champions, with three MVPs and five All-Tournament selections.

The Cardinal Gibbons boys’ volleyball team’s success is a testament to the collective effort, dedication, and skill exhibited by the players and coaching staff. The team’s journey, punctuated by thrilling victories and remarkable performances, has captivated fans and inspired future generations of volleyball enthusiasts.

Cardinal Gibbons continues to build on its legacy of excellence, fostering a winning culture that prioritizes skill development, teamwork, and sportsmanship. As the season comes to a close, the team and its supporters eagerly await the next chapter in Cardinal Gibbons’ volleyball journey.

To book an interview with Gabriel Nejad e-mail