Boys Take the Court in Volleyball


(Photo coutesy of Shannon Baily)

Amber Ecelbarger, Sports Editor

It is a common misconception to think that volleyball is solely a girls sport. It certainly doesn’t help that boys volleyball isn’t offered as a high school sport anywhere in Fairfax County or anywhere else in Northern Virginia. However, if you are currently an aspiring boys’ volleyball player, now is your time to shine!  This fall, a new club team was formed consisting of players from all over the county including Falls Church, Oakton, Lake Braddock, and Robinson.

The team was formed through Braddock Road Volleyball Club, but conveniently hosts many of its practices at Falls Church. Jeanne Baily, mother of Falls Church’s Shannon (9), Quinn (11) and Griff Baily (12), pushed to form the team and contacted many who she believed would be interested. Mrs. Baily has been coaching the sport for over 28 years and was a player herself back in high school and college. Aside from playing Division I volleyball at the University of Maryland, she has also competed at the National level, playing in the Women’s Open and Co-ed Open.

On the team, from Falls Church are bothers Griff and Quinn Baily as well as Jacob and Josh Merkel. Jacob Merkel (12), a rookie to the sport said, “I like how we have club players and newer players mixed in together because it helps our new players, like myself, learn the sport.” So if you are not a natural at the sport or you have never played before, you should not be discouraged from signing up. Jacob also added, “Everyone is super nice and we all get along really well.” His brother Josh Merkel (10) said, “I like how everyone is nice and doesn’t put anyone else down when they mess up. This is my first year playing volleyball and I don’t feel like I’m terrible; I feel like I’ve definitely improved over the season.” Griff Baily, an experienced volleyball player, describes the team as a great group of guys who are all there to just have a good time.

This new team proves to be a rewarding experience for our Falls Church participants. Josh Merkel simply said, “It’s just a fun thing to do.” Boys’ volleyball is an incredibly intense experience and is a lot harder than it looks. If you’re interested in possibly joining a team or are just curious about the new program, you can either visit or just simply ask someone who’s on the team.