Barone to compete at USA volleyball junior nationals

Nate Barone of Wilton has been selected to play for the Mizuno East 16U team at the 35th annual USA Volleyball Boys’ Junior National Championships.

He will travel to Houston, Texas, July 1-4 to compete against the best volleyball players in the country.

The Mizuno East Volleyball Club is based in Bridgeport.

“It means a lot to me that they didn’t even need me to try out and they have the confidence in me to play on this team and play this level of ball,” said Nate, whose primary position is outside hitter. “I knew all the coaches and they knew me. They liked my effort and that I’m willing to put time into the sport to get better and learn.”

Barone has competed in matches and tournaments throughout the Northeast, but this will be his first time traveling outside of the area.

“It’s exciting,” said Barone, an honor roll student at Wilbraham & Monson Academy (Wilbraham, Mass.), where he is a sophomore. “We’re going to Texas to play. This will be a new experience for me — in Texas playing high-level ball. We’ll get to see and play against players who are going to play college ball. It will be a great experience to be around such great volleyball players who love the sport. Watching people play who have a real passion sparks something in me and makes me happy to be a part of the sport.”

He continued, “I have a passion for the game. I love hitting. Scoring points for the team . . . it’s like scoring a goal in soccer but it happens 25 times a game. It’s a huge team sport and you bond with your team in a way that I haven’t with any other sport.”