Cypress Bay’s Ertty and Gibbons’ Zarate are Broward Boys’ Volleyball Coaches of the Year
Although Cypress Bay’s boys’ volleyball team has won district championships before, it has not been among the regular visitors to the state tournament in Broward County.
The Lightning are hoping to change that going forward.
This season, under the guidance of longtime coach Breno Ertty, Cypress Bay recorded its first 20-plus win season and advanced to the state quarterfinals for the first time in a decade.
Meanwhile, Cardinal Gibbons continued its recent run of dominance in the county under coach Mike Zarate, which culminated in the Chiefs playing for a state title for the third time in program history.
Those accomplishments earned Ertty and Zarate the distinction of being the Miami Herald’s Boys’ Volleyball Coaches of the Year honors for Broward County.
Ertty’s squad went 23-3 this season, winning its fourth ever district championship and finishing ranked in the top five in the state for the first time in program history. The Lightning’s only losses came against state runner-up Cardinal Gibbons, regional finalist Belen Jesuit and at state against West Palm Beach King’s Academy.
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Cypress Bay’s potent tandem of hitters in senior Andres Montero and sophomore Tyler Johnson helped put the Lightning on par with some of the state’s best this season. A strong core led by setter Daniel Lugo and libero Elijah Griffin balanced things out and made Cypress Bay one of the more versatile squads in the county.
Although senior heavy, Johnson and middle blockers Joshua Baik and Daniel Venegas give the Lightning a core to build from as they look to push even further next season.
Zarate’s squad was once again one of the most talented statewide and compiled an impressive 26-4 and record on its way to its first state final since 2018.
Despite the Chiefs’ loss to Southwest Miami in the championship match, Gibbons won two grueling five-set matches against Lake Howell and Winter Park in the state quarterfinals and semifinals respectively.
Led by Miami Herald Player of the Year Thiago Zamprogno, a 6-7 middle hitter who has signed to play at UCLA, Gibbons played one of the tougher schedules of any team in the state.
Zamprogno, along with two more college signees in Daniel Sappia (Hobart) and Logan Keovathy (North Greenville), paced a team that averaged 12.5 kills per set.