October 23, 2020 – By NJP
A year ago, Rancocas Valley was projected to be a top 25 team in New Jersey. They had standout seniors such as Caden Kelty, Noah Taylor, Jared Worrell and Sean Matheis and rising juniors Tyler Myers and Josh Milke. It seemed like the perfect storm for an amazing season. And as the term moved toward a start, the perfect storm became an unhealthy hurricane with a campaign cancelled due to a pandemic that even today casts some level of doubt for the upcoming high school season.
As disappointing as that has been for the Red Devils and the rest of the NJ high school community, there is strong hope for the upcoming Rancocas campaign. That hope is driven by senior Tyler Myers who has been a consistent presence for top club volleyball teams over the past two seasons. Tyler played for CJVA-Flemington 17-1 last year and has now settled at CORE VBC playing for the 18-1 team for this years prep leading up to the high school season.
Tyler brings a ton of skill to the hard court. He has a high level of athleticism, strong quickness, a solid vertical, and outstanding form coupled with a powerful right arm. But Tyler drives himself to another level with intensity and what we call “controlled recklessness”. He is always willing to give 100% and go for what appears to be unreachable volleys and convert them into points. Tyler also has a driving jump serve as well as a great touch on tips and passing.
He pulls this all off at a sub six foot frame. If he was 6’3″, he would likely be a solid D1 outside hitter recruiting target. Tyler talks freely about his volleyball future as well as some of his injuries sustained due to his passionate and energetic style of play. We will see if college volleyball rises to the top of his priority list. But rest assured that volleyball will be part of Tyler’s life for decades to come.
He will be on the players to watch list this year both at Club for CORE and at Rancocas Valley…
Here is our interview with Tyler…
Tell us a bit about yourself, Tyler?
I’m currently going to Rancocas Valley Regional High School. I live in Eastampton township in South Jersey. I’m a senior so I will be graduating this upcoming year 2021. At home I have a brother and a sister both younger than I am who are both athletic and are picking up volleyball too. My brother is a sophomore in high school and although he doesn’t play for the highschool he plays at my old club CJVA. My sister is still in middle school but plans to start playing club and maybe even high school too. Both my mom and dad have volleyball background but not very much. They played while they were both in the Air Force but before that my mom was a setter back when she was in high school and my dad didn’t play much when he was younger but his sister did. My aunt has really taught me some really good tips to get better especially because after she played Division 1 in college as an outside and she coached for years after.
How long have you played volleyball and what inspired you to take up volleyball initially?
I’ve only been playing since freshman year other than in gym class in middle school but that doesn’t really count. I initially took an interest when my friends from middle school decided to convince me to try out for the high school team. After we started practicing and playing games, I realized how fun and competitive the sport was and it drove me to keep playing and win.
What are your metrics/details? Height, vertical, position, club team, etc. What’s your favorite position to play?
I’m just over 5 foot 10 inches tall which is short to be an outside hitter but with my vertical and upper body strength I make up for it. My vertical at the end of my junior club season was pushing into the 30″ range and I plan to increase it even more over my last year of club and high school. The past two years I played for CJVA but this year I decided to try something new and moved to CORE for my last club year.
Tell us about your Red Devil teammates. Who do you expect will be this year’s standout and up and coming players?
I want to start this section off by saying that although my club teammates and coaches have all made me a much better player but it was thanks to especially my varsity teammates at high school that were my true driving force to increase my skills. All of my teammates from the past 3 years who graduated now were all taller and stronger than I was and had more experience and although we lost one of the best lineups our high school has seen so far these up and coming JV boys are going to help fill those gaps and it’s my turn to push them to be their best. This year, along with our starting setter Josh Milke, we will be the only two returning varsity starters. That being said, we’ve seen a few JV players rise to the occasion and make some court time for varsity which include, middle blocker Ryan Martin, outside hitter Nathan Nankervis, and although he didn’t get to play because of COVID a rising freshman libero who I had only spoken to a handful of times will all be big up and coming stars to our varsity squad.
NJP considers you as one of the top players in the state. Do you plan on playing in College? (If so, which ones are you looking at?)
I have considered playing in college but because I have some long-term injuries with my knees and pain in my back not playing on an indoor team in college has also crossed my mind. I do love the sport and plan to continue to play beach throughout my life.
You played very well for the CJVA 17-1 team last season after watching you at several tournaments. You led RV in aces as a sophomore, but your game continues to improve as you enter your senior campaign. What are your personal goals for this season?
My personal goals especially for my last high school season will be to not only be at the top of the stat list for aces and kills but to carry on the legacy of the players who once played with me. Becoming the captain for the RV volleyball team to inspire them to also carry on the legacy of those who played before them on that same court. I want to be one of the driving forces behind our strive for a state title and another division title for RV.
The Red Devils have 4 returning varsity players from the 2018-19 team. What is your expectation for this year’s Rancocas Valley squad?
My expectations are rather high because although many of the upcoming players have never been in a game for the varsity squad they have all practiced with us and they know we don’t mess around when it comes to training to win. I want us to get another division title this year and to get as far as possible if not win states.
Tell us about your club volleyball experience at CJVA and now with CORE.
So far, club has been my main source of physical improvement and I had an amazing time playing and hanging out with some of my closest friends from CJVA. This year is my first year playing for CORE and although I’m not really too close with many of my new teammates other than my old friends and teammates David and Steven. I’m slowly building relationships with them. As for my coaches I’ve had a many of them but my biggest role models who truly made me understand the game and improve were my coach last year Evan Ardanaz who would stay after practice for 30 minutes sometimes longer to help me with each aspect of my game. One of my coaches from my first year playing at CJVA Sam Jennison was also one of the coaches who gave me the confidence to be aggressive and to play my heart out regardless of what happens on the court.
Which club team was the toughest competitor that you faced and why?
The toughest competitor we faced was Warren Six Pack 17-1 who we played more than any other team throughout our last year’s season. They were a very well-rounded passing and offensive team. They were very consistent servers that pushed our defensive strong team out of system pretty consistently which made us have to really improve our passing game. Towards the end of our season we always took them to three sets.
What are your other hobbies or interests?
I also play golf at a pretty high level because although it’s like the opposite of volleyball. It’s really fun and I’m good at it so it keeps me competing.
Who is your favorite college or pro volleyball player and why?
I couldn’t decide between two french players Ivan Zaytsev and Jenia Grebennikov. Ivan is a right side hitter and currently hold the record for the fastest serve at around 135 km/h. Jenia is one of the top libero’s in the entire world and as someone who’s favorite parts of the game are serving and receiving it seems fitting that they are my favorites.
Is there a teacher or coach who really helped you along the way?
Another coach aside from the two I mentioned earlier is my high school varsity coach TJ Colling. He was a big part in my confidence build as a hitter and although he favors more conservative float serves he encourages me to use my aggressive jump topspin serve which has led to me being at the top of the leaderboard in aces.
What is your favorite inspirational video or music that you like to watch or listen to before games?
Before each game when I’m doing warmups I like to listen to a group called NEFEX which have some good fast paced motivational hip hop type songs that get me pumped up and ready for each game.