November 4, 2020 – By NJP
It’s always refreshing to see a student athlete excel at a sport quickly and become an impact player for his or her high school team. For Marlboro senior Dan Marino who started his high school athletic career as a baseball player, it is an unexpected turn of events with an injury his freshman year that now has him concentrating his efforts on volleyball. Dan has been a quick study and has almost immediately surged to become one of the best middles in the state. He has currently earned the right to play for the best 18U club team in NJ, Warren Six Pack 18-1.
How impressive was Dan as a sophomore for Marlboro? Well… he had 2 kills. That is a summary of his high school stats for his career. But Dan has worked hard during his off-seasons. Despite his junior year being cancelled, his skills continued to improve playing for Six Pack 17-2’s, and now has expanded his talent level to play for the premier team in the state.
Dan is a physical specimen. He added 4 inches of height to his volleyball resume from sophomore to senior. When you watch Dan play, it’s clear that he has an extreme amount of quickness. He explodes on the ball as good as anyone in NJ. When you combine that level of speed with the force he gets from his swing, it’s an absolutely lethal combination. He uses that speed on the block as well. His serve and passing are above average and will continue to get better through this season.
Marlboro will be very good this Spring. Last year was supposed to be their big season, but there are no indications that this year can’t be just as successful. They have too many weapons on the attack and we expect them to win 70%-80% of their games. Dan will be a breakout player and is expected to be near the top statistically in kills and blocks per set for all middles. At the rate he has excelled this past two years, the upside potential remains unlimited.
Here is our interview with Dan…
Tell us a bit about yourself, Dan?
I live in Freehold Township but I currently attend Marlboro High school, and I will be graduating in 2021. I have a younger sister who is a freshman named Cece. My parents are Judith Marino (Mom) and Paul Marino (Dad).
How long have you played volleyball and what inspired you to take up volleyball initially?
I started playing volleyball my sophomore year of high school. I stopped playing baseball after an arm injury so I wanted to play a different spring sport. My mother convinced me to try out for volleyball because she played when she was in high school.
What are your metrics/details? Height, vertical, position, club team, etc. What’s your favorite position to play?
I am 6’4 with a vertical of 27 in and an approach vertical of 36.5 in. I play Middle Blocker for my club team Warren Sixpack and my high school team. Middle is my favorite position because I am the main blocker and requires a lot of movement.
Tell us about your Mustang teammates. Who do you expect will be this year’s standout and up and coming players?
I expect junior Nick Brzoska (Sixpack 17-1) to be this year’s standout. He has the most experience and has been dominant on varsity since Freshman year. I also have high hopes for up and coming senior Matt D’Agostino (Sixpack 18-2). He’s been my setter since I started playing and has been putting in the work at practice.
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?)
As of now, I am not 100% sure if I want to play in college since my academics are most important. However, I will definitely keep my options open.
You have been part of the best club team in NJ at your age group for the past three years. What are your personal goals for this season?
My personal goals for this season are to win as many tournaments with my club team as possible. I also want to get better every week as I still feel new to the sport.
You represent half of one of the most powerful duos in NJ high school volleyball joining with junior Nick Brzoska. What is your expectation for this years Mustang squad?
I expect my high school team to do pretty well this year. Although we lost a good amount of seniors, we still have varsity returners such as Nicholas Brzoska, Matt D’Agostino, and Nicholas Chatzopolos who have been playing volleyball outside of school. We also have a good young core of JV returners who we hope to develop throughout the season.
Tell us about your club volleyball experience at Warren Six Pack.
So far my experience at Warren Six Pack has been great. The club allowed me to improve and learn a lot from my teammates and coaches. I’ve also had great experiences with the many tournaments we competed in.
How do you think the Central Sectional compares to North and South regions?
I think the Central Sectional region is the most competitive compared to the other regions. Facing teams such as CBA, Southern, and Jackson Memorial will make it tough to compete against.
How are you and your family dealing with current world situation with COVID-19? How did the cancellation of the Spring high school season effect your team?
So far my family and I have been doing okay with the current situation of COVID-19. The cancellation of this past Spring high school season was a huge blow, since I felt we were going to have a great season. We had many experienced seniors and up and coming players who trained a lot during the offseason.
What are your other hobbies or interests?
Some other hobbies and interests I have are playing basketball, going to the gym, and listening to music.
What do you plan to study in college or what is your career path?
I want to have a career path in business. Specifically, study Business Management and/or Finance in college.
Who is your favorite college or pro volleyball player and why?
My favorite college volleyball player is Daenan Gyimah. He’s my favorite because he was the first middle I tried to learn from when I started playing volleyball. I also feel the way he plays volleyball is similar to how I play.
Is there a teacher or coach who really helped you along the way?
My previous volleyball coach Mike Bagnell really helped me become the player I am today. This past club season was my first time playing club, so everything was completely new to me. Throughout the year, Mike taught me a lot and helped me improve after each week.