Danny Sun doesn’t look like a boys’ volleyball player. He has average height and a solid build.
The South Brunswick High School senior actually looks more like a wrestler or football player.
But there is one role conducive to Sun types on the volleyball court: setter. And Sun plays that role as well as anyone in central New Jersey.
The senior earned the varsity setter position as a freshman at the school, and he has been racking up assists ever since. He had 342 assists in 2016, 399 in 2017 and 485 in 2018.
Sun already has 320 assists this spring, and that’s with four games left in the regular season. Since South Brunswick is 11-7, it will almost certainly get some postseason matches, too.
By the time this year ends, Sun should be able to break his career mark for assists in a season.
“He’s the glue that keeps us together,” said South Brunswick coach Jeff King.
But what would assists even mean if they didn’t lead to kills, points, victories and team success? Nothing, really.
Fortunately for Sun though, the Vikings around him are all talented players. With myriad options, South Brunswick has found success this year. The Vikings started 11-3 before a four-game losing streak came against some really good opponents such as East Brunswick High School and Old Bridge High School last week.
Despite the losing streak, King’s squad will still be a contender in the Greater Middlesex Conference Tournament and in the NJSIAA Central Jersey Tournament.
“The nice thing about this team is I don’t have any one person that we’re looking to,” King said. “I’ve got six guys with more than 35 kills.”
“Danny moves the ball around,” King added.
Those six hitters are all upperclassmen in Connor Ferry, Dylan Herrera, Numair Iqbal, Anirudh Menon, Siddarth Raizada and Dylan Poku. Ferry leads the Vikings with 83 kills and Poku has the fewest of this group, with a respectable 37.
Sun may have made varsity before his classmates, but he has still been playing with them for four years now. So he understands their tendencies and preferences, and he knows where to spot the ball for each guy.
“We’ve been building toward this year,” Sun said. “And I feel like we’ve been building off each other as a team.”
“Since we’ve been together for four years, we have that team chemistry that many other teams are still trying to find,” Menon added.
In Sun’s first three high school seasons, South Brunswick had one or two players who could finish points. They were easy to game plan against, which led to early postseason exits.
The Vikings did not advance past the GMC or Central Jersey quarterfinals in any of the past three campaigns. This year could be different because there are so many planets orbiting Sun.
“Central Jersey is tough, but we’ll be able to compete with anybody down the road,” King said. “No matter where we’re seeded.”
“We just want to make it memorable. It’s our senior year,” Sun said. “We have good chemistry and energy.”
“We’re hoping to get to the finals of the GMC and as far as we can in states,” he added.