Boys volleyball defeats defending state champions 3-2 in final game of the season


Maeve Goldman and Sammy Matays

After losing against state champions Calhoun three days prior, the Boys Varsity Volleyball team beat the team 3-2 in a rematch on May 17th. 


The team entered the court feeling confident, Nate Chiang (9) said. “I expected us to do well because we worked together well and practiced really hard,” he said. “I honestly thought we might win.”


However, the team struggled at the start of the game. “We went through rough patches where certain servers would catch us off guard or we would have trouble getting past a certain player,” Mehraz Karim (12) said. 


The team overcame their challenges by adapting to their opponents, Karim said. “One thing we tried was to be really critical when studying individual players on Calhoun’s team,” he said. “We’d pick up certain tendencies that some players liked to do and our playing reflected that.” 


Noticing who on the other team served well and where specifically they liked to serve helped the team adapt to Calhoun, Jonas Jacobson (12) said. “For example, if we noticed a server that sent balls deeper into the court, our teammates in the back and middle would back up while our teammates on the sides in the front row would move inwards to catch balls if they were short.”


To prepare for the game, the team practiced serving, receiving, and scrimaging. Scrimaging helped the team figure out their positioning while playing the game, Karim said. 


The team won its first two sets, Boys Varsity Volleyball Coach Jason Torres said. “I wanted to play the seniors early in the game since it was their one and only home game,” he said. 


The freshmen and sophomore team members played afterwards, Torres said. “The third and fourth sets were primarily just substitutes,” he said. “I really wanted to make sure everyone got the opportunity to be on the floor and have some varsity experience.”


The upperclassmen encouraged the freshmen and sophomores as they played, Karim said. A highlight of the game for the juniors and seniors was watching the freshmen and sophomores on the team play, especially when they went on serving streaks and kept the game close, he said. 


“It felt good to get a chance to play because of all of the hard work and effort everyone on the team had put in,” Chiang said. 


Although the school won the initial two sets, Calhoun’s team recovered and won the third and fourth sets, so the game was tied when the players headed into their fifth and final set, Torres said.


“In the fifth set, I put the seniors and juniors back on the court to finish the game,” Torres said. “Of course, being able to win made that moment more fruitful, as they really enjoyed having the opportunity to beat Calhoun.” 


The team is thrilled with this season not just because of their victory, but because of the bonds they formed, Karim said. “A lot of us on the team are friends with each other so it’s easy to crack jokes and uplift each other,” he said. “Whenever we make a mistake, everyone else on the court will come and alleviate the person of any stress they had and keep their head up.” 


The game was a great end to the Volleyball season, Karim said. “[Monday’s game] definitely exceeded expectations.”