By Sherry Fung ’15 and Amy Feng ’15
“One! Two! Three! Midwood!”
On Sunday, March 30, 10 schools met at Fort Hamilton High School for an all-day volleyball tournament. The schools were divided into two sections of five. From each section, the top school with the most wins went on to the semi-finals to battle in the playoff rounds. Those two teams faced off and a winner was determined.
At 9:30a.m, it was Midwood’s turn to step onto the court to face Stuyvesant High School. Tweeeeeeeee! The referee blew the whistle. Midwood started off strong and made sure the gap didn’t get too big. At 17 to 17, the scores were tied. In the blink of an eye, Stuyvesant took the lead.
“Easy, easy,” shouted Ms. Thomasina Lenzi, volleyball coach.
The game ended up close, 25-22. Stuyvesant won the round and the next with a score of 25-15. The Hornets just couldn’t seem to beat Pegleg Pete.
“Midwood had trouble receiving the ball, so that tipped it for Stuy,” said Nounen Novakov, a parent of one of the Stuyvesant’s players.
Midwood treaded back to the court, one round later, to face Fort Hamilton. It was the Hornets vs. the Tigers.
Midwood took the first point when the opposing team sent the ball flying out. The score was 12-11 after an intense battle. Then a tornado of a spike that could send a player flying was sent to the opposing side’s blind spot. The Tigers couldn’t see that their prey had a deadly sting.
The excitement didn’t last long. Ms. Lenzi called a time out because Midwood trailed by two points with a score of 19-21. Despite the coach’s talk with the players, they weren’t able to take the game back. It ended 20-25.
After the game between Stuyvesant and Bronx Science, Midwood came back from their warm up run. They were up against McKee/Staten Island Tech (M.S.I.T.) All looked bright and shining when Midwood took the first point once again, but quickly fell into pieces. The game was a war zone. Each team kept spiking the ball with their full strength. Midwood fired, but it was received and M.S.I.T. retaliated with their shot. In spite of the impressive strength of both teams, M.S.I.T. won after Midwood got a violation for holding the ball.
“We didn’t wake up for the game against Midwood,” said Marcos Saabadrn ‘14, captain of M.S.I.T.’s volleyball team.
Midwood tried to regain their momentum, but the next game was a slippery slope, ending with a score of 15-25.
This was it for Midwood. One more set left for Midwood against The Bronx High School of Science. Both teams had not won a single game in the whole tournament. The pressure was on.
The score was at stalemate, but Bronx Science managed to gain the lead 21-17. Closing that gap would prove to be too difficult. Midwood lost 20-25.
The last round was a fight for last place. Both team’s energy was low after competing in seven matches.
The match was tied 16-16, but Milton Wong ’16 broke the tie. He smashed that ball past a three person brick wall.
“Be smart,” Ms. Lenzi shouted to the players.
16-19, Bronx Science served the ball into the net and it slid off into Midwood’s court. A last minute punch by Midwood got the ball into the air. The opposing side couldn’t receive it and it sent the ball crashing into the ceiling. The scoreboard was burning red and it read 21-25 in Midwood’s favor. But situations can change without notice. Bronx Science caught up and they were tied at 25-25. Midwood dove for the ball; however, it was too late. Bronx Science took the lead in a game that seemed to be an easy victory for Midwood with the gap the Hornets had created in the beginning.
“Let him have it,” said Daniel Skill Ins, Bronx Science coach.
Bronx Science passed the ball to their captain Nathaniel Chen ’14, number 4. That was it. Number 4 had the strongest spike out of all the players of all the teams.
The last game ended 27-25 with a Bronx Science victory. The Midwood boys packed up their stuff and left the gym.
“We could have won seven of eight matches but we lost all of them,” said Andy Tang ’14. “It felt terrible.”
Within minutes of leaving the building it started to rain. The day remained gloomy, but the team had to move forward quickly. There was no time to mope around. The following day on Monday, Midwood regained their momentum with a victory against Tottenville High School.
“The game on Monday went a lot faster and was much better,” said Rais Cheema ’16.
With a new line up of players, Midwood lacks the teamwork and communication that they had last year. The boys are strong enough but will have to continue to work on team-building and defense, according to Ms. Lenzi.
“The season started off rocky, but I’m sure we’ll have a big finish,” said Michael Lu ’14.
Although the season just started, this will be the last season for three players who have been on the team since freshman year including the captain, Nicholls ’14, and Lu ’14.
“This is where it all started for me,” said David Cham ’14, captain of the boys’ volleyball team. “I’ll miss everything.”
By Sherry Fung ’15 and Amy Feng ’15