By Kenny Isufi ‘15
Championship is the only thing the Hornets have their minds on this season. After an 8-4 finish and making the playoffs again, the boys’ volleyball team looks to improve upon last year’s success.
“I don’t think we performed at our highest level last year,” said Captain Haris Popinara ’15. “This year we look to win the division and go deep in the playoffs.”
The Hornets look to avenge last year’s losses to undefeated Brooklyn Tech and reclaim the Brooklyn A division.
“We lost a couple of close matches,” said Popinara. “Tech is one of our major rivals and beating them this year is going to require a collaborative effort.”
Although labeled as an outside hitter, Popinara plays all over the court and provides leadership for a strong and high caliber unit. He is just a small part of the team’s formula for success.
“I think we have to develop better consistency in our hitting and back row defense,” said Popinara. “What matters the most is executing our assignments and getting it done come playoff time.”
The team practices all year to prepare for the season in late February. From offseason activities to team practices often running late, the team is motivated to produce a championship for Midwood. Expectations are high after a disappointing loss to McKee/Staten Island Tech in the second round of the playoffs.
“Volleyball is a competitive team sport where everyone needs to pull their weight and buy into success,” said setter Zhivko Evitmov ’16. “We can’t win if everyone doesn’t give 100% day in and day out.”
Playoff time is the most crucial point for every team during the season. The team went 12-0 in 2013, but lost in the first round of the playoffs.
“We have to go undefeated in the playoffs to reach our goal,” said Evitmov.
The seniors look to help continue the team’s winning ways and establish a lasting legacy for Midwood’s volleyball team.
“Our team hasn’t won the championship since 2007,” said Popinara. “Doing so would be a great way to end my high school years and more importantly leave a lasting mark on this program.”