By Jacky Lin ’16 and Amanda Kwong ’16
After a rocky start in the season, the boys handball team finally stepped up their game to win the last few rounds to successfully secure their spot in the playoffs.
“The players are great players,” said coach Jennifer Rogers, “It’s just that whatever that is throwing their game off these past couple of games, they got to get it out of their system.”
During spring break, many of the players either continued to train rigorously or entered tournaments to improve their skills before they returned to school.
Unfortunately, the team, was crushed the first game they played returning from spring break. against Franklin D. Roosevelt’s team.
“I don’t know what happened,” said Thurman Truong ’16. “All of us know that we are better than them, it’s just that we didn’t show it that day.”
It was crunch time for the team because if they did not win the next few games, then for the first time in many years, the boys handball team would not be able to make playoffs.
“We all want to make playoffs this year,” said Ken Zhu ’15. “Its just that as of right now, if the team does not step it up we will not make it and we will also disappoint our coach.”
The Hornets then faced off against James Madison High School on April 24 to take revenge for their two defeats earlier this season. This game was important because the result of the game would decide if the Hornets would make the playoffs. However, the Hornets had an advantage because Marcus Lam ’15, rejoined the team after resolving an issue with medical papers.
The match started off with the Hornets first singles Zhu and first doubles Truong ’16 and Austin Siu ’16, and this time the results were much different.
Zhu played against Wilson Chong ’16 and defeated him, giving Chong his only lost in this season with a score of 21-13. Truong and Siu were able to make light work of their opponents and defeated them in under 15 minutes with an overwhelming score of 21-5, where Troung had scored 10 and Siu had scored 11.
Although the Hornets led the series 2-0 and only needed one more game to secure their spot in the playoffs, things almost turned out for the worst as the Hornets started to lose their games.
The next two games were third singles Gerry Tran ’16 and second doubles Harry Zhong ’16 and Salman Siraj ’16. Tran faced off against Devon Lui ’15 and although Tran tried his best to make a comeback, he had lost game 21-15.
Siraj and Zhong’s game were also not looking so good as they went up against their opponents, Michael Rosendo ’15 and Saad Rehman ’15. They lost their game 21-11, with Siraj scoring 5 points and Zhong scoring 6 points.
“We were caught by surprise by Madison’s new starting player, Rosendo,” said Siraj.
“We underestimated them and due to the miscommunication between Harry and I, it had cost us the game.”
All eyes were then on the last game of the day, which was second singles Lam playing against Mateen Yousaf ’15, who also like Chong, never lost a game in the season. The intense game played on because neither side wanted to give in and lose. In the end, Lam claimed victory over Yousaf with a close score of 21-17.
“I was nervous to know that my game would decide whether or not that we would go to playoffs or not,” said Lam. “But I had fun playing against Yousaf because it was not an easy game, and it was great knowing that I managed to give him his first lost in the season.”
With this game, the Hornets were finally owning up to their true skill and secured their spot in playoffs. But even though they were able to do so, the whole team said that they all would have to continue to practice hard if they were to stand a chance in playoffs.