Boys’ Handball Serves Good Season

By Jacky Lin ’16 and Nelson Mak ’16

After vigorous training and matches, the boy’s handball playoffs came to an end for the Hornets after they lost against James Madison High School in the quarter finals. The Hornets came into the playoffs being placed 12th seed. “I felt like we deserved more than 12th seed,” said Ms. Jennifer Rogers, coach. “We should have been placed 3rd or 4th seed based on our record and our performance.” The first match in the playoffs that the Hornets played was against Susan Wagner High School on May 12. The Hornets were expected to easily win their game against Susan Wagner because the other team was a lower seed, and they did win. The team easily swept through all their games, winning the match 4-1. “Although Susan Wagner was rated as a lower seed than us,” said Thurman Truong ’16. “We did not take the game lightly and played our best.” The first challenge the Hornets faced during playoffs was on the following day, May 13, when they had to play the 5th seed McKee/Staten Island Tech at their court and were coming in as the underdogs. Although they were ranked higher, the Hornets did not falter as they were eager to play Staten Island Tech. “We knew we were better than them and we were ready to play to our best ability,” said Ken Zhu ’15. The first two games that were played were first doubles, Austin Siu ’16 and Truong ’16, and second doubles Brandon Zhang ’16 and Harry Zhong ’16. Both the Hornet’s first and second doubles made light work of their opponents when they both won with the exact same score of 21-2. “When I walked into the school, I was nervous to play,” said Zhong. “But after winning it feels great that we’re one step closer to getting to the finals.” The next two games that were played were first singles Zhu against Felix Yang ’15 and third singles Gerry Tran ’16 against Jemer Garrido ’15. Although Zhu lost his game with a score of 21-11, he did not go down without a fight. However, Tran dominated in his game and won with a score of 21-9. “I was not used to the courts here,” said Tran. “But once I got adjusted to the courts I was able to take the win for the team.” The final game that was played was second single Marcus Lam ’15 against Toby Au ’15. This game featured three lead changes and was a close, but Lam came out on top winning his game 21-19. The Hornets defeated the 5th seed team 4-1 and moved up to the quarter finals facing one of their toughest opponents and longest rival, James Madison High School. On May 15, the Hornets faced James Madison, an opponent that they only beat once out of four times in the season. The first two matches that were played were first single Zhu against Jason Chong ’16 and second single Lam against Wilson Chong ’16. Although both of them tried their best to pull out one win for the team, they both lost 21-5 and 21-2 respectively. In order for the Hornets to win, they would have to win the next three games. The next game that was played was the second double game played by Zhang and Zhong against Michael Rosendo ’15 and Tien Truong ’15. Although they were under pressure when they played they managed to easily stomp their opponents 21-11. “We knew how important this game was,” said Zhang. “If we did not win this game, we would have had no chance of moving up to the semifinals so we gave it our all and managed to win.” The next game that was played was the first double game played by Siu and Truong against Buckley Tan ’15 and Devon Lui ’15. This game was a close game because both Siu and Truong were leading the game 12-7 but then faced a lead change after Tan suffered a knee injury midway into the game and the score was then 14-12 in Madison’s favor. However, both Siu and Truong managed to pull back into the game winning it 21-16. “We got overconfident midway into the game,” said Truong. “We almost lost the game because of that and we were also playing too passive after Tan got his injury, but what mattered was that we recovered and won the game.” Finally, the tie breaking game that would determine if the Hornets go to the semifinals or fall short of it was the third single game played by Tran against Mateen Yousaf ’15. This game started off bad for Tran as it was looking like a repeat of his previous games he played against Yousaf earlier in the season, when he was down 5-0. But after some tactical timeouts and talking with the team, he managed to tie up the score 7-7. However, in the end while playing his best, Tran still lost the game against Yousaf 21-11. “Yousaf is a very good player and he got the best of me,” said Tran. “Although I lost this game, I will learn from my mistakes and will do better next year.” Although the Hornets did not make it to the semifinals, the team played without regrets during their entire season as they all enjoyed training together every day and had fun playing their games. “I am happy that we managed to make it to the quarter finals this year,” said Ms. Rogers. “We came a long way since the start of the season and it was a pretty close game. We even managed to beat the 5th seed team easily and that is not an achievement to undermine and next year we will do even better.”

Hornets play against James Madison High School in playoffs.
Hornets play against James Madison High School in playoffs.

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