By Fiona Ng He ’17
The sound of the whistle ended the game and moved the boys’ volleyball team to the finals. On Sunday, April 3, the top 10 volleyball teams in New York City met at Fort Hamilton High School for their annual tournament dedicated to Eduard Nogay, who lost the battle against cancer.
The team got second place after they lost to Fort Hamilton, 25-19. Earlier in the day, Midwood faced Fort Hamilton and won both sets, 25-16 and 26-24. Last year, they lost most of their games at this tournament. However, this year the boys came back strong as ever as they were almost undefeated in the tournament.
“We finally started playing as a team, we always had good players but now everyone’s head was in the game and we all had one thing on our mind, to win the game and to take it one point at a time no matter what the score,” said Bart Zyskowski ’16.
The tournament was split into two pools, each having 5 teams. The boys played 4 games; two sets each, before proceeding to the playoff round. After winning their first game against Fort, the team played Stuyvesant. It was an intense game and both teams wanted to win. Midwood easily won the first set, 25-21. However, in the second set Stuyvesant gave the Hornets a little trouble as they tied the game, 24-24. Stuyvesant scored another point that broke the tie, 25-24.
The tension in the gym increased as Milton Wong ’16 spiked the ball and scored a point, which tied the game again, 25-25. Zyskowski served the ball and the opposing team didn’t return it, making Midwood win the set, 27-25.
Snigdho Hasan ’16 said, “It was a day of nonstop battles. We were determined to go out there to win, and we did.”
Midwood began its third game against Aviation. The first set was as outrageous as the one with Stuyvesant; however, the boys won after Hasan saved the ball and Alexander Teplitsky ’16 hit the ball to the other side of the court, 25-21.
Ms. Thomasina Lenzi said, “They did an outstanding job. Quick pace and powerful.”
This tournament is special to Fort Hamilton because it’s dedicated to one of their former volleyball player. Nogay is an inspiration to many people because after having his dominant arm amputated, he learned how to play with his left arm and kept striving for more. His love for volleyball was undeniably strong.
Ms. Kim Tolve, Fort Hamilton’s coach said, “Today, Midwood has reminded me of Eduard because in every set they kept fighting back.”
Zyskowski said, “It was really exciting to finally see the team playing so well, we went 9-1 sets all the way to the final and I guess Fort Hamilton just wanted it more they were playing out of their skin for Eddie and showed how much it means to them to win their own tournament that they have never won before, which is why I have the most utter respect for them.”
On April 7, the boys played against Brooklyn Tech. The gym was full of people and the teams were excited. This was the game that everyone was waiting for since last year’s game. Midwood lost to the Engineers, 26-24. In the second set, teams tied 22-22, when Tech hit the ball and Michael Grandel ’17 blocked it and went out. The guys encouraged each other to keep fighting until the end.
Shahzeib Cheema ’16 said, “My coach tells me to give about 100% to volleyball. If I give 110%, my serve will kill someone, and my coach doesn’t want to deal with the paperwork.”
The Hornets lost to Tech with a score of 26-24. This lose against Tech has motivated the guys to play harder and win the next time they meet which is on April 12.
Terence Kong ’17 said, “It was a lasting experience that motivated us to work even harder in order to win the next game against Tech.”