By Fiona Ng He ’17
The boys volleyball team proceeded to the playoff rounds ranking number nine in the city. On April 12, they won their rematch against one of their biggest rivals, Brooklyn Tech. On May 1, the Hornets faced the Fort Hamilton Tigers in an exceptional game at Seward Park tournament, but lost.
In the game against Brooklyn Tech, the gym was filled with Tech supporters, and the excitement was gradually increasing. This was the game that people were looking forward to. Midwood lost the first set to Tech with a score of 25-19. However, this did not stop the Hornets from winning the game as they won the second and third sets 25-19 and 25-23 respectively. During the third set, a starter from Tech sprained his ankle as he came back down from blocking Alexander Teplitsky ’16.
Both teams played with equal intensity in that game, but Midwood’s desire to win was greater due to the loss they had against the Engineers earlier that week.
“Anyone can support a team that is winning – it takes no courage. But to stand behind a team when it is down and really needs you, that takes a lot of courage. It was truly incredible to see our supporters defend us after the devastatingly close loss at home,” said Shazheib Cheema ’16.
Since then, the boys have played three other league games and a tournament. Seward Park was their last tournament of the season, which was held at Seward Park High School, where 10 teams met and played for the whole day. It was a day full of competitiveness as the teams battled to get a spot in the playoff rounds. The teams were split into two pools of five teams each.
Snigdho Hasan ’16 said, “The second battle against Tech was one to remember. The win gave us a great boost in our confidence. Though the tournament at Seward wasn’t much in our favour, we still played some great volleyball. We have to stay persistent and win consistently to keep this ship sailing. We are beyond excited.”
The boys started the day strong as they beat Seward Park 25-21 and 25-22. Later, the Hornets played Grover Cleveland who won the first set 25-22. However, we took control of the second set as Zhivko Evtimov ’16 set the ball to Michael Grandel ’17 and he hit it to the other side of the court scoring the game point.
Ms. Thomasina Lenzi, the boys’ coach, said, “Michael is the only guy from PSAL who gets triple blocked.”
The next game was not as great as the ones they had before. Midwood faced Environmental Studies, who won both sets against us, 25-19 and 25-17. Ms. Lenzi explained that they didn’t do well with Environmental Studies and that they had a chance in getting to the playoff round if they were to beat Fort Hamilton, which was the last game.
The game against the Fort Hamilton Tigers was exceptional, as both team worked hard to win the set. The set was tied 25-25, and then the Tigers broke the tie as they spiked the ball to our side. However, Midwood tied the game again, 26-26, as Hasan and Milton Wong ’16 blocked Fort Hamilton’s hit. The teams could only score up to 27; the spectators in the gym got up from their seat as both teams volleyed for the last point. Unfortunately, the Tigers scored that last point, which sent them to the playoff rounds.
Ms. Lenzi said, “There was tremendous volley and we played well. Clearly we had a chance.”
The guys have improved since the beginning of their season. Last year the boys ranked 21 in the city, but this year they ranked nine. Ms. Lenzi said that they are the most balanced team as they have outstanding defense and great blocking players.
Frank Troiso ’18 said, “I’m proud of the improvements I’ve made and the improvements that our team has made, I look forward to the rest of this season and all of our seasons to come as long as I’m in Midwood.”