By Karriem Lomas ’19 and Luis Gene ’19
In the interest of full disclosure, Luis Gene is on the boy’s volleyball team.
The boys volleyball team is filled with countless talented individuals who are determined to stop at nothing in order to accomplish their goals and obtain success this season.
Mr. Tommy Ma, the new boys varsity volleyball team coach, is taking a new approach in training and preparing the team.
“I always have high expectations for the teams I coach,” he said. “Our young players can learn from the seniors, building the basic foundation for the boys team. We are trying to create a cohesive team culture.”
Those who were on the team last year agree with the changes.
Samvel Gazaryan ’18 said, “Mr. Ma’s playstyle is different from Ms. Lenzi, which gives us a new perspective of playing.”
The team puts in countless hours of vigorous training everyday just to ensure their success. Each practice lasts for about three hours on average, incorporating a lot more conditioning this year than previous years.
On one occasion, the volleyball team had the opportunity to observe an official volleyball game between LIU and Bryant University, in which LIU won. This experience allowed them to see how college volleyball teams are expected to cooperate.
“We have to do a lot of conditioning, mostly leg workouts and endurance training. Then we move on to drills that cover the essentials of hitting, setting, and passing. By the end of the day we split the team to play scrimmages to use these skills on court to gain experience,” said Carlos Aceytuno ’20.
However, in order for the team to be truly successful, it doesn’t matter how long the team trains because it comes down to their mentalities and cooperation skills. If the team members are unable to work together but are just individually talented, there will be no way for them to work together as a team, which is essential when playing volleyball.
The team lost against Edward R. Murrow and Madison. Against Murrow, the Hornets played three sets: first set (Midwood-Murrow) 22-25, second set 25-19, and the third set 21-25. The game against Madison, the first set (Midwood-Madison) 20-24, and the second set came even closer with a 22-25.
Since their defeat, Mr. Ma has been drilling the basics into the team’s head. Just the other day, they did the pacer as a warmup and continued on to their usual warm- up and stretches. They practiced their defense, blocks, digs, and attacks. Muscle memory improved and that is seen with the reflex of the players.
“You have to lose in order to learn more,” said Mr. Ma.
The Hornets made a comeback with the next two Public Schools Athletic League or PSAL. They played against Brooklyn Technical High school and won. Frank Toriso ’18 made seven kills that game, spikes and tips, and Samvel made ten service points, points earned from serves. This game ended up with three sets and Hornets has shown improvements. They were picking up the ball more than they did when they played against Madison.
Jason Chen ’19 stated, “They were much needed wins because we’ve been slacking lately. These wins were the kind of inspiration that the team needed in order for us to get an extra push to work harder, so we can have more victories like these.”
Mr. Ma said, “I’ve seen a lot of improvements today. Overall, in terms of passing the ball, serving the ball and offensively and defensively we are balanced. Communication was really really high, so I’m very pleased with the performance That they played and the results we have today.”
The boys volleyball team had learned from their loss. They took what they learned from the game and with the training from Mr. Ma, they made a comeback. They have made improvements since they first game against Murrow and continue to strive for playoffs.