By Jasper Li ’19
The Boys Varsity Volleyball Team had an impressive season, standing at 9-1 by the end of the Brooklyn A North League. However, they fell out of the city playoffs in their first game against Francis Lewis, losing 1-2.
“After losing the playoff games, I feel like we can do better,” said Wen Cheung ’20. “Next year, I hope everyone on the team improves in the position they play.”
The team’s strategy was to breakthrough the opposing team’s defense with rapid aggression, but there were more things to the game than just hitting the ball.
Cheung said, “ We were faced with the challenges of a lack in communication and giving up too early.”
“We had the game in the bag, but we lost our heads after losing a couple of points,” said Kyaw Khant ’20.
Although getting eliminated in the first round of playoffs brought the team down, the players kept their chins up, focusing on next year’s playoffs.
“We could have done a lot better in the playoff game, but I’m not disappointed since there is next year,” said Cheung. “We’ll be able to win if everyone dedicates themselves.”
The current roster is composed of 16 students from various grade levels. Unlike most sports, volleyball teams are allowed to have up to three captains; however, the “main” captain is Frank Troiso ’18.
A large part of the team’s success throughout the season is the result of their coach, Mr. Tommy Ma, pushing the team to remember the basics, having them do rigorous warm ups more often than the team’s previous coaches, and incorporating a new playing style.
“In the beginning of the season, we did a lot of conditioning: burpees, push-ups, and running laps, which were difficult and extremely tiring,” said
Zain Ali ’19. “As the season progressed, most of the players began getting used to it and it didn’t seem as hard.”
According to Elizabeth Yatsuk ’19, one of the team’s managers, “The coach introduced a new style of volleyball transitions that helps cover more ground and provides better attack techniques.”
Additionally, the boys played practice matches against each other to see individual strengths and weaknesses, said Luis Gene ’19.
Looking into the next season, the team plans to improve their teamwork and mentality, which are two of its current weaknesses.
“The season was solid. We had our ups and downs, but we all pulled through,” said Samvel Gazaryan ’18.
The team members and staff formed a bond that goes beyond the sport.
“The other players, managers, and Mr. Ma are wonderful and have made this season very memorable,” said Ali. “The team is very close, like a family.”