The boys volleyball team defeated Saratoga in three straight sets today, April 3. The set scores were 25-17, 25-22 and 25-18. This win bolstered the team’s league record to a promising 5-2.
The team gained momentum early in the game, taking a quick first set win. Thanks to eight digs by senior Mathias McAfee, the team was able to maintain control throughout the points and eventually break through Saratoga’s defense.
“I think some key moments for our team this match was when we pulled away in the first set to end up finishing them with a big delta in points,” senior Spencer Simonides said. “That essentially set the tone for us for the rest of the match.”
But things took a quick turn and started to look rough for the Eagles in the middle of the second set. The Eagles made many attempts to attack, but Saratoga managed to block a good majority of them and put the team in a tough spot both physically and mentally. At one instance in the second set, the Eagles were four points down. However, the team showed no sign of giving up and made an extra effort to increase the optimism on the court. With a fitting timeout bringing the team together, the Eagles were able to pull off a comeback and secure the second set.
“Our team played an all-round great match,” senior John Dai said. “I guess one thing that contributed to it comes from the support we gave each other and having strong, positive energy especially when we were down in the second set.”
They rode this pace throughout the rest of the game and continued the rampage to the third and final set, which they were able to win 25-18.
While the team holistically performed well, certain members stood out. The offense was extremely aggressive, with senior Alex Blackburn succeeding in 13 kills out of 24 total attempts. Senior Ian McColl also helped with the overall consistency, hitting a .556% average throughout the course of the match. Finally, the defense became impenetrable thanks to 64 cumulative digs, with the majority made by senior Paul Bergevin, freshman David Stein, Ian, and Mathias. The efforts made by individual members combined with the overall high quality performance of the team allowed for a swift victory against Saratoga.
If the team plays just as well during the rest of its season, it will have a chance at earning the league title. The team hopes to get one step closer by winning the remaining matches of the season after Spring Break, starting with its home game against Sacred Heart on Tuesday, April 16.
“Our goal for the rest of the season is to try to develop a strong team bond while enhancing our volleyball IQ’s,” coach David Radford said. “We are also focused on the league championship and making it to the playoffs, which will require tough and hard work at practice.”