Boys Volleyball Takes Flight Again

After+identifying+and+fixing+many+of+the+team%E2%80%99s+weaknesses+in+practice%2C+the+team+went+on+an+impressive+run%2C+winning+seven+in+a+row.

Roberto Ravicz

After identifying and fixing many of the team’s weaknesses in practice, the team went on an impressive run, winning seven in a row.

Jeremy Kravitz and Tavi Pollard

It’s been a season of ups and downs for the boys volleyball team. They’ve had plenty of peaks, but they’ve also had to dig themselves out of a few holes. After a long year off from a disappointing first-round exit in the state tournament, tryouts were held with enthusiasm. An incredible amount of young talent came in, with plenty of highlights from freshman and sophomores. It was a much-needed change from the previous season which saw nine seniors graduate out of a fourteen-player team. With six returning varsity players, six seniors, and many new additions, the varsity team was expecting a few bumps, but nonetheless had high hopes.

The season started off very well for the team; they won the first four games without losing a set (games are best of five sets, each set to 25), including a rowdy Quincy away game. The season began to look exciting for the Falcons. Led by Jay Rochberg ’24, Isaac Wedaman ’23, and Captain Matthew Liu ’22, the Falcons were racking up points hitting. Setter David Gonzalo ’22 has been dishing out assists all season, with a standout 45-assist game against Brookline later in the season. But after facing their first ranked opponent at Westford Academy, the Falcons faced their first difficult opposition. The Falcons lost 0–3, but included an intense second set that finished 29–27 (games are to 25, win by two). Although the team has faced adversity, Captain Shlok Chitalia ’22 says, “This season is going great so far, we have found new strengths and weaknesses both of the team and individual players.” The team hopes to use those strengths and work on those weaknesses going into the playoffs in June.

Hoping to bounce back, the Falcons faced Lincoln-Sudbury at home but fell short in a 2–3 loss. After changing the lineup slightly due to a flu outbreak, the Falcons soared to a 2–0 lead, only to finish flat and lose 3–2 in a gutting turnaround.

This season is going great so far, we have found new strengths and weaknesses both of the team and individual players.”

After a win in Holyoke combined with a field trip to the Volleyball Hall of Fame, the team lost yet again to Milford, their third loss of the season. Once again looking disappointing on the court, Coach Kelley Leary continually expressed the team’s need to bounce back.

After identifying and fixing many of the team’s weaknesses in practice, the team went on another impressive run, winning seven in a row up until the middle of May. This streak included some big wins, knocking off Brookline, who is ranked 11th, in a tense away game. They followed this exciting win with a thrilling five-set victory away against an Acton Boxborough team whose negative record is not indicative of their talent as a team. 

However, the end of their regular season went downhill with two losses against Newton South and Wayland. The team bounced back, closing out the regular season with a win against Boston Latin Academy on Senior Night. After Senior Night, Chitalia ended the season with high hopes for the playoffs: “Heading into states, we are determined and have the potential to be one of the top teams contending for the title.” Ending the regular season with an impressive 13–5 record, the Falcons go into the state tournament with a #8 Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association power ranking.

This piece also appears in our May 2022 print edition.