Irvington Boys’ Varsity Volleyball triumphs over Kennedy

By Sabrina Sun⎹ Staff Writer

The Irvington Boys’ Volleyball team played a tense match against Kennedy team at the Kennedy gym on March 17 and were able win through perseverance and team spirit. Irvington’s team was strong in its offense but lacking in its receives, while the Kennedy team was moderate in both offense and defense. Overall, the two teams’ respective strengths and weaknesses countered one another, and the game was won with three sets out four going to Irvington.

Kennedy remained in the lead during the beginning of the first set due to Irvington’s occasional fouls, but Irvington’s offensive plays brought the score to 16-12. Senior James Lee and junior Rajan Jobanputra performed a well coordinated block, bringing the score up to 17-16. Freshman Mateo Castillo then made two excellent saves, pushing Irvington to the lead with 17-19. Jobanputra also scored a point through an ace serve making the score 19-23. Irvington won the first set with the final score being 21-25.

Irvington opened the second set aggressively and brought the score to 0-12 through a series of powerful serves. However, Irvington’s inability to form an efficient block and floor defence successfully allowed Kennedy to perform several setter dumps, an offensive play where the setter discreetly tips the ball while appearing to set the ball normally, bringing the score to 17-23. The set ended with a foul for Kennedy and a win for Irvington with the final score of 17-25.

During the third set, both teams countered each other relentlessly in fierce rallies, causing the score to be closely tied. Despite their zealous attacks, Irvington failed several receives consecutively, resulting in Kennedy gaining a lead and the score becoming 19-13. Nevertheless, seniors Joshua Tso and Weber Wong’s spikes and blocks allowed Irvington to pull to a tie of 20-20. In the end, Irvington underestimated Kennedy’s receives and the set ended with 25-21 in Kennedy’s favor.

“I think we improved a lot in many ways, but the thing we need to work on the most is the consistency to focus throughout the game,” sophomore Alex Dalla Ricca said.

At the beginning of the fourth set, Irvington established a lead, which they held consistently throughout the set. Lee made a series of sharp kills and brought the score to 3-8 before Irvington’s back defense fell. Kennedy then made some fouls that allowed Irvington to maintain their lead. Senior Sean Marron and Wong showed an impressive display of teamwork in their consecutive attacks, which raised the score to 15-23. The final set ended with the score of 16-25 and Irvington claimed victory with three out of four sets.

Wong reflected on the intense energy showcased in the game as well as the multitude of fouls given to both teams.

“The best thing about the game was how crazy it got,” Wong said. “Kennedy was the best team in MVAL last year, so playing them did wonders for our adrenaline circulation. One of the referees was a little lacking in his officiating skill, but that’s okay-sometimes a handicap helps keep things interesting.”