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M-A’s boys varsity volleyball team continued its six game winning streak in a match against Carlmont High School on Wednesday, March 30. The Bears are undefeated in the Peninsula Athletic League (PAL) and have a 14-2 overall record in their second season in M-A history.

Schuyler Knapp sets opposite Lukas Rash for a hard-driven swing.

Schuyler Knapp sets opposite Lukas Rash for a hard-driven swing.

The Bears started the first set on a strong note, setting the tone for the match with two aces from senior Edward Falefa. Junior Bryan Kang led the team with seven crucial digs, followed by Falefa with five, and sophomore Cortney Weintz with one. Senior Jack Posthauer and sophomores Schuyler Knapp and Colin Shen each contributed two strong blocks to the team and junior Lukas Rash added one. Rash played a strong offensive game and scored two kills for the Bears. Posthauer and Falefa added one kill each to the team as well. Unfortunately, the Scots could not compete with the Bears; the first set ended 25-8 M-A.

Edward Falefa approaches a perfect set from Knapp and scores for the Bears.

Edward Falefa approaches a perfect set from Knapp and scores for the Bears.

The Bears carried their momentum from the first set, with Falefa scoring two aces for the Bears to open the second set. Falefa led the Bears’ offense with six kills followed by Posthauer with two and Weintz with one. Posthauer contributed three blocks to the team in the second set along with one block each from Rash and Knapp. Kang led the team defensively with seven hard-driven digs. The Bears prevailed in a closer second set, defeating Carlmont 25 to 17.

The Bears went into the third set of the match determined to sweep Carlmont in three sets. Once again, they started the match on a high note with aggressive serves to break down their opponent’s defense. Falefa scored two aces followed by one ace from Knapp. The team managed to break down Carlmont’s offensive play with strong blocks as well. Posthauer put up three blocks for the team along with two blocks from Knapp and Falefa and one block from Shen. Falefa contributed eight hard-driven kills to the team alongside two from Posthauer. Kang and Weintz held down the Bears’ defense. Kang dug eight swings from the opponents and Weintz followed with four. The Bears finished the final set of the match, 25-21, winning the match in three consecutive sets.

Lukas Rash takes an advantage of a single block and scores a kill for the team.

Lukas Rash takes an advantage of a single block and scores a kill for the team.

The team fought hard in the match today to keep a lead over Carlmont. Falefa admitted, “the Carlmont match was very challenging for us to step up our game and win the serve and pass competition. We worked hard in practice on our fundamentals and I think it really showed in the way we played today.”

Junior Bryan Kang gives the setter a perfect pass.

Junior Bryan Kang gives the setter a perfect pass.

Coach Ron Whitmill has seen a great improvement in the team’s “ball control and serving” since the beginning of the season. He stated, “We are doing much better with our first contact and our serving is much more consistent. We have cut down our missed serves a lot.” Serving consistency continues to be an area of improvement for the team so, “[the team] can start doing a better job serving tougher and hitting our areas.” Whitmill is also hoping to see the team’s “blocking and defense become a major strength.”

The team has proved to be a major threat to the competition; the Bears “had a couple of big wins [in the Washington tournament] against well-established programs.” The Bears have improved immensely since the beginning of the season especially as they were able to “win against Westmont who beat [the Bears] in [their] first match of the season.” Whitmill is, “ most proud of how we have been doing a better job of acting like a team. Supporting each other on and off the court.”

Courtney Weintz and Colin Shen put up a solid block to defend against a hard-driven swing from Carlmont.

Courtney Weintz and Colin Shen put up a solid block to defend against a hard-driven swing from Carlmont.

The remaining hope for the team is to continue to “improve and grow the popularity of the sport at school and on the peninsula.” The Bears have managed to keep an overall record of 14 wins and two losses, and an undefeated league record.

Whitmill shared, “We have avenged our loss to Westmont and our other loss was to a team that’s ranked in the top 20 in the nation. If we can keep going at this pace, I think this team can leave a pretty good legacy and inspire more boys to play volleyball at M-A. And that’s my goal.” Ultimately, the team wants to be the “benchmark for excellence in the PAL just like the girls are.”

To see dates, times, and locations of upcoming boys volleyball games, visit M-A’s athletics site.

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