Boys Volleyball Breeze Past Hillsdale

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On Wednesday, the boys’ volleyball team took on the Hillsdale Knights, beating them in a narrow three sets and adding yet another victory to their excellent 21-5 record.

M-A started off slow, struggling to find an offensive rhythm while the Knights showcased their large block. After a series of unforced hitting errors and failure to close the block, the Bears found themselves trailing the Knights 2-11. Despite the deficit, M-A maintained composure, as junior Johnny Kerr quickly was able to side out, hitting a deep line shot, bringing the score 3-11. Smart dumps from junior Peter Chriss and sophomore Ben Warner’s powerful block, overwhelming the Knights.

Senior libero Aden Swartzberg went on a serving streak, earning the Bears enough aces to tie the score. Bested by Swartzberg’s serves, the Knights hoped to slow the Bears’ momentum with a timeout call. Long rallies then ensued, with diving saves on defense and powerful swings on offense. The Bears narrowly won the set, 29-27. Chriss commented, “I thought we did a great job coming back from a tough start, down 10 points.”

Winning the first set seemed to completely change the pace of the game for the Bears. Unlike the first set, they started the second set hot, with a huge block on the outside by Kerr. Great defense by Swartzberg and smart backrow swings by Warner drawing  the Bears closer to victory. Despite Kerr continuing to excel defensively, the Knights were able to regain their offensive groove, erasing their deficit to only 1. Aces by Swartzberg brought M-A up, 14-13, however holes in the block made room for the Knights’ offense to dominate. 

Hillsdale quickly came back, establishing their first lead  in the second set, 17-15. However, amazing defensive saves kept the Bears in the game, and an ace from Kerr brought the Bears ahead yet again. Numerous offensive and service errors by both teams kept the set tight, however, Kerr finished it off with a kill from the outside down the line. The score was 28-26.

M-A made it clear they were hungry for a clean, efficient sweep, as they began the third set swinging hard. Standout backrow attacks by Warner and a solid block put up by sophomore Milo Skhiri kept the Bears ahead the entire set. Diving saves by senior defensive specialist Zachary Gosler motivated the Bears to execute on offense. M-A defeated the Knights by lengths, the finishing score tallying up 25-19. 

After the game, Chriss said, “To be able to come back and win the first set, and then follow it up with a clean sweep was great. I’m excited for the next couple games heading into playoffs. We have a lot of talent this year and I’m stoked to see where we end the season.”

Kate is a senior at M-A. She enjoys talking to people and hopes to write stories in which she can represent multiple groups and perspectives around campus. In her free time, she likes to read, play volleyball, run track, and spend time with friends.

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