Arman Zadeh, sports editor
The boys volleyball team was four points away from advancing to the third round of CIF playoffs for the first time in over 15 years, and in its first year under new head coach Daryl Adams. The team lost to Heritage Christian High School, 3-2, on May 15, making a second round playoff exit for the second year in a row.
Trailing after three sets, 2-1, the Normans nearly completed a comeback by taking two sets in a row, but dropped the final set 10-14 after a six point Heritage Christian run. According to libero Ethan Lew, Beverly could not match the momentum Heritage Christian carried into the final set after nearly losing a 6 point lead in the fourth set.
“I dont think we fell apart. Heritage Christian gained a huge amount of momentum and managed to simply outplay us in those final points,” Lew said.
After the ball’s final bounce, team member’s exhibited mixed emotions. Some players were reserved, others, like Lew were more immediately affected by their elimination.
“I was the first one to pull my jersey over my face and cry. I felt that I was responsible for some of the last points of the game and that I had failed my team,” Lew said. “I managed to regain composure only because my supportive teammates consoled me and that I knew that it was not the end of the world.”
Support also came from Coach Adams who told the team it was a “hard fought game” and that they should keep their heads up. Adams reminded players that the relatively young team surpassed everyone’s expectations by reaching the second round and finishing second in league.
Prior to its loss to Heritage Christian, the team beat Temple City three sets to one in the first round of playoffs.
The team will have a relatively easy transition into next season since only four current members will be graduating. Seniors Ronan Massana, Lucas Wohl, Amir Movassaghi and Ethan Lew will not return next season, but junior Matthew Sater is confident the team can maintain the close relationship they developed this year.
“We have three returning starters and a star in the making in outside hitter Brian Masjedian,” Sater said. “Our team finally came together as a family in the final weeks and we will be taking that spirit into our next season.”