Volleyball: Falcons fall in semifinals

May 28, 2019 — by Oliver Ye

Boys volleyball team performs better than expected during season despite losses.

Junior middle blocker Aditya Reddy and senior opposite hitter Joshua Lee tracked the ball as the opponent setter tossed it to the outside hitter. They moved simultaneously and set up a block against Carmel’s outside hitter in the second round of CCS Division III. The ball went into the block and straight down, scoring the Falcons a crucial point.

Despite powerful plays like this one, the boys were unable to follow through with the win, losing the first two sets. They came back to tie the score by winning the next two sets but ultimately fell to Carmel in the fifth set, 15-13.

After breezing by the first round of CCS against Mt. Madonna 3-0 on May 7, the boys felt confident going into the second round against Carmel.

The 3-2 CCS semifinal loss to Carmel on May 9 marked the end of the boys volleyball season. They finished third in the De Anza league with a record of 9-7.

While the boys didn’t perform as well as they had done in past seasons, they felt that they had exceeded expectations.

Throughout the season, the team struggled with the loss of past hitters and blockers to graduation and also with adjusting to the third new coach in three years.

This year, the coach for the team was Brendan Wang, a current college sophomore and Homestead alumnus.

“We were recovering from losses from last year, but I think we put some pieces together and did really well,” sophomore outside hitter Dylan Li said.

Throughout the season, experienced players stepped in to help out and play new positions in order to fill the holes left by the graduated alumni. Seniors Derek Chiou played as an outside instead of as a libero, and Usman Khan as a middle instead of as an outside hitter. The team had the addition of two freshmen, Ethan Lin and Andy Tran. Because of a lack of numbers among the underclassmen, though, there was no JV team this year.

Next season, seniors Derek Chiou, Joshua Lee, Usman Khan and Dhruv Chakraborty will be leaving due to graduation. Looking ahead to next year, Li said that the primary focus for the team is to learn how to play together better.

“We have a lot of underclassmen on the team that are developing, and I think next year they’re going to turn into solid players,” Li said.

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