Varsity boys’ volleyball team hopes to rebound in MESAC from record number of injuries

Despite+being+riddled+with+injuries+in+the+early+part+of+this+season%2C+Coach+Kevin+Sage%27s+varsity+boys%27+volleyball+team+is+ready+to+take+on+MESAC+opponents+in+Muscat.
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Varsity boys’ volleyball team hopes to rebound in MESAC from record number of injuries

Despite being riddled with injuries in the early part of this season, Coach Kevin Sage's varsity boys' volleyball team is ready to take on MESAC opponents in Muscat.

Despite being riddled with injuries in the early part of this season, Coach Kevin Sage's varsity boys' volleyball team is ready to take on MESAC opponents in Muscat.

Photographer: Omar A.

Despite being riddled with injuries in the early part of this season, Coach Kevin Sage's varsity boys' volleyball team is ready to take on MESAC opponents in Muscat.

Photographer: Omar A.

Photographer: Omar A.

Despite being riddled with injuries in the early part of this season, Coach Kevin Sage's varsity boys' volleyball team is ready to take on MESAC opponents in Muscat.

Victoria C., Reporter

The varsity boys volleyball team endured a lot this season, attaining what must be the school’s record of injuries.

The boys also struggled against regular-season opponents, losing 14 of 15 matches in the Filipino league and 0-2 to Qatar Academy in a friendly match.

Nevertheless, in every game, the sound of drums and supportive cheers from fans reassured players and elevated team spirit. 

The players worked extremely hard to adapt to new positions and produce effective practice drills, as there was an almost-constant lack of healthy players. Coach Kevin Sage laughed when explaining the team’s situation: “For five weeks we didn’t have full a team. They’re 17-year-old boys in a 70-year-old body!”

Not having sufficient numbers may have worked as an advantage in some respects, however; Dragon players became more flexible with positions and received more game time which contributed to their game knowledge.  

Captain of the varsity boys’ team, C. Daniel (‘20), took on the setter position where he had previously played primarily opposite-side hitter.

Coach Sage commented on his transition: “Setter is the most important role of the team and he stepped up. His level of understanding of the game has improved because of this. I think he has a very natural setting style which isn’t something you can coach.” 

The team’s only libero, L. Younes (‘20), was seriously injured during a league match when he tripped over A. Koranis (‘21), chasing a stray ball. Younes obtained a grade 2 ankle sprain, which prevented him from playing his sport for four weeks.

Commenting on the injury, Daniel said, “When he got injured, it made me worry about how people would perform without a passer and how well we could play. When he recovered, we won our first match in the league — which sums the whole thing up.”

Coach Sage also remarked on Younes’ abilities. “He’s is always giving 130%,” Sage said. The guys feel confident with him out there. He’s pretty intense, always going for those stray balls.”

C. Rosenberger (‘20) took initiative and played in the libero position for some matches. And while Coach Sage appreciated Rosenberger’s efforts, he believes the player has other stronger skills. “He coordinates the guys,” the coach said. “He controls the play of the court and is one of our most important players. He is a good leader both on and off the court.”

Daniel also hurt his shoulder and missed a week of practice, which affected the overall rhythm and morale of the team.

Hitter A. Koranis (‘21) damaged his thumb, forcing him to sit out for two matches but he was keen to play despite the injury. Teammate G. Cattan (‘20) noted Koranis’ eagerness to get back on the floor. “His thumb was messed up and he kept calling his mom one game begging to let him play,” Cattan said. “It was pretty funny.”

For their efforts and quality of play, middle blockers, Cattan and C. Brewer (‘20) received positive recognition from Coach Sage. “Our middle players have done extremely well,” the coach remarked. “The chemistry and timing between them and our captain is good, and timing for a middle player is crucial. Brewer has improved tremendously from last year. It was nice to watch.” 

Despite experiencing losses on the court, primarily against top men’s teams, the boys’ varsity volleyball team has been committed and persistent throughout the season. All boys injured or ill, refused to miss any practices or games, providing the team with all the support needed.

They hope now that their Dragon Spirit carries them into the post-season, when they travel to Oman to play against international school players of their own age. Coach Sage said he is proud and excited for what the team has to offer in the MESAC tournament.

“They’re a fun and goofy group of guys with good skills. I think we are all looking forward to MESAC,” he said.