Boys volleyball championship quest cut short

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After finishing third in the Queens Division II, the Townsend Harris Boys Volleyball team ended their season with a second round playoff defeat to Grover Cleveland.

On May 7, the team fought hard in their first playoff game of the postseason with hopes of advancing. In two close sets, Grover Cleveland swept the Hawks with the final scores of 25-21 and 25-22 ending the Hawks season.

Off to a weak start in the first set, the Hawks struggled to maintain a strong offensive unit. On the verge of complete defeat, senior Oleksandr Boychuk started a late rally with seven consecutive serves that brought the team back into the game.  Despite the late rally, the team lost the first set.

Going into the second set, Harris regrouped and fought back hard. Each point Grover Cleveland made was matched by another from the Hawks. Unfortunately the offense struggled with major hitters Terell Drayton, who was recovering from illness, and Michael Jazgarski recording only a total of 6 kills combined. Notably sophomore Caleb Hong stepped up totalling 7 kills and 2 service points. Defensively the team responded strongly recording 16 digs and 3 blocks.

“I could have done a better job blocking and attacking,” said Junior Michael Jazgarski when asked about his personal performance after the game. Nathaniel Cheng agreed citing that the team had blocked poorly which allowed Grover Cleveland to capitalize.

Considering that many of the players were rookies and inexperienced, Coach Lauren Caiaccia expressed her pride in the team’s 8-4 record, saying that their performance throughout the season was outstanding.

Members of the team agreed that their season was a great one.  Junior Nathaniel Cheng described the season as “humbling” saying that “It is humbling to have seniors listen to you and run plays as you direct.”

Meanwhile, Junior Michael Jazgarski called the season “amazing,” contending that his teammates were the best a guy could ever have.

As Captain Oleksandr Boychuk puts it “the season as a whole was a major success. We have many new rookies who will step up and fill important roles next year. We have returners who have improved drastically. We have a great coach who will continue to make key adjustments and help everyone improve. Sure we have some seniors leaving, but as a family we have never been stronger.”