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Sports Spotlight: Jeff Ackerstein and Josh Einhorn

By Denebola
Published: March 2008

By Andrew Klegman and Amrita Rao

Senior boys’ volleyball captains Jeff Ackerstein and Josh Einhorn are looking forward to a successful season and are hoping to accomplish some of their major goals.
Last season, the team made it to the state tournament, their longtime goal. In the first round, the ninth-seeded boys’ team beat eighth-seed Taunton, but came up short in their next match against top-seeded New Bedford.
Hoping to reach the tournament for a second consecutive year, captains Ackerstein and Einhorn are hoping to obtain a higher seed for their team. They want to continue further in the state tournament, building off of success from previous years.
“We have a great shot at making the state tournament, the only question is how far we’ll go into it, junior teammate Nadav Swarttz said.
The team will consist of seven seniors, as compared to last year’s four. This large group of older players, including four returning Dual County League All-Stars, should provide for stronger leadership and a high-quality understanding of the team’s serious work ethic.
In addition, the team recently obtained a new player, junior Patrick Tom, who transferred from Newton North. Recently named Globe All Scholastic along with fellow junior Jamison Chue, he will provide vital help this coming season.
“I think the team will do great this year, Swarttz said.
“They are so dedicated to the team, have great work ethic, and complement each other really well. They really represent what it means to be a NSHS volleyball player, senior Varun Ramudurai said of the captains.
During the off-season, some of the players from the team got together to play in a fall volleyball league sponsored by Beantown Volleyball. The league held games at Newton South on Sunday mornings in September, October, and November. 24 teams took part in the league, and South faced off against tough squads from schools like Lincoln-Sudbury, Brookline, and Westford Academy.
“In my past years at South, I have had limited chances to play with my school teammates outside of the regular season. With this fall program being so accessible, Einhorn said. “I believe that our team has gained a great sense of confidence and experience playing against some of the top teams in the state. Every single touch on the volleyball counts as you get closer and closer to the regular season, and this opportunity was certainly time well spent.
Ackerstein believes the team’s friendships will help them on the court.
“Our team likes to have a lot of fun so we do well on and off the court, he said. “We have good chemistry together but we also play serious. The team has a strong bond, and members seem to play off each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
Ackerstein and Einhorn truly serve as role models for their teammates. “Both of them can get a message across to other people, so they’ll be able to lead us and hopefully that will make us a better team, Swarttz said.
Ramadurai agreed. “They give great advice, he said.
Coached by wellness teacher Todd Elwell, the team has seen many great improvements. The current seniors have had him as a coach for all their years, and they are confident in his coaching abilities.
The senior captains, along with the whole team, would like South students to come out and show their support at games. “I hope we do well enough to get a home game or two, and if we do everyone should come, Swarttz said.

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