Volleyball’s new cast set up for another tournament bid

By Jonah Seifer
Published: March 2010

Coming off of an impressive finish in 2009, the Boys’ Varsity Volleyball team is preparing to surpass their previous accomplishments in their 2010 season.

The team went 17-3 during last year’s regular season, losing to Lincoln-Sudbury twice and Andover once.

When the line referee made a controversial call in the championship game against Lincoln-Sudbury in the state semi-final, the hopes and aspirations of the team were crushed. According to senior and captain Josh Podrid, had the call been favored toward South, the team would most likely have been champions.

Every year all high school teams feel the disappointment of losing the graduated players.

There is a universal agreement among Podrid and captains and Nick Kozlov and Ethan Landzberg, that the loss of integral pieces of the 2009 squad will not be detrimental to the team’s performance this year. Among these alumni were Dual County League All-Stars and two Global All-Scholastic volleyball players.

These accomplishments are impressive, to say the least, but even more impressive is the team’s sureness that these positions will be filled with players of equal talent.

According to Podrid and Kozlov, the team will be able to fill its most pressing need–a setter. They believe that three-year veterans senior Eugene Kirimov and junior Bryan Cheng are prepared to match last year’s production.

“We have three very good outside hitters: Landzberg, Kozlov, and junior Josh Horenstein, Podrid said.

Much talent still remains. Among this talent is junior Jeff Hodin, whose skills will help him match the production of graduate Jamison Chue.

“[Hodin] probably had one of the best passer ratings in the state last year, Podrid said.

These new players have blended seamlessly with the athletes who are returning for another year at the varsity level.

“We’re returning a great chunk of last year’s team and are getting more comfortable playing with each other. Kozlov said. This is always good news as many high school teams are consistently scrambled annually when seniors go off to college.

“There is certainty a core group of about eight players that are game ready, Coach Todd Elwell said.

The team propelled itself to be regarded among the best in the league after advancing far into the playoffs in 2009. This year, the Volleyball team hopes to continue its winning ways with a more experienced group.

“Last year we had a lot of talent and athleticism, but we were very raw, Kozlov said.

Kozlov also noted that developing deeper and more tightly knit team chemistry will progress the team’s ability significantly. The team is growing more and more comfortable with each other as the season approaches.

“[The squad has] seen the best teams in the state play and there’s no reason why we can’t compete with them, he said.

With this experience comes confidence, as the team now knows what it takes to be successful.

“We have serious potential this year; there are no teams on our schedule that we are nervous about facing, Hornenstein said.

Another void on the roster is at the outside hitter position. Ideally in order to remain versatile, volleyball teams require at least one left-handed outside hitter. Nadav Schwartz, a lefty, led the team in kills last year, but departed last June with the Class of 2009.

The Lions will have to play without a strong lefty presence outside and rely on a platoon of righties to make up for the kills Nadav produced.

The Volleyball team will put its new lineup to the test in two tournaments before the playoffs begin. These contests will help Coach Todd Elwell gain a sense of the team’s potential.

The team will also have an opportunity to showcase its talent against defending State Champion Lincoln-Sudbury high school.

“We want to be confident but not cocky. [We need to] play some high level of volleyball early to get that, Elwell said. “We are definitely in the top ten of the state [right now]. If we work hard, [we can rank] fourth or third.

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