Volleyball: Matadors win in 4 on senior night, closer to CCS

Volleyball: Matadors win in 4 on senior night, closer to CCS

Dickson Tsai

With the final home league win, the boys improve their chances for CCS




Ever closer to qualifying for CCS, the team delivered an inspired performance on their senior night to avenge an earlier loss against Harker.

Senior Ben Alberts prepares to receive a serve in his final home game at MVHS. MVHS defeated the Eagles in four sets. Photo by Kevin Tsukii.The team’s final home cheer to celebrate? “Barbecue!”

The Matadors (15-10) topped the Eagles of The Harker School (16-12) in a thrilling match 25-23, 28-26, 23-25, 25-18 on the MVHS senior night celebration on April 30.

“It’s a great night for the seniors,” head coach Paul Chiu said. “Everybody got in, everybody made some plays.”

Outside hitter senior Ryan Michelfelder scored on 16 kills for the Matadors. On the other side of the court, opposite hitter senior Zachery Lamm logged 9 kills.

Many of their opportunities, however, came from the defensive end. The Matadors’ serve-receive solidified by the second set to set up good looks on offense both in the middle and outside. Meanwhile, digs by Michelfelder and libero junior Edward Wang not only kept the ball alive but electrified the crowd.

“We are a pretty scrappy defensive team now, and we’re above average serve-receiving all week,” Chiu said. “[With] that combination paired up with our hitting, we’re pretty formidable.”

Harker ended up committing quite a few mistakes as well by missing serves and easy hits.Senior Ryan Michelfelder, senior Jason Hodges, and junior Avery Hua combine together to block a hit from the middle. MVHS won against the Eagles in four sets. Photo by Kevin Tsukii. Even as the Eagles started to gain a rhythm several times during the match, their giveaways lost any of the momentum they had.

MVHS set the tone in the first set as they pulled through with the 25-23 win. The team shook off early serving errors, adding big hits at the end to keep the crowd cheering on after the set point.

Starting setter junior Jeffrey Zhang had to leave early into the second after suffering a hit to the nose. Sophomore Derrick Chiu, having been the starting setter for a few weeks, filled in without much trouble.

However, the Matadors lost the intensity late in the second set as they nearly relinquished a comfortable lead before saving the set. The team still looked lackadaisical early in the third set, but made a furious comeback at the end from 18-23 before losing the set 23-25.

While the Matadors failed to close out Harker after a 2-0 lead earlier this season, they made sure that such a collapse did not happen on senior night. With the crowd on their feet, Michelfelder delivered the last kill to seal the memorable victory.

This game was a continuation of a 2-0 week for MVHS who picked up a key win two days before at The King’s Academy, keeping their CCS hopes alive.

Parents, former players, and students fill the gym to support the team one last time this year. Photo by Kevin Tsukii. “[We faced] three pretty competitive opponents,” Chiu said. “The team is playing at a high, consistent level all week.”

Seniors Ben Alberts, George Chen, Jason Hodges, Zachery Lamm, Ryan Michelfelder, Eric Wong, and Tony Wu will be leaving the team after the current season. While the losses of the experienced playmakers may be staggering, the team expects the sophomores of a 21-1 JV team to be able to fill the void.

NOTES: Previous head coach Jason McDonald visited the team several times at home games throughout the season, including this game…Senior George Chen, rarely used, stepped in to serve for junior Avery Hua just before catching his flight to Orlando for DECA…Senior Ben Albert’s shoulder limited him to playing in two sets.

The Matadors will host a non-leage match versus the Galileo Lions on May 6 at 5:30 p.m in the Field House.