Boys Volleyball lose tight match against Northwood

Sophmore Paya Vatanshenas, junior Nick Liu, senior Christian Beltran, and senior Alhasan Hussein make a close save in the second set. (T. Bartaseh)

Staff Writer
Boys Varsity Volleyball lost to Northwood with a score of 1-3 on Tuesday, April 16. Northwood is not an easy opponent, as they are currently second in PCL with a 4-2 record in league; Northwood was ranked fourth in PCL last season. The Trojans are currently ranked fifth in PCL with a 2-5 record in league, while last season they were ranked third.
The Trojans began the match losing the first three points of the set. Seniors Christian Beltran and Noah Pannek were major blockers during the first set, and junior Nick Liu scored five points during the first set. However, the Trojans fell short, losing the first set with a very close score of 28-30.
In the second set, the Trojans entered the court more confident and blazed to a 5-2 start. Seniors Beltran, Aiden Wolf-Nielsen, and outside hitter Gene Park had many strong blocks that helped the team widen the margin. Wolf-Nielsen had three major blocks that aided their score, yet UHS lost to a close score of 23-25.
The Trojans won a contested third set, 25-23. Park quickly scored two points one minute into the set followed by senior Alhasan Hussein’s strong hit. This was another close set for the Trojans, but this time they came on top. At 23-23, Park scored two consecutive points that sealed the set.
Numerous unforced errors from Northwood helped the Trojans to take the set.
UHS entered the fourth set with momentum, gaining a 6-5 lead. The set was a back-and-forth affair, as the score became tied at 15-15. However, the Trojans began to falter, behind several serves hitting the net. UHS lost the last set by a tight margin, 23-25.
Hussein, Liu, and Wolf-Nielsen were the stars of the game. Hussein and Liu had many strong hits that helped the Trojans score. At 6’10”, Wolf-Nielsen had numerous blocks during the game.
“Our team has much to work on since we want to compete, and while the change of the coaching was not ideal, I would not in the slightest say our season has been derailed by it at all. If we wish to compete for CIF we will have to perform at every game, and lackluster games should no longer define our season,” senior Wolf- Nielsen said.
The team had a sudden change of coaches this year. Physics and Chemistry teacher Mr. Ian Perry stepped in as the head coach of the Boys Volleyball team. Perry was a college swimmer, but played many sports in high school, including volleyball. This is his first year as a coach.