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The Student News Site of Pace High School

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Boys’ Volleyball Team Ends Strong in the 2023-24 Season

photo Ally Dolores
Joseph Landy, Omar Martinez, and Noin Lidzhiev on ready for serve, receive.

The boys’ volleyball team ended their season with a loss in the second round of the PSAL playoffs.

The Setters won their first playoff game against Percy E Sutton Educational Campus on May 14.

After the heightening 2022-23 season, ending in the all-city quarter-finals, the Setters planned on working twice as hard to win and make it to the championships this season, and their efforts showed on the court.

The team helped each other in their blocks and cheered each other on, even when they made mistakes.

Co-captian, Omar Martinez stated that he tried to keep the team afloat and ultimately steer the team towards the PSAL championships by, “showing up everyday” and “making up for all the slack that other people do.”

The team ended their regular season with a 6-3 league record.

Tiago Neves, a senior who played as the team’s setter, shared his opinion on the team’s performance and how extra practice benefited the team.

The Setters had strengths and weaknesses that were prominent throughout the season. He believed that the team displayed skill in hitting. The athletic ability of the team overall demonstrated solidity. However, there was a series of issues in the team’s blocking and plays on serve, receive.

“The season was a disappointment. In its entirety. How weak we were in the beginning of the season just set us back so much and we were so unlucky to see the first seed in the second round I think we started off on an extremely weak start. We had a very strong end to the season,” said Neves.

The Setters lost against the ​​High School of Telecommunication Arts and Technology but displayed excellent sportsmanship towards the winning team, congratulating their championship win and overall skill as a team.

Coach O’Sullivan said, “I thought the lineup was pretty strong, I thought that [the team] really developed their positions pretty well this season, and they ended up playing well.”

“We had a tough loss at the end, but the team that they lost to in [the] playoffs was very well rounded and very good. The highlights were definitely making the playoffs and winning a round.”

The boys played in many open gyms before throughout the season. However, only a small portion of the team were club participants throughout the city.

Joseph Landy and Tiago Neves discussing plays during their game against Murry Bergtrum. (Ally Dolores)

“Everybody was invited to almost every open gym. If they went to open gyms it would have really elevated their game. It’s either they didn’t take it seriously until [it was] too late or didn’t take it seriously at all,” said Neves.

“We’re graduating a lot of seniors so it’s gonna put us into a little bit of a “rebuilding” kind of year. So, I think next year we need to develop some younger kids,” said Coach O’Sullivan.

Carmello Hitt was a new addition to this year’s team. He was very eager to join the team. “I’m very excited,” he said, “it opens up many opportunities for me to become a very strong athlete in the future.”

As the boys have worked hard, their improvement has been demonstrated in their statistics for the 2023-24 season.

Tiago Neves ranked second in assists and service points in Division A – Manhattan II.

Leslie “Earl” Ormsby and Tiago Neves blocking. (Ally Dolores)

Leslie “Earl” Ormsby ranked second in kills. Joseph Landy ranked sixth in digs, placing seventh best in service points, and ninth in aces.

Omar Martinez ranked eighth in kills. Noin Lidzhiev ranked 20th in kills and Erdem Gomboev ranked eighth in service points.

After the end of the season, many of the players reflected on their time such as freshman, Gerardo (Drew) Servin, a starter.

Gerardo (Drew) Servin on offense against Percy E Sutton Educational Campus.

One of his highlights is “being a freshman and a starter on a varsity team … there’s a lot of pressure on you so it gives you a lot of chances to either crack, or be the person that helps build the team and continue the winning streak. I think we’re gonna win some games and possibly see us in the playoffs next year.”

Those who are returning on the team next year try to maintain a positive mindset after losing essential members of their team.

“[For] the team to make playoffs this year. I feel like all the teams in our division have gotten a lot better and a lot stronger over the past season. A lot more players are playing around the city and it’s really nice to see the growth of the game, [also] I think getting wins is going to be a little bit tougher,” said O’Sullivan.

Although next season is a blur for the Setters, Tiago Neves has one piece of advice to those who desire improvement: “A lot of the learning in volleyball is done by watching film, and not of yourself but people better than you.”

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About the Contributors
Alyssa Quiles
Alyssa Quiles, Reporter
Alyssa Quiles is a freshman who is a hard worker. She enjoys hanging with her friends and playing badminton in her free time.
Ally Dolores, Editor-In-Chief
Ally Dolores, a sophomore, is the Editor-In-Chief of Pacer NYC. She is known for taking initiative in situations where she is needed. Ally has learned to motivate others and herself for a productive and healthy environment!

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