De La Salle men’s volleyball defeats DV on senior night


Jade Wang

Alexander Daveynis reaches high for the ball to tip it over the net.

Jade Wang and Sneha Cheenath

On DVHS Men’s volleyball senior night, the Wildcats fell to De La Salle on April 26, losing in three sets by scores of 25-17, 25-20 and 25-20 respectively. 

DVHS scored the first point of the game after the Spartans committed an unforced hitting error. After a steep spike by Gavin Kristic and missed serves on both sides, DVHS led De La Salle 3-1. However, the Spartans quickly caught up with a successful block and a service ace, tying the score 3-3. The teams continued head to head with spikes and blocks back-to-back, landing the score at 7-7. Dougherty pulled into the lead after a Spartan spike out of bounds and imprecise offense. At 15-11, De La Salle called a timeout. Consistent Spartan defense earned them the first point off the time out, and an out of bounds spike from the Wildcats helped them whittle down the lead to two points. At 15-15, another timeout was called.

Post time out, the Spartans regained the lead after DV bumped the ball out of bounds. The Wildcats’ messy defense helped De La Salle reach 20-16. A double block by Alexander Daveynis and Tetik sent the ball into the audience. A dramatic dive from Andrew Kimura got a sinking ball up, but the referee called a lift that gave the point to the Spartans. Finally, Dougherty retook the ball after De La Salle netted a serve. Unfortunately, uncoordinated passing led to a dropped ball on Dougherty’s side, ending the first set 25-17 in favor of the Spartans.

Ethan Tsao jumps for a serve. (Jade Wang)

The second set started with a strong kill by Tsao down and through the Spartan block. Kristic followed with a smart set-tip on the third touch. Esteban and Tetik then scored a strong double-block, bringing the Wildcats to 3-2. After back-to-back service aces and a few hitting and blocking errors by the Spartans, the score landed at 7-4. Tsao upped the Wildcats’ lead to 4 points with an explosive kill, but shaky defense tightened Dougherty’s lead to three (10-7). A net violation by the Spartans widened the Wildcats’ lead to 5-points but a double-block closed it back down to 4 at 12-8. After the ball landed in the bleachers on the second touch on 13-9, Coach Conley called a timeout. Following the timeout, De La Salle scored a kill through the double-block. Tetik scored an impressive tip, bringing the score to 14-12.

 However, a miscommunication between Kristic and Krauss led to a free point for the Spartans. De La Salle scored another point after a deep spike went untouched. After a kill through the block, the teams tied 15-15. Tsao scored a cross-court kill, breaking the tie in the Wildcats’ favor. Esteban scored a solo block immediately after, pulling the Wildcats back into the lead 18-15. Unfortunately, a double block by the Spartans’ Noah Deitrick and Andrew Pringle shut down an attempted kill by Esteban. De La Salle’s John Cheshareck scored a deep shot and a block right after, pulling the Spartans into the lead 19-18. Tsao tried to score a tip but was shut down by De La Salle’s Deitrick. However, a Spartans’ net violation turned the ball over to Dougherty 22-20. Shaky defense on both sides ended in a few points for the Spartans, bringing them to set point. On the last point, De La Salle tipped the ball off Krauss’s head and ended the set 25-20.

With two Spartans blockers at the net, Gavin Kristic jumps up for a competitive joust. (Jade Wang)

Set three began with a successful solo block by Esteban. An out-of-bounds swing by the Spartans granted Dougherty another point, but De La salle followed up with a strong kill down the middle of the back-row seams immediately after. A miscommunication on a shanked pass tied the teams 3-3. Kristic scored an untouched kill and block back-to-back, upping the score to 5-4. 

However, a controversial call on a Wildcat swing that was originally Dougherty’s point was overturned by the referee, leading to a point for the Spartans to tie the teams again 5-5. The Wildcats fell behind by a few points after shaky defense and miscommunications, but a smartly placed roll shot by Kristic brought the Wildcats back 6-8. After a Dougherty kill off the Spartans block and out, the Wildcats kept up 7-9. Defense struggled again with Nguyen and Kristic colliding, leaving Dougherty behind 11-8. Daveynis scored a kill past the Spartans block, but a Spartans tip balanced out the score. 

Another miscommunication between Daveynis, Krauss and Kristic gave the Spartans a free point 13-10. Tsao returned to score a few kills, helping the Wildcats tighten the point spread to two. An explosive spike was met with a dive from Krauss, but it flew into the audience, bringing the Spartan’s to a four-point lead. Dougherty got a point with a kill between De La Salle’s seam, but a double block by Daveynis and Tetik went over their heads and the Wildcats’ defense failed to pick it up. In an effort to end a long rally, the Spartans sent the ball out of bounds and closed the lead to three points. 

Krauss picked up the touch off a double block that went sideways and sent it over, bringing the score to 21-18, but Dougherty fell back behind as they were slow to respond to the Spartans’ powerful offense. A similarly eventful rally ended in another strong De La Salle spike that landed narrowly out of bounds, keeping them two points away from winning the set. A swing from Tsao made it past De La Salle’s defense, but Krauss’s dive fell short to pick up De La Salle’s return after it skimmed the net, bringing the Spartans to set-point. With a tip from the Wildcats failing to make it over the net, De La Salle won the set 25-20 and the game 3-0.

As the last home game of the season, this match also doubled as Dougherty’s Senior Night, at which a total of seven senior players were celebrated before the game. Noting the occasion along with absent players (Sindhunandan Udhayakumar), Tetik believes that Senior Night “put a lot of pressure on people.” 

“It didn’t feel like we were present, our heads were often somewhere else, like thinking about Senior Night rather than engaging in the game as itself,” Esteban added. 

Esteban and Tetik are both hopeful for the program’s continuation next year, commenting on the JV team’s chemistry that they hope will carry on into their Varsity season. 

“We’re hoping that there’s going to be new potential and we’re going to continue growing the volleyball program,” Esteban said.