Boys’ Volleyball Keeping Heads Up After Slow Start
by PJ Morin
The Braintree High School boys’ Volleyball comes into the season with expectations through the roof. Last year, dismantled by injuries, the Wamps finished with a meager two wins. However last year there was not a single senior in the program. This year’s boys’ volleyball returns all of last year’s starters including two keys players lost last year to injury: opposite Hitter Joey Hubbard, and setter Jake O’Donnell. The starting line-up includes two fourth year varsity players (seniors Steve Leary and Steve Flanhery) two third year players (seniors,PJ Morin and Jake O’Donnell) and many other players with varsity experience including senior Joey Hubbard and junior Jeremy Yeung.
The experience of the players is not the only experience on the team. The new head coach Roberta Stannard played volleyball at the University of Michigan and is the head coach of the women’s team at Curry College. Stannard is also familiar with the program as she was the Junior Varsity coach for the Wamps last year. Stanard and the rest of the Wamps come into the season with high expectations and hopefully a tournament bid however the Wamps have not had the start to the season they hoped.
The Wamps opened their season this past Monday, March 31st at Needham High School battling the Rockets of Needham. Needham, who is a team ranked as high as number two in the state according to some polls, rolled right by the Wamps with little problems. Needham took advantage of the Wamps poor passing and was able to control the game and take the win.
The next test for the Wamps was on Wednesday April 2nd as a trip to Newton North laid ahead as they went to battle versus the Tigers of Newton North. The Wamps stepped their game up as senior Joey Hubbard led the way setting a career high with eight kills but it was not enough. The Wamps fought the whole game but shot themselves in the foot missing thirteen serves and dropping all three sets to Newton North to fall to 0-2 on the year.
Next up for the Wamps was their most recent game on Friday April 4th in their home opener versus the Natick Redhawks. Natick, another traditional powerhouse, came into Herget Gymnasium with loads of confidence. They started off hot opening up a 7-1 lead in the first set before the Wamps even woke up. Stannard called a timeout to rally her troops but it was too little too late. The Wamps were able to grab a few points back cutting the game to as much as 3 points at 17-14 but dropped the first set 25-19. Braintree hung in for the final two sets but dropped them both extending their losing streak to 3 and posting a disappointing 0-3 record. Again the story of the game was the Wamps inability to keep their serves in the field of play. The Wamps had 17 serving errors costing them not only on the scoreboard but in the momentum factor of the game as it killed almost every rally they tried to start.
Although the Wamps are a meager 0-3 it is not panic time yet. The Wamps have played three of the toughest teams they will see all year and are not worrying about the losses. When asked about the slow start senior co-captain Steve Leary responded, “I am not worried with the slow 0-3 start because we have a big front line, who’s blocking and hitting has been impeccable. I am looking forward to getting back on track.” One of the other senior co-captains Steve Flanhery also added, “All we need to do is make a few adjustments so we can get the most of our athletes and prove our elite level of competiton to our opponetns.”
The Wamps must keep their heads up as they get right back at it this week with two home games on Monday again the Flyers of Framingham and on Wednesday versus the Mustangs of Norwood.
PJ Morin is a student in Advanced Placement English Language and Composition