Fight to the finish as boys varsity volleyball defeats Covenant Life


Sophomore Boaz Dauber scrambles to get the ball over the net and keep the point going. Photo By Gigi Gordon

Gigi Gordon, Sports Editor

From the moment they stepped on the court, it was a fierce battle for the boys varsity volleyball team. With every bump, set and spike, the Lions battled against Covenant Life for the win. The battle resulted in a scarce triumph as the Lions took home the win in the fifth set.

The Lions started the game at a disadvantage as junior and captain Itai Topolosky could not play due to an injury. This was a big loss for the Lions as Topolosky had played a major role in some of their previous wins.

Despite this setback, the Lions were ready for the difficult game that was ahead of them.

“We had just been through a fifth game against Spencerville, won that one 15-13 in the fifth. These guys were ready, they were prepared to play this last game,” Head Coach Scott Wertlieb said.

When it came time for the game to start, the Lions appeared nervous. They missed a few serves and were hitting the ball out a fair amount. Despite this, it was a close set with the score tied at 21-21. The Lions were able to pull out the win 25-22 with good serves by junior Todd Lazoff and blocks by sophomore Boaz Dauber.

At the start of the second set, it looked like there was a whole new team on the court with a new mentality. The Lions began to play more cohesively and were able to quickly win the set 25-13.

Everything was looking good for the Lions heading into the third set. They had just won the first two and were on a roll looking unstoppable. However, Covenant Life responded and did not make this an easy set. The teams were going back and forth with the ball often going over the net ten times during a point.

The Lions did not gain a lead until later in the set when they went up 14-13. This lead was not strong enough as they quickly missed a few serves and handed the lead right back to Covenant Life where it stayed. They eventually lost the set 25-17 despite the solid effort.

“We played well in the first couple parts of the game but then we started playing horribly,” sophomore Joseph Vaisman said.

The fourth set was a similar story for the Lions as they lost all of their momentum. Covenant Life, spike after spike, ace after ace, easily won the set 25-15.

“The guys got down on themselves, and we couldn’t return their serves. When you can’t return a serve and you can’t pass the ball, you are not going to score,” Wertlieb said.

With the score tied at 2-2, it was time for the game to go to the tiebreaker set, which is first to 15 points wins. This was a true nail-biter as the teams were going point for point, staying tied at 6-6. Strong spikes by Vaisman are what helped the Lions clinch the final set with a score of 15-8.

“In the last set, we got it back and it was a real sense of team unity,” Vaisman said.

This win makes the Lions 11-0 for the season, with only a few games left to play. Wertlieb said that although they made mistakes, this game was extremely important for the team. It is good practice for the playoffs, and it will teach the team that they need to stay in the right headspace throughout an entire game.

“I am just proud of them, they came back in the fifth game when they were down on themselves after game four, so just great adversity and experience,” Wertlieb said