Boys Varsity volleyball begins strong season with win against Broncos


Ila Rees

Junior and middle Will Gustafson, dives to pass the ball, attempting to save the Broncos from gaining a point.

The AWHS boys Varsity volleyball team started off their season with an intense home game Wednesday, Feb. 16 against the Northgate High School Broncos. It was a close game, however the Falcons came out on top. The Falcons won the first two (out of five) sets before losing the third, and pulled through, just barely winning the fourth set. 

Within the first set, a match point tie of 24-24 was met with a fierce fight by AWHS to secure the first win of 26-24. The next set had a similar result, with a winning score of 27-25. The boys were hoping to continue their winning streak in the third set, but a strong front row player from Northgate caused them to quickly take control. 

This resulted in a score of 21-25 in the third set, breaking AWHS’ streak. Despite this setback, the boys secured a win in the fourth set by overturning a call that decided the AWHS match point.

Will Gustafson and Owen Johnson jump up at the net to block a hit from the Bronco’s. (Ila Rees)

In the fourth set of the game at match point, AWHS was down 21-24. With a joust (two players meeting at the net in an attempt to gain the point) at the end of the set, the ball hit the antena, a pole extension of the sidelines, going out on the Falcon’s side. Originally the referee gave Northgate the point, but senior setter Owen Johnson fought for the call to be overturned and proved the Falcons should have won the point. 

“[The referee’s] reasoning was that since the ball came out on our side then [our player] must have pushed it into the antena instead of [their player] … It was hard to tell but they only came to that decision since it came back out on our side, because [the Broncos player] was pushing it one way and came out another,” Owen said.

AWHS boys Varsity volleyball head coach, Greg Jones, recognizes the Bronco’s intimidation and is ecstatic that the Falcon’s were still able to secure a win. 

“I thought our team played really well, they played a really strong opposition and I think that they were originally a little bit intimidated when the guys started swinging away but they stuck to their game and played good defense. They did a really good job,” Jones said.

Finn Deery Divine, AWHS senior and libero returns a serve passing the ball to the setter. (Avery Josephs)

Senior leadership is one of the main strengths of the team, according to Jones. Regardless of COVID-19 taking away two seasons for the upperclassmen, the more experienced players were able to help execute the well-earned win.

“Our strengths are that we have a lot of good senior leadership and when it got a little bit rough they were able to dig down and we have a lot of players that play club so they are very experienced players,” Jones said. “It’s been interesting because the last two years have been sort of lost because of COVID so a lot of them are seniors and it’s their last hooray.”

According to Owen, the team energy was very positive, even in spite of the threat of Bronco’s heavy hitters. Also, some AWHS team members weren’t  able to come to the game, which Owen found as another setback.

“We played pretty well, we didn’t have our full team so we did great for the people that we had. To be honest, during warm-ups we saw their hitting lines and we got a little skeptical of our chances of winning but we still ended up coming out with a win,” Owen said.

With high expectations for the upcoming season, you can find the boys Varsity volleyball team playing at Novato High School on Tuesday, Mar. 1 at 5 p.m.