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The student news site of Westford Academy

WA Ghostwriter

The student news site of Westford Academy

WA Ghostwriter

WA Boys’ Volleyball falls short to rival AB in a 3-2 match

Victoria Farley
WA Boys’ Volleyball huddle up in between sets.

WA Boys’ Volleyball fell short to Acton-Boxborough (AB) in an intense 5 set game on Friday, April 6.

In the opening rallies of the game, it was inevitable that it was going to be evenly matched between the Ghosts and AB. The first point of the game went to AB, but both teams exchanged three points a piece through serves and blocks, keeping the score tight. 

AB went on a five point scoring streak leading WA 8-3, but senior captain Ryan Sun was able to break their scoring streak by getting a kill. 

The largest obstacle for the Ghosts was receiving AB’s strong swings from their front row hitters. However, after a block by senior Tristan Caldwell, followed by an ace, WA was able to crawl their way back into the game.

Sun had two consecutive kills midway through the first set, tightening the teams’ point differential to only 3. A few possessions later, AB sent a serve over the net which senior Dillon Power passed to sophomore Aditya Anand who set to Caldwell, finishing the rally and sending the ball right down to AB’s half of the court. 

WA continued to win the next two points, now only narrowly losing 18-17. The switch in momentum forced the first timeout of the game to be called by AB’s coach. 

However, after the timeout, AB quickly scored the next six points due to their strong serves and a few net violations by WA resulting in the score being 24-17. The final possession of the first set ended with a kill by AB, securing their first set victory with a score of 25-18. 

As the second set was underway, much like the first, WA and AB went back and forth scoring every other point. AB scored a few rallies in a row, leading WA by two points, but a key kill followed by a block from Power tied the score to six points a piece. 

A series of blocks by Anand and senior Jack Dealy increased WA’s score and allowed them to take their first lead of the game. An additional kill by Power increased WA’s lead to 10-7.

The Ghosts were unable to hold onto their lead and called a timeout to reconvene after AB scored three consecutive points all off of serves, tying the game 14-14. 

Following the timeout called by WA’s head coach, Brandon Eang, the Ghosts’ score increased to 19-16. Caldwell then proceeded to win three points in a row due to his consistent serves, bringing the score to 21-17. 

An AB kill was then able to tighten the score, but a block by WA won the Ghosts the final point of the second set, ending in a score of 25-21.

WA dominated in the third set, taking complete control of the game. Sophomore libero Pranav Katragadda made consistent passes in the back row, and junior Rithvik Senthilraja, Power, and Sun had powerful swings which earned points for the Ghosts. Their success allowed them to have a comfortable lead of about five points throughout the set. 

Senthilraja went on a spree of strong serves, two of which were aces. The points earned by his serves allowed for WA to pull away from AB and win the third set by 11, 25-14. 

In the fourth set, the tides turned and AB outscored WA 25-11. AB took a 13 point lead over the Ghosts through several blocks and kills. In hopes of bringing life back into the game, Caldwell and Power both had kills, but the differential was still twelve points. The fourth set concluded with AB serving an ace, the score being 25-11, with both teams having won two sets a piece. 

The tiebreaking fifth set began with both teams fighting hard. Sophomore Tanush Tamula made a crucial block keeping the score tight. Although, AB went on a run leading WA 6-2, which forced Eang to call a timeout. 

AB scored a few more points, but the Ghosts crawled back, closing the gap to 9-8. Another spike by Sun and a block by Anand kept AB’s lead to only one point. 

In the following rallies, AB won points and led the set 13-9. The Ghosts were unable to come back from AB’s lead and lost 15-11 in the fifth set. 

Despite the tough loss for the Ghosts, they did improve from their other games this season. They were able to modify their playing and compete well against AB. 

“Our team played amazingly, adjusting to their middle who got most of their kills,” Sun said. “However, we made a lot of tiny mistakes and lost confidence too easily.”

In the future, the team hopes to keep their heads up in spite of being down, and work on their communication on the court.

“We have so much potential going set for set with great teams but end up losing because we don’t focus, communicate, and hustle,” Sun said. 

The Ghosts’ biggest goal for the rest of their season is to play better as a team, and hopefully make it to the State Tournament. 

“Our main goal is to make it to states as last year we didn’t,” Sun said. “We are also trying to bring up chemistry within the team. […] We just have to remember to focus and keep our heads up.” 

WA Boys’ Volleyball will compete in their next game on Tuesday, April 9 against Wayland at 4:00 p.m. at Wayland High School. 

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About the Contributor
Victoria Farley
Victoria Farley, Sports Editor
Hi! My name is Victoria Farley and I am a sophomore here at Westford Academy. This is my second year as a Ghostwriter and I am looking forward to this year as one of the Sports Editors. I enjoy writing and communicating with others, which is why being a Ghostwriter is perfect for me. In my free time I enjoy spending time with my friends and family, and playing basketball.

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