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WA Ghostwriter

The student news site of Westford Academy

WA Ghostwriter

The student news site of Westford Academy

WA Ghostwriter

WA slams Billerica in 3-0 victory

Srivas Arun
Senior captain Dillon Power jumps to spike the ball.

The team chemistry of Westford Academy Boys’ Volleyball was on full display as they dominated Billerica Memorial High School (BMHS) in a 3-0 home match on Monday, April 29, increasing their season record to 3-6.

WA’s win against Billerica Memorial continues their winning streak and their improvement since the opening games of the season. In previous matches, the Ghosts struggled to work together to block, set, and volley consistently. However, on Monday, the team of new sophomores and juniors and veteran seniors worked like a singular machine to maintain extended rallies and keep the ball in play.

I feel like we did good with communicating and having each other’s backs, especially when it was a close call,” senior Jack Dealy said.

The Ghosts came out of the gate swinging, with senior captains Dillon Power and Ryan Sun working together to rack up three points within the first few minutes. Billerica Memorial was able to tie the score 4-4 through a series of hits to gaps on WA’s half of the court. WA’s continued synergy allowed for a spike from Power which pulled the Ghosts to the lead once again.

A wall was then placed in front of Billerica’s attempts to score due to senior Tristan Caldwell whose repeated blocks increased WA’s lead to 14-7.

WA and BMHS shake hands before their game. (Srivas Arun)

With the score at 15-8, WA went on an aggressive 10 point run. Dealy began their dominant display with a fake-out and set to Power who swiftly spiked it for the point. The Ghosts’ defense remained strong as they blocked and set the ball, staying close to the net and forcing multiple BMHS outs. Sophomore Pranav Katragadda was also a key part of WA’s defense, keeping the ball from reaching the ground with several dives and low hits. 

By the end of the first set, WA had only managed to let one point slip through, but they had still secured victory by a wide margin with a score of 25-9 as they headed into the second set.

Billerica started the second set aggressively, immediately executing a spike and earning the first point. WA was quick to follow up with sophomore Aditya Anand and senior Noah Brown working together to set the ball for Power who was able to spike it and tie up the score.

Refusing to allow a similar first set, BMHS regained a lead as their risky hits to the back and edges began to pay off. WA prevented them from growing their lead by more than three points, but they were unsuccessful in claiming the lead as the score increased to 8-5.

Brown and Sun both prevented BMHS from racking up too many points with spikes in reaction to high sets from Billerica.

Power and Katragadda helped tie the teams to a score of 15-15, while team chemistry prevented Billerica from gaining a large lead. A block and tip over the net from Dealy and Brown and a spike from Caldwell shifted the tides and allowed WA the opportunity to get ahead.

A spike from Brown and a serve from Caldwell brought WA to a lead of 21-15. Although Billerica was able to gain one more point, a series of hard volleys from WA granted them the hard earned victory, ending the second set with a score of 25-16.

WA cheers on their teammates from the sidelines. (Srivas Arun)

The third set began much like the second set with both teams vying for the upperhand. However, with continuous blocks and powerful serves, WA managed to establish a lead of 6-2. This small lead carried the Ghosts’ morale as Sun returned a high volley with a tap directly onto a nearby empty spot on the opposing court. Along with a strong bump from Katragada and a few failed serves from BMHS, WA increased the gap with a score of 12-7. The Ghosts were easily able to sustain long rallies across the whole court but struggled when returning shots close to the net as the set progressed. 

As the middle of the third set progressed, WA’s kept up with their high energy plays. Despite a few misdirected hits, WA was able to consistently pass and return shots. Dealy executed a dive, just barely keeping the ball in play and was quickly aided by teammates to score. Junior Omar Merhi was also able to send over a powerful spike which pushed through the hands of BMHS defenders, advancing the score to 18-14.

Sophomores Ganajit Bhat and Niklas Ang helped to carry the team through the end of the game with Bhat making multiple high powered spikes and Ang saving the ball at the last minute with several low bumps, bringing the score to 24-18.

Anand performed one final serve to bring the third set to a close and secure the win for WA.

“Making sure that you’re joking around and keeping the humor up helps your energy to stay up and you want to play even if you’re losing,” Anand said. “It’s kind of the team spirit and how well the team is playing, when the team [isn’t performing well] the morale goes down, so I think we did a good job cheering each point.”

Going forward, although WA’s quick passing in tense moments prevented BMHS from gaining multiple points, head coach Brandon Eang hopes that the team can be more consistent in their rallies.

“I hope the team can be a little bit more consistent with their passing and setting the ball,” Eang said. “We also could be a little more competitive and […] practice more aggressive serving.”

Overall, WA’s improvement was undeniable on the court and their morale was consistently high throughout the game.

“I hope that we can continue on the path that we’re on because we started with a bit of a loss streak,” Dealy said. “Now that we are starting to win a lot more games, I hope we can use this confidence that we’re getting from all of our wins to continue to get better.”

WA will play their next game at home against Lincoln-Sudbury on Friday, May 3 at 5:30 pm.

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About the Contributor
Srivas Arun
Srivas Arun, News Editor
Hello! My name is Srivas Arun and I am currently a sophomore  and a co-news editor for the Ghostwriter. You can find me on the cross country and track teams year round. I am interested in spreading information to the student body about WA and its community.

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