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  • Writer's pictureTatiana Chen

Boys Volleyball EABH v. PASB: Navigating the Balance Between Intimidation and Tranquility

April 5th, 10:00PM

Unlike the past game, the Hawks were not so excited for their then upcoming match against the Pan American School of Bahia’s Panthers. Despite it allowing them to be calm and not too eager to win, the energy was low in the audience as well. The boys were fully confident in winning this game; however, what was weighing themselves down was the idea of potentially being eliminated by a team they weren't even playing against. The game following theirs would have determined EABH’s classification at nationals due to the Hawks losing their first game and being taken to a third set with Nations. If The British School of Rio de Janeiro’s Falcons lost to School of the Nations’ Cougars, EABH would immediately be pushed to third place or below. 

Despite all that, starting off on the right foot, Tiago Loures (5) and Pedro Luis (22) spiked along with Bernardo Dias (30), who saved any ball that came his way. Aidan Van Cleef (4) came in with an ace which was followed by Tiago spiking straight onto an opposing player’s foot. What awed the crowd the most in this set was Bernardo continuously spiking down and diving for the balls. At a score of 8-4, the Hawks were nearly leaving an open for the Panthers to catch up due to small mistakes. Tiago and Aidan missed the balls that came their way from poor communication and others were hitting the ball so hard that it went off court. However, Edward Mason (8), or Ted, touched the ball over the net which immediately tricked the Panthers into going back assuming it was a spike. As for João Lima (10), the star of the last game, was capable of making various aces with the crowd screaming his name once again. Arthur Mello (14) and Bernardo did not stop diving the ball once, keeping everyone on track and opening the gap more. The points were now at 14-6 with the Panthers stumbling over on each other with spikes and tip overs confusing their set up. Just as Arthur said after the previous game, the only thing messing up themselves. Ted messed up a serve that went in a linear motion straight down and Aidan and Tiago continued to miscommunicate, causing them to collide with the referee’s pole. At 14-12 the cougars managed to climb double their initial points without the Hawks moving one bit. After they increased by one more point, Coach laura called for a time out which immediately brought back the Hawks’ spark.

Aidan's serve was so intense, the air was knocked out of the opposing player’s lungs, leaving them intimidated; so much so that they began throwing the ball so high it hit the ceiling (which counts as out in volleyball). Tiago, along with Pedro Jorge (7), would run around making various dives, bringing missed receives back to the setter’s hands. After Ted spiked the ball, the score reached 20-15. To close it off, João Lima aced the ball, resulting in an immediate match point. The spotlight has truly been shining on him with the number of personalized chants and his position as co-captain.

The second match was the wittiest of them all. Despite the silence from the boys and lack of cheers amongst each other, they made deep eye contact and gave firm back pats. Pedro Jorge had been jumping high to spike, but wasn’t capable of scoring a point. The Panthers started off in the lead. When Pedro was replaced with Arthur following a failed serve, he told him to brush off the stress and to return to the court once he was ready. With two consecutive spikes by Ted, the Hawks had climbed back up and tied with the Panthers at 4, 6, and 7. Through their intimidating eyes in this match and calm composure, the Panthers were surely intimidated by the constant spikes that were wearing them out, even if they weren’t worth points. When Aidan passed the ball to Ted very poorly, the two laughed it off and continued the game in focus. After the timeout that Coach Laura called right before the tie at seven points, the Hawks had definitely made better use of their calmness and intimidation, going three full point ahead of the Panthers. Their number five player had gotten so frustrated at the sight that he slammed the ball onto the floor, echoing throughout the entire gym. 

Pedro Jorge and Aidan teamed up at the net in rotation and formed the perfect block, despite it bouncing out eventually. Soon after, Aidan had aced two times in a row spinning the ball out of control for the opposing team’s libero. Once the score reached 13-8, PASB’s coach called for a time out. which only brought them higher points after Aidan missed his serve. In silence, Tiago jumped in front of a ball flying towards the Hawks and passed it to setter Aidan who enabled Dudu’s piercing spike. As the referee called it out, the Hawks were, once again, accepting of the referee handing a point to the opposing team until the Panthers called it in, allowing the score to be corrected to benefit the Hawks. Once Coach Laura called out the lack of rhythm the team had and not enough passing to the temporary setter due to rotation, Dudu and Tiago teamed up incredibly until the end with passes and spikes that brought the Hawks to 20-15. Once the final point was made as the Panthers fumbled their play, the Hawks were now two time winner of the poor; however, this does not define EABH’s presence at nationals and in the semi-finals. That all depends on the Falcons going up against the Cougars right after.

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