Hawks Volleyball: Unpleasant Surprise
Certainly not what EABH was expecting, the EABH Hawks lost to the Wolves of Sant’Anna contrasting a series of victories throughout this athletic season. The Hawks were originally meant to play the team that placed second in the Big8 competition, the Graded Eagles, however, due to last-minute changes due to their expulsion from the competition, Sant’Anna was bumped up to the Final Four. The Hawks had to leave their studies of the team behind and scurry to prepare to face a new team. Despite the low expectations the team had for the Wolves since they didn’t qualify for the Final Four through winning, they didn’t let arrogance take over, but instead other interferences.
The game took place around 3:00 pm and the sun was nearly at dusk due to the winter season approaching and an early setting sun. Lucas Chen (12) missed the first serve by stepping on the line, which was quickly brushed off as the game continued. Arthur Mello (14) was determined to save a ball the team nearly missed after a long season of being the strongest libero EABH has had, but involuntarily missed and worryingly, hit the floor injuring his hands and arms. He was swift to recover as the rest of the team helped him up and the bleachers cheered him on. These interruptions were bothersome but were of little significance to the game as a whole as the first five points of the game were being made from failed or successful sets and no fully played out plays or mistakes. Lifting spirits, João Vitor Quintão (12) and Edward Mason (2) blocked a spike that instantly fell to the Wolves’ side. Momentum was building as Tiago Loures (5) tipped the ball over the net and Lucas Chen (12) passed Aidan Van Cleef (4) the ball to make a slow spike. Aidan Van Cleef (4) soon after made an ace which left the entire bleachers chanting his name. After that point, plays were beginning to drag and team captain, Lucas Chen (12), wanted to go after the ball, until Eduardo Calixto (6) clashed to do the same, causing a scare before the ball properly went towards a teammate who set it. Although the team captain is new to setting, he sent a beautiful ball to Edward Mason (2) who spiked the ball countless times before they lost 21- 13.
In the second set, the boys were calm knowing there was a chance at tying the sets. The plays were dynamic and EABH made various trick plays against Sant’Anna stressing them out. Being the best play in the entire game, the team’s outside hitter, Aidan Van Cleef (4), set the team’s new setter, Lucas Chen (12), reversing their roles and making a beautiful point for the Hawks. Initially, the Hawks were losing by double the points, but the numerous spikes and blocks by Edward Mason (2) and Lincoln Pfile (3) had them catching up. Spirits weren’t low despite them falling back again. The bench was cheering for every point and the bleachers were chanting names. The set ended with 21 - 10 which increased the tension for the Hawks since Sant’Anna was one set away from winning the game entirely.
Tension and low spirits were low as the boys knew they were at disadvantage for the rest of the game. A blinding glare was worsening as the sun started to set. Just as the game started picking up for the Hawks with them in the lead, the Wolves quickly caught up and continuously tied at 5, 6, 7 then 8. Tiago Loures (5) made a dramatic dive wowing the entire crowd followed by another save by Aidan Van Cleef (4) which resulted in him falling backwards. There was a quick save by soccer coach, Coach Sandro, providing medication for the students who were hurt after the desperate saves. After tying the game at 14, the boys felt pressure to flip the game and get to redeem themselves. Eduardo Calixto (6) made a spike straight into the floor after João Quintão (10) saved the ball with his foot in the last second. The crowd continued to cheer for the Hawks competing over the louder chant with Sant'Anna supporters. Enthusiastically, the crowd cursed out the referees for counting a ball the Lancers spiked out, as in. Disadvantage after disadvantage, the game left all the Hawks disappointed in the campus and the management. The crowd continued to chant the names of each player for the Hawks until Sant’Anna made their match point with EABH being a mere 3 points behind.
Tears of anger and shattering expectations were shed when the boys were defeated by the numerous obstacles they were forced to accommodate. The unexpected “qualification” of Sant’Anna with the environmental disadvantages truly got the best of boys. On the way back to the hotel to rest, the entire bus was singing a chant encouraging a victory in third place.