Boys volleyball serves it up


Diego Lara

The boys volleyball team huddles up, celebrating the end of a successful season together. Photo by Diego Lara.

Hunter Fuehrer, Sports Editor

After starting the season with a strong performance, winning both preseason matches in 2-set sweeps, the Boys Varsity Volleyball team started off hot at the beginning of the season. 

The season opener against Oviedo’s home town rivals, the Hagerty Huskies, lived up to the hype in the 5-set thriller. The Lions held Hagerty to a mere 0.095 hitting percentage as the Huskies had 35 hitting errors and 25 defensive errors which the Lions forced. 

“Our team was really on point that night,” Senior Captain, Jackson Owen, said. “Every Hagerty game is always a tough match and I think it was a great way to open the season.”

Following this close-fought victory, the Lions faced off against Seminole High School. The boys were in for a tough match as Seminole sported a fast, high-powered offense. However, the Lions persevered, winning in a dominant 3-0 sweep, displaying a strong defense and smart use of Seminole’s lackluster defense. 

The Lions’ undefeated streak would come to an end at the Bishop Moore Spring Sting Tournament. The Lions were ranked third in pool rankings and faced Bishop Moore first. The team lost in just two sets. Afterwards, the Boys played Winter Springs and continued their losing streak after a close 2-1 loss to the Bears. 

However, the Lions woke up after the two previous losses and swept Lake Buena Vista in two sets, winning 25-11 and 25-17 respectively. The Boys weren’t finished, though, as they would go on to sweep Lake Highland Prep and Suncoast High School in dominant fashion as it seemed the team had found their rhythm again. 

Going into the second week of the season, the team’s record was already a respectable 5-2, however, this new found rhythm coming out of the spring sting wouldn’t last long as the Lions would face off against the Lake Brantley Patriots, who were 1-1 at the time.

“We knew it was going to be a close game. They are a strong team and we prepared over spring break and Monday practice for it,” Junior Captain, Aiden Iverson, said.

The Lions, after sweeping their last three matches of the Spring Sting tournament, were confident in their ability to overcome the odds and fight for the win. The team would lose in a extremely close 5-set match, which would see Lions fight back to win the third and fourth sets because losing in the fifth.

Following the loss the Lions came into their East River and Crooms Academy games in the following days, hot as the the boys would sweep both teams in three sets each. But, the Lions had no time to rest as next week they would face off against the Lake Howell, Silver Hawks, in what would be the Lions first true test of grit and fight as Lake Howell is also in Oviedo’s District and would be an opponent they’ll have to beat in the postseason if they want a chance to make a run for states.

The Lions would lose the match in three sets, which would start a downward spiral for the team as they went into the Lake Mary Invitational Tournament. The boys went 1-4 in the tournament, placing a disappointing seventh after being ranked second in the tournament to start. 

Despite their lackluster performance at the Lake Mary invitational, the Lions had a tough match following it in the Timber Creek Wolves who were ranked fifth in the state at the time. The Lions showed their grit and fought hard, however, the Wolves won in just three sets. After the loss, the team was just 8-9; a far cry from the dominant wins in preseason and beginning of the season.

“We went into the locker room and talked and started to work and figure things out. Our team morale was low and everyone was upset,” Logan Ledig, 12, said.

Following the Loss to Timber Creek, the team went into Tuesday and Wednesday practice with new goals and expectations of what they wanted from the season because on Thursday they would face off against the Winter Springs Bears, who the Lions had lost to in both tournaments the Lions had played in. Expectations of the match were high as the Lions were projected to play Winter Springs in the first round of the postseason which would see whoever loses season come to an end.

From the first serve, it was clear the Lions had found a new rhythm. The teams were going back and forth bouncing balls and making massive blocks. Oviedo would win the first set 25-21, but would lose the second 25-19, followed by the third set, 25-18. It seemed all hope was lost when, in the fourth, the Lions found their stride again – which would end with the boys winning 25-22. 

However, in the fifth, with the game on the line, the Lions gave too many points and combined with questionable calls being overturned by the head referee, Oviedo suffered its tenth loss of the season. The loss brought the Lions record to 8-10, along with being ranked fourth in the District, 70th in the class, and 75th overall in the state.