MCAL season starts with a win for boys’ varsity volleyball after defeating Novato in 3 sets

Anya Ghazi

On Thursday, March 9, the boys’ varsity volleyball team defended their home court by defeating the Novato Hornets in three sets. This first Marin County Athletic League (MCAL) game for the Giants started their season with a victory, setting them up for success and preparing them for the games to follow. Sophomore Charles Gehrman played a large role in scoring points for the Giants from behind the endline, serving a total of six aces. Junior Auden Baker also had a strong presence making setter to hitter connections with 16 successful sets.

Flying through the air, senior Wyatt Marshall prepares to spike the ball. (Graham Weir)

In the first set, the Giants kept Novato on their toes with fast offense and consistent defense. Balls were quickly slammed down onto the opposing side, securing point after point for the Giants. Despite impressive play from both sides, Redwood was able to secure the first set at a score of 25-19. 

Throughout the sets, the Giants’ defense remained consistent and players scrambled on the court to cover every hit that Novato had to offer. Sophomore Jack Alley had 11 perfect serve-receive passes, as well as many impressive digs from the back row. 

“We have outstanding ball control, [we’ve] been passing nails,” coach Benjamin Wang said. “Evan, Wyatt and Jack [are] the core of our defense and their control is essential to the success of our team.”

Preparing for the point, seniors Brody Guerro and Kyler Wang and freshman Evan Wang line up at the net. (Graham Weir)

In the second set, Novato managed to take a lead given a slow start to the Giants’ offense However, the Redwood defense refused to let up, making it their mission to pass perfectly to their setter at every opportunity; the Giants comfortably secured the second set by a score of 25-17. Sophomore Beckett Shewey led the team in number of kills throughout the set.

“We definitely got caught up in a few rotations in that [set]. I think we could have played a little bit smarter in some situations, but besides that, I felt like our team did very well,” Shewey said.

A strong offense opened the third set, with constant kills being served to Novato. Gehrman fired multiple kills, but also threw in some sneaky tips to secure the point. In the final stretch to win the last set, Gehrman served five aces in a row. 

The final point was an intense rally, with the ball being passed back and forth between the Hornets and the Giants; however, this rally quickly ended as an overpass by Novato got slammed down by Shewey to win the game by a score of 25-13.

Huddling before facing Novato, captain and junior Auden Baker (4) brings his team together to strategize. (Graham Weir)

With the MCAL title being the team’s main goal, they will have to incorporate their skill and discipline in upcoming games. 

“We have got to keep up our blocking and passing; with that, we can do very well in MCALs,” Shewey said.

The Giants will continue their MCAL season as they face the Marin Catholic (MC) Wildcats at MC on Monday, March 13.