Boys’ Volleyball misses playoffs but ends season happy


Jake Liker

With Mission League play already complete and its hopes of making the playoffs dashed, the boys’ volleyball team ended its season with a rare high note.

The boys finished 3-9 in league play, a figure which gave them 6th place out of seven teams.

Then there was the Wolverines’ senior night opponent, Viewpoint, who won nine of 10 Gold Coast League games to finish atop the league standings.

Coming off of six straight victories, it seemed unlikely that the Wolverines would defeat the Patriots in straight sets.

The odds were only further stacked in Viewpoint’s favor when the Patriots stormed ahead to a 23-17 lead in the first set. The Wolverines flipped the script at that moment and never looked back, winning the next eight points to win the set 25-23.

Chris Hedley ’16, who remained sidelined thanks to his right pinkie, which contained a litany of screws and pins after undergoing surgery for the injury, said the large contingent of Fanatics in attendance played a big role in inspiring the turnaround.

“I think that everyone realized that this wasn’t how we wanted to end our season,” Hedley said. “We had a nice Fanatics turnout and we felt like we were letting them down, and that it was time to show them how we usually play.”

That said, the team did not usually win matches in three sets–they hadn’t accomplished that feat all season long–but the Wolverines went on to win the next two sets 25-16 and 25-17.

It was an admittedly surprising result, but Hedley said he honestly believed his team would walk away with a victory.

“I knew that for us, any game was winnable, and that if us seniors could get everyone on the team to focus, we could win,” Hedley said. “I’ll admit that I was scared in the first half of the first set, but we turned things around quickly, which was a testament to how much stronger this team was mentally by the end of the season.”

Hedley was one of six seniors that donned a Wolverine jersey for the final time. Tommy Tilton ’16 was another senior that was sidelined by injury for the Viewpoint game. Tilton was battling a back injury and jammed finger, and he was not cleared to play.
Conversely, Henry Peterson ’16, Roy Dritley ’16, Alec Winshel ’16 and co-captain David Ho ’16 were able to take the court for their swan song. According to Ho, this swan song would be etched in his memory forever.

“It was my last [Harvard-Westlake] game and it’s a game I’ll look back on no matter how much more I’ll play,” Ho said. “It also allowed us to end our season with a good team chemistry and have a common good memory to share.”