Game, Set, Match

Boys’ Volleyball Senior Night

Lauren Arenas, Student Opinion Editor

The season for the inaugural boys’ volleyball team came to an end on March 6. The boys fought valiantly throughout the season, even taking home three wins against D1 schools. Because there is only one section for boys’ volleyball in Arizona, Horizon Honors had to play large public high schools such as Desert Vista and Mountain Pointe.

Seniors Josh Smith and Kole Powell were honored during Tuesday’s game. Before the Varsity match, the two boys walked with their parents onto the court to receive senior gifts presented by other members of the team. Coach Lisa Barlow made small speeches about Smith and Powell, including a summary of their extracurricular activities, as well as plans for college next year. Both seniors were starters for their last game. Smith stated, “Having a senior night at school was cool because hockey is my main sport and Horizon Honors doesn’t have a team. I got to have a school senior night after all.”

The team’s last game of the season took place at home against the number one team in the state, Mesa High School, also ranked eighth in the nation. Despite the difference in experience, Horizon Honors was able to keep up with their powerhouse rivals. The first set started well for the Eagles as they were able to fight hard against the Jackrabbits. The team lost a bit of stamina during the set, but finished with a respectable score of 25-13. The second and third sets proceeded in a similar fashion, with the Eagles giving it their all, but Mesa taking each of the games. The match ended with a 3-0 set score in favor of Mesa High School.

Impressive plays of the match included blocks made by junior Kyle Hickie against one of the seniors on Mesa who had just accepted a full ride to UCLA on a volleyball scholarship. Junior Tony Salatino has some impressive digs off of the Jackrabbits’ strong hitters.

Although some teams would be disappointed with a losing record, Horizon Honors is proud of its’ first boys’ volleyball team. Only one of the boys had ever played volleyball before, and the team started out by learning basic skills. By the end of the season, they were able to compete against schools almost 10 times the size of them. Hard work and dedication made it a great season, and the school looks forward to seeing what the team will be able to do in the future.