Boys' volleyball advances to State Semifinals with 3-0 win over South

The Newtonite

by Kristian Lundberg
Boys’ volleyball’s manhandling of South Sunday was both a statement win and a ho-hum result.
The Tigers’ 3-0 (25-18, 25-19, 25-22) victory over their in-city rival earned them a ticket to the State Semifinals, where they will face Central champion Milford at Waltham Friday at 6:45. Moreover, the ease with which they won reaffirmed their volleyball hegemony over all of their opponents in Division I South.
Senior Luke Westman recorded 24 kills, junior Korey Mui pitched in six and junior Kevin Fitzgerald added three to propel the Tigers to victory. They advance to the semifinals having not dropped a set in tournament play, picking up 3-0 shutouts at home against New Bedford Friday and Needham last Wednesday in the State Tournament’s first two rounds before their beatdown of a solid South squad at Quincy.

Yet for a team that knew throughout the season it had a chance to be something special, the scores would indicate that the past few games were merely a warm-up act for the fireworks coming in the semis and, potentially, the finals.

“We’ve always known that we were good enough to get to the tournament,” coach Richard Barton said upon entering the postseason. “The hard part comes in the postseason.”

According to Barton, the Tigers hope to limit errors as they strive for an elusive State Championship.

“We need to stay vicious for the entire game,” he said, citing a 28-26 nailbiter in the third set of the Tigers’ second-round match against Needham. “We can’t let up.”

With a victory over Milford in the semis, the Tigers will better last year’s exit, which also occurred in the State Semifinals.

More significantly, such a win would bring the Tigers within inches of the title.