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North defeated Natick and advances to the state finals

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Senior Adam Christensen sets the ball in the first period against Natick, Monday, June 10.

North boys’ volleyball punched their ticket to the MIAA state finals Monday, June 10 with a 3-2 win at South. The match concluded with a sharp kill from senior Adam Christensen, a captain alongside seniors Sam Huang and Joaquin Quevas-Torress. North’s standout performance during the game was defined by their impeccable defense and passing, much of which could be credited to junior Brady Dwyer. 

The Tigers had a rough start, losing the first two sets with little resistance. Throughout these sets, the team collectively managed only about 10 kills. Meanwhile, Natick was at the top of their game, significantly outpacing North in kills. 

“I believe we did better than Newton North today. We played really well up until the end,” said Peter Suxho, Natick’s head coach. “I think they are very lucky. We were on match point three times but they got lucky. And it was even harder for our team to stay active because we played back-to-back games.”

The day before, Natick played and defeated Acton-Boxborough, a factor Suxho cited as significant in their Monday night loss. However, according to Huang, North’s reverse sweep was a testament to their incredible resilience and determination. Winning three sets in a row when each could be your last is no everyday feat, Huang added. 

In the second and third sets alone, Christensen led the team with eight kills, setting the pace for Huang and junior Simon Vardeh, who closely followed in the number of kills.

According to Christensen, his method of guiding his team to the comeback was simple. “I lead by example,” said Christensen. “I’m not really a halftime speech type of captain,”

The main turning point came in the third set, which went to a tiebreaker. North, after trailing 18-12 earlier in the set, staged a significant rally to win 26-24.

“I think it was just the realization that our season was about to be over,” said head coach Nile Fox. “I think that’s what pushed them to really keep fighting at the end of the third.”

North went on to win the next two sets more comfortably, bolstered by a significant improvement in their defensive play. In the fourth set alone, North executed 11 blocks, with five resulting directly in kills. Both teams encountered difficulties facing blocks and adjusted by employing more strategic and precise kills, including setter dumps.

Following their thrilling victory over Natick, North boys’ volleyball now sets its sights on the MIAA division one finals at Worcester State University, Thursday, June 6, where they will meet Needham. Having faced Needham in the previous year’s finals and experiencing a sweep, North returns with renewed determination under Fox’s leadership. 

“We’ve been to this stage before and our goal is to come out with the championship this time,” said Fox.

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