Boys Volleyball Serves up Win Against Irvine


Annie Qiao

#8 freshman Andy Son jumps to spike a ball against Irvine High.

Annie Qiao and Farhad Taraporevala

Boys volleyball (9-9) defeated Irvine High’s frosh soph team 2-0 on March 23 for the Game of the Month at the gym.

“We got off to a slow start…but we came back from it. We focused on our serves, and we made most of them, and that allowed us to keep our momentum going,” #9 spiker and freshman Jeffrey Chen said.

Throughout the beginning of the first set, the team trailed behind Irvine High. That all changed with help from the long-serving streaks of players like #11 setter and freshman Shivank Gupta. This allowed the team to pull forward and win the first set 25-18.

“I feel like Ali [Elmashat] and Nolan [Nam], our liberos, were really valuable today,” Chen said. “They had some really good passes, and they allowed us, essentially, to run our offense, which is the most ideal thing to do in volleyball.”

Critical moments such as #12 middle and freshman Alex Cherry’s block and #7 setter and freshman Yash Menon’s dig continued rallies, which allowed other players to rack up points against Irvine High.

“I knew [the opposing spiker] was going to tip because he dropped his shoulder, and I knew [the ball] was either going to go behind me or right in front of me,’’ Menon said. “I saw it, and I was like, ‘Oh Shoot!’ So I went for it, and I was able to get it.”

Although there were individual talents, it was the combination of a tight offense, defense and consistent serves that lead to the team winning by a wide margin in both sets throughout the game. ASB members cheered on the players with multiple posters and banners.

“This was all about the team…This was about Portola, and seeing all the fans here really helped us get some energy to help us play well, so it’s all around a Portola win today,” head coach Eric Graham said.