Nearly overcoming an early deficit, the JV boys’ volleyball team fell short to Neuqua Valley in two sets Monday night, losing both sets 25-20 and 25-21.
The team came into their first home game of the season ready to face off against a formidable foe, the game starting slowly, as both teams jockeyed for the lead.
Neuqua started to gain momentum a little with the lead but junior libero Zack Mottet had something else in mind. Mottet went on a three point serving streak to tie the game up at 13 a piece.
“It felt like after that there was a lot more energy back in the team and after I got those couple serves in, it felt like everyone was getting loud and brought the team back together,” Mottet said.
Unfortunately for East, a few errors on the defensive side allowed Neuqua to once again pull away, and it was too much for the team as Neuqua ended up taking the first set 25-20.
It turned around in the second set as sophomore right side hitter Joel Schoentag had a huge block that gave the team the energy they needed early.
“It was just very fun,” Schoentag said. “Working on the blocks, working on the serves, overall a good day.”
Keeping up with Neuqua for most of the set, it wasn’t until later in the 2nd that East again started to slip away. Yet another big serving streak from junior defensive specialist Dev Patel put the Wolves within two points.
“I was really happy I could help my team and contribute to what could’ve been a lead,” Patel said.
That lead the junior varsity team was looking for, never came as the Wildcats took the second set 25-21 and the match 2-0.
Even after a tough loss, Coach Dina Beamon held high praises for her team and how they performed.
“It would have been awesome to get that win,” Beamon said. “I see so much potential, so that gives me hope for what we can do to get better.”
Junior setter and co-team captain Tucker Rapp also has high hopes for the team as they enter their season.
“[We need] more team bonding and when we’re playing we just have to go to the basics of volleyball,” Rapp said. “You’re not going to be in the right position every time and in perfect defensive position.”
East plays next this Saturday in the Oak Forest JV Invite.
Teddy Wynard is a staff writer for Oswego East High School’s online news magazine the Howl