Boys’ Volleyball Receives a Smooth Victory against Somerville

Junior Kauan Da Silva spikes on Somerville’s Highlanders.

All photos by Jessica Li.

After a three-week road trip, the 6-3 Malden Golden Tornados returned home to the Finn Gym looking to sweep the season series against the Somerville Highlanders.

They first met on April 5, when Malden had a solid performance to take a 3-1 victory. Since then, the team has gone through some rough points. They suffered 3-0 losses to O’Bryant and St. Johns as well as a 3-1 loss to Winchester.

In their previous game, they barely took a victory over Everett in five sets, which was below the expectations the team had for themselves.

However, the Golden Tornados came out firing on this night. They ran away with the first set, avoiding the early woes they had in previous games. The second set didn’t go that way, with Somerville jumping out to a 16-8 lead at one point. Still, Malden fought back and stole the set 25-22. With the Highlanders on the ropes, the Tornados took advantage and confidently grabbed the third and final set, taking a 3-0 victory.

(Left to right) Junior Alex Martins serves; Junior Gil Lawson getting ready to hit.

It was a great start to the month of May for Malden. Senior Jason Li highlighted that “our team has much improved from the start of the season and is getting better every day.” Junior Victor Desouza agreed, saying, “As time has passed, our team has massively improved and that was a big factor in our dominance today.”

The first set began with a 7-4 Tornado advantage. They eventually began to make mistakes and allowed the Highlanders to tie the game up at 12. Malden caught fire, taking three consecutive points that included an unbelievable kick save by Li and a kill from fellow Senior Captain Eric Mei.

They never slowed down, and another kill from Mei took the advantage to 22-14. Up 24-19, Adin Chen leaped up and smashed the ball into the ground for the victory, earning a great reaction from the crowd.

In the second set, both teams were very even for the first eight points. Both made great plays and big mistakes to get to that point, including kills from Senior Captain Kyle Lee and Desouza.

Then, the April struggles smacked the Tornados in the face. Everything began going wrong and the Highlanders took eight straight points, leaping to a 16-8 advantage. But, May brought out a new Malden, and they fought right back.

Somerville assisted in their comeback by making four errors while two more kills from Mei brought the Tornados back to the lead, 19-18. The game began to go back and forth, but the Highlanders kept making costly mistakes. And once again, Adin Chen ended the set with a block.

Somerville felt the pressure of falling behind to one of the Greater Boston League’s best teams, and it showed in the final set. Malden calmly and confidently took the lead to 11-8 to start the set.

Senior Kevin Lin and Lee both came up big during the set, and those contributions gave the Tornados a 20-14 advantage. Up 24-19, junior James Dion Jose slammed Highlander hopes into the ground and ended a game that was dominated by Malden start to finish.

Despite Mei’s success, he thought that the team needed to bring more energy to the game. “We need consistent energy throughout every set of every game,” he said. He thinks that staying energetic may have been able to prevent the hole they fell into during the second set.

Junior Alex Martins believes “the team has been getting better every game.” He did mention that “sometimes we have off days, but sometimes we get into our rhythm and play well.” 

The victory moved the team to a 7-3 record. Since this victory against Somerville, Malden rattled off three victories against Chelsea, Wakefield, and Lynn Classical, the latter earning their fourth consecutive state tournament appearance. The Golden Tornados look to continue their excellence put forth so far this season to enter that tournament strong.

(Left to Right) Junior Adin Chen, senior Kyle Lee, and junior Victor DeSouza celebrate a good play.

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