RM Boys Volleyball defeats Wootton in last home game to move onto finals


Mona Lee

Facing the only team that managed to win a set against them in the regular season, the RM boys volleyball team did not let their nerves dampen their excitement as they headed into the semifinals against Wootton.

With now a 14-0 record, the boys volleyball team continued their undefeated season and will move onto county finals after a handy win in just three sets against the 11-3 Patriots.

Photo by Tide photographer Kevin Pan

The beginning of the first set started off close with both teams battling for each point, but after a seven point serving streak by junior Jack English, the Rockets gained momentum. At the end of the set, the Rockets achieved a comfortable 25-13 win.

“That moment that I definitely felt excited was after the first set,” said Coach Barber-Strunk, looking back on the game. “That right there just showed them that we can play. There was no way we weren’t going to win.”

With the largest showing of the whole season, the crowd was electrified. Students, teachers, parents, and even graduated volleyball players were present to show their support. There was also a special appearance by Richie the Rocket, worn by senior Cathleen Kong who said, “It was really great getting everyone excited and seeing a lot of fans cheering for the team”.

Photo by Tide photographer Kevin Pan

Similar to the first set, the beginning of the second started off close. The two teams were neck and neck, with neither side being able to achieve a significant advantage. However, the Rockets managed to prevail, surging forward from a score of 6-6 and maintaining a steady four point lead for the remainder of the set.

With a missed serve by one of the Wootton players, the second set ended 25-20 and the RM boys entered the third set with high spirits and confidence in their ability to finish off their opponents.

With the pressure of the third set and being eliminated from playoffs, the Wootton team started the third set off strong, leading 3-7.

Photo by Tide photographer Kevin Pan

Coach Barber-Strunk then decided to call a timeout, giving the players a break and reassuring them of what they had to do: play strong and play smart.

At the blow of the whistle, the revitalized players rushed back onto the court and dominated, bringing the score to 9-9. As the set continued on, the scores stayed close. One team gaining a few points, but the other quickly catching up. The score was 20-20 and the crowd was on their toes.  

With a final effort, the Rockets dominated the court and finally won the third set. “It was a really great game and both teams were really great, but in the end we pushed through,” said freshman Josh Yu.

Photo by Tide photographer Kevin Pan

The boys will be playing Sherwood at Magruder High School on Tuesday in the county finals, hoping to remain undefeated and win the title of county champs. “I think the game will be good on Tuesday,” said Coach Barber-Strunk, “it’s going to be a high-power match-up but I feel confident that this team has all the tools that it needs to come away with the championship.”