On Feb. 22, Aragon’s boys volleyball team lost to King’s Academy in their first match of the season. After narrowly winning their first set, 25-23 the Dons lost the following three sets 18-25, 22-25 and 25-27, allowing King’s Academy to take the win.
The first set was predominantly back to back play from both teams, as neither team dominated the other. Both the Dons and the Knights scored 10 kills, eight of which were scored for the Dons by senior outside hitter Jonathan Garcia-Rovetta.
Garcia-Rovetta excelled at hitting to angles, constantly challenging the Knights’ passers, but he is quick to give credit to his team. “It’s not just that I got eight great hits, it’s that somebody passed to where the setter could set to where there was a spot where I could kill it,” he explains.
What set the Dons apart from the Knights in the first set was their serving. Junior outside and middle hitter Theo Hargis served six points in a row, one of which was an ace — one of the Dons’ three aces in the set. On the other hand, the Knights did not serve any aces and relied on their hitting to earn points in the first set.
The second set was significantly slower than the first for the red and black. Along with only scoring three kills, Aragon’s passing was not nearly as strong. The Dons struggled to communicate on the court, dropping four balls as a result.
“If we can’t get [the ball passed] on the serve receive, then we’re screwed for the rest of the game,” notes Hargis. “[In] the first set we were passing really well, and after that we faltered.”
The third and fourth sets returned to the similar back-and-forth play of the first set, finishing 22-25 and 25-27, respectively. The Dons improved their communication, only dropping one ball and returned to their powerful hitting with eight kills in the third set and 10 in the fourth. However, the Knights took their offense up a notch, hitting to harder spots and challenging the red and black’s defense. King’s Academy scored a total of 10 kills in third set and 13 in the fourth, allowing them to win the three sets needed to walk out of the match with a win.
“Their middle [hitter] was really good,” says Hargis. “They passed really well and got a hit off almost every possession.”
As Thursday marked both teams’ first match, the two sides were visibly confused on the court, as they struggled to remember the correct rotations throughout the match. By the end of the four sets, King’s Academy had given the Dons five free points off of out-of-rotation calls, and Aragon gave up two points for being in the incorrect positions.
The Dons are set to take on Serra in a scrimmage on Feb. 23.
Aragon lost to Serra on Feb. 23