Boys’ varsity volleyball falls short of comeback to Carlmont


Arshia Chakravartti

Sophomore Reiter Madden and junior Aidan Kelley prepare to receive a serve during a match against Carlmont High School on Wednesday, April 5.

Arshia Chakravartti, Copy Editor

On Wednesday, April 5, boys’ varsity volleyball (11-10 overall, 1-4 PAL Bay) fell to Carlmont High School in a dramatic match featuring many contentious rallies and momentum shifts. A powerful defensive line from Carlmont, and the added factor of Burlingame libero, junior Brody Kelley being out due to illness stacked the odds up against the Panthers. 

The Panthers consistently trailed the Scots in the first set. With Carlmont leading 27-26, sophomore Reiter Madden made a heroic attack at the net to level the score. However, the referee voided the point, deeming backup libero, junior Roman Gilmore’s shot illegal, since he crossed the defensive line at the 10-feet mark in order to save the ball. That call closed the set 28-26 in Carlmont’s favor.

“It’s a tricky one because it was a really natural reaction and anybody could have made that mistake… it is what it is, that’s the rule of the game,” head coach Lawrence Ngai said.

In the beginning of the second set, the team struggled to convert on attacks at the net, but they were eventually able to find some footing. A chain of kills by outside hitter and senior Liam Friedman kept Burlingame within five points of Carlmont, at 13-8. The kills weren’t enough, though, as the Panthers lost the second set, 25-14. Despite being down 2-0, the Panthers found more success in the third set.

“After the first two sets we had more of a better mindset of, like, ‘we have nothing to lose out there, let’s just play,’” captain and senior Jacob Ngai said. “We started really working together, and we just flipped the switch in the third set.” 

The third set began neck-and-neck with the score tied at 4-4. But again, Scots soon took back the momentum and gained an 8-5 lead. 

Although Carlmont’s formidable offensive plays forced the Panthers into intense rallies, a powerful kill by Madden fired up the Burlingame squad.

“Reiter is Reiter, he just always performs well and I can always count on him when I need a point,” Jacob Ngai said. 

Following Madden’s attack, the Panthers switched to the offensive with kills from a variety of players. An impressive dump by Ngai and a quick block by junior Erazem Mattick helped Burlingame extend its lead and eventually win the third set 25-17. 

Despite their success in the third set, the Panthers were not able to transfer that momentum to the fourth and fifth sets. In the end, Carlmont triumphed 4-1, handing Burlingame its fourth loss of the league season to bring its league record to 1-4. 

“Though we took a loss today, I feel like we all did really well. We put up a good fight against a really good team,” Jacob Ngai said.