Recap: Playoffs

Our correspondent would like to apologize for the delay in these last news articles. She was depressed about the season being over. However, she got it together because the boys deserve recognition for their hard work and performance in their playoff run.

The boys concluded their season with losses to La Costa Canyon and Saints in the Open Division playoffs. Since the division’s inception, Parker has been in every year except one. Their first matchup was against LCC. Each game was incredibly close, except the one that Parker won; the boys really gave everything they had, and thus we can be nothing but proud of them. 

Suraj Srinivasan maintained his sniper status with a 100 in-percentage at the service line. Jackson DeWitt again maintained the back line with a 92.3 in-percentage and 14 digs. Just ahead of him in digs was Bijan Sagart, by this time a surprise to no one. Bijan’s 18 digs were complemented by a block, a 93.9 in-percentage, and 11 kills for a 310 hitting average, leaving him with a double double. Bijan can really read and cover any area of the court, evidence by his stellar save of an off the ceiling dig that rattled around for about 2 minutes before coming down.

Adam Nussbaum was another double double recipient. He had a 91.7 in-percentage, an ace, 51 assists, 2 blocks and 11 digs, along with 4 kills for a 500 hitting average. Spencer Thoene gave LCC some payback with his 5 blocks, adding 7 kills, 3 digs, and a 2.21 passing average. Our middles were our other big blockers. Billy Harrington put down 3, and Ben Sheres 6, Ben also scoring 5 kills for a 300 average. Our final double double went to none other than Nick Gustafson. He put down 23 kills, put up 13 digs and 2 blocks, and passed a beautiful 2.52. Not bad for our two-time MVP. 

The boys’ final opponent was Saints. Though the result was not desired, we are again proud of the team for their fight and determination. Suraj stepped up with an ace, a dig, and a 93.3 in-percentage. Mark Tankersley was also solid at the service line with his 91.7 in-percentage, and added 3 digs. Jackson DeWitt was our third stellar server. He had a 100 in-percentage and 6 digs. Spencer drove home 5 kills and picked up a dig. Tying him in kills was Ben, who finished with a 500 hitting average. Billy’s 3 kills came with a 750 hitting average. Adam had an ace, 40 assists, and 3 digs. Bijan sent over 2 aces, had 12 kills on a 348 average, and picked up 7 digs. And maintaining his run as kill leader was Nick with 15, along with 2 aces, 2 blocks, and 5 digs. 

Several of our boys received postseason accolades. Bijan, Jackson, Billy, Ben, Adam and Mark were honored by the Western League for their play, with Jackson leading the league in digs. Bijan was also named to the All-CIF Second Team. And we cannot forget Nick, who led in achievements like he led in kills in every match he played in. He was named Western League Player of the Year, made the All-CIF first team, and was named Captain of the Union Tribune’s All-Academic Team for boys volleyball, where they noted his service and academics in addition to his playing, showing the well-rounded player and person he is. From Parker, he received MVP for beach and indoor, an Athletic Achievement Award, a Hall of Fame nomination, and set the record for most kills in a season. Congratulations boys!

Thank you to the fans and faculty for your support at our matches throughout the season. Thank you to the parents for cheering our boys on, and always making sure our team was taken care of. The Parker parents are a uniquely amazing group, and we coaches are incredibly thankful to have you as a part of our team. Thank you to the boys for all your hard work this season, and for being a team that any coach would want. Finally, thank you so so much to the seniors. Your leadership was critical to our team’s successes this year, and your legacy will carry on to influence future ones. You have no idea how uncommon it is for a group to be as talented, yet also encouraging, caring, and selfless as you all are, and that is because in addition to being excellent players, you are all upstanding young men. It will be hard to lose you, but to you and your parents, no matter how much time has passed, Parker volleyball will always be your family, and you will always be welcome in our gym. We will miss you so much.

by Sam Deddeh