Girls’ Volleyball Takes on Needham


Girls’ volleyball gets hyped before a big game. (Source: Ms. Jesse Kwan)

This season, the Boston Latin School’s girls’ volleyball team dominated the Dual County League (DCL) and ultimately made it to states, up against long-time rival Needham High School in the first round.

Starting the year off with the graduation of nine of last year’s senior players, the team’s new captains were faced with the challenge of recruiting an almost entirely new team. When asked about how she was feeling going into this season, captain Sha’nai Watler (I) confessed, “It was honestly pretty scary. I was a little nervous because most of the new players had never been on varsity before, and I had a feeling they would let all their nerves take over.”

While this dilemma posed an apparent disadvantage at first, the team eventually saw the challenge as an exciting opportunity to develop their team chemistry from scratch. Going into the season, captain Vera Jacobson (II) explains that the age differences within the teamwere very new, saying, “Lots of times on the team I had been looking up to players who had been playing a lot longer than me […] but now I have been playing longer than them.”

The athletes gave an impressive performance nevertheless. They proved their resilience and exhibited great teamwork skills, winning 11 out of their 19 games this season and going on to win the DCL Small. When recounting their win, outside-hitter Hollis Cole (II) admits, “The validation was nice, knowing that we were a good enough team to make it that far.”

Along with their success at DCL Small, the team stashed a few other victories under its belt: Jacobson and Eva Harvey (III) earned a combined 375 kills in 19 games, with Harvey named DCL All-Star.

Reacting to this success, Watler says that making it to states was a pleasant surprise. “Before tryouts we didn’t even know if we would make it close to states, so when we did it felt amazing […] I was beyond proud of my time and proud of all the new players that help[ed] us get to where we did.”

Cole also highlighted the team’s high emotions after making it this far. “We were nervous to live up to the expectations of our coach and last year’s team who made it pretty far in playoffs.”

On game day, the team played a tough match, losing 1-3, but this minor loss paled in comparison to the celebration and pride with which the team carried themselves at the court. Jacobson emphasizes, “The way the whole entire team came together to make this season so memorable and so great and the way that everybody was able to bond has made this one of my favorite years of volleyball and something I’ll always remember.”

Take it from Watler as she repeats her favorite quote, “‘This too shall pass,’ because it will!” Overcoming small hurdles leads to achieving larger goals, after all. Throughout the entire season, the girls have demonstrated their sportsmanship and aim to continue operating with this sentiment.

If there’s anything to remember about this year’s volleyball team, it would be their team spirit. Even with a rather new team, the players have had one of the best seasons in the history of BLS girls’ volleyball.

A team full of “welcoming, supportive and goofy people you can lean on,” as Watler describes, has truly made its mark on BLS sports this year and we can’t wait to see what this team’s future holds.