Added Pages

Monday, April 7, 2014

Falcon's Nest Notes: Boys Volleyball Battles North Shore in Season Debut

The longest-practicing team at Flatbush finally got the opportunity to take on an outside opponent Tuesday night in Brooklyn. After months of practicing late on Tuesday nights, the Falcon volleyballers welcomed their first MYHSAL opponent of the season in North Shore. Sporting new poles that allowed the net to reach the required height of 7 feet 11 5/8th inches for boys volleyball competition (something of which the older system fell slightly short), the two teams took their obligatory warm-ups to fine-tune their serving, passing and spiking skills.
Mayer Kamkhatchi looks to spike the ball
Both teams looked a little bit rusty in the early stages, not unexpected in the first contest of the season. For Flatbush, Senior Captain Ikey Somekh looked to have his serve in full gear, dropping in an ace to start things off for the home team. But after taking the early lead, the Falcons gave it right back as North Shore hit two service aces of their own. Really, neither team looked to be able to establish control, with the lead see-sawing back and forth through most of the game. At times, it looked like North Shore would string together a couple of points and get some separation, but Flatbush would scrape right back putting together small runs of their own to close the gap. It was back and forth like this until North Shore, up 17-15, finally went on a real run to push the game to the brink at 24-17. But Flatbush was not done yet. With North Shore serving for the game, the Falcon defense stepped up and scored to wrest control of serve back from the visitors. Then, they proceeded to score two quick points, and North Shore looked concerned. Unfortunately, those two points were all the Falcons could muster, and North Shore closed out the opening set 25-20.
Asher Lifshutz and his Falcon teammates warm up before the opening game of the season
Down 1-0, the Flatbush boys reflected on the tightness of the first set, noting how close they came and pumping each other up in advance of set number 2. And the self-encouragement appeared to work. After dropping back by multiple points early on, the Falcons rallied behind strong net play from Jacob Setton and a steady all-around performance from team Co-Captain Marc Esses. Utilizing the entire roster, Coach Sanders substituted liberally, taking advantage of the excellent back-line play of Asher Lifshutz and countering that with the size and presence of Isaac Mizrahi in blocking and spiking at the net to balance both the Falcon defense and attack. Flatbush battled back and took a lead at 9-8. But, as quickly as they took the lead they ceded it right back to North Shore. And, like the first set, the teams went back and forth until again North Shore strung together a few points to create a 3-point cushion they would not relinquish. The Falcons battled valiantly, but fell short in the decisive set 25-21, losing the match two sets to none.
Marc Esses puts the ball just beyond the reach of a North Shore blocker
The Flatbush Falcons regroup between sets
Though the Flatbush boys fell in the season opener, there was much positive to build on. The Junior hitter Mayer Kamkhatchi showed he may be a force down the road as he becomes more comfortable on the court, while Seniors Moe Chabot and Billy Dayan both gave solid performances in a good team effort that the Falcons will look to build on as the short Spring season plays out.