A good season was expected from the McLean High School boys club volleyball team’s group of talented players this fall. What wasn’t anticipated was a perfect 17-0 campaign.
McLean capped the undefeated record by finishing 3-0 in the upper A Division playoffs of the 49-team Northern Virginia High School Boys Volleyball League. That came after a 14-0 regular season.
In those playoff matches, McLean defeated South County, West Springfield and Lake Braddock, all by 2-0 scores. McLean topped Lake Braddock, 25-20, 25-16, in the final.
“We thought we would be good, because we have a lot of good players and are a very athletic team and they all can hop,” McLean coach John Tamashiro said. “We never thought we would go through the season without having a loss, but we never took a loss. We had four or five three-set matches and the players always stepped through and got the W.”
Tamashiro said McLean, which held home matches at the Spring Hill Recreation Center, was good because many of its team members are high-level club volleyball players. Of the 10 players, just two are seniors.
McLean players were Brennan Lengel, Alex Rucinskas, Ethan Li, Simon Kroeger, Evan Li, Luke Cowan, Zayden Tamashiro, Zach Chung, Teddy Ewald and Luis Garcia-Palou. Assistant coaches were Zach Richards and Yula Tamashiro.
John Tamashiro said the season included hurdles to overcome: multiple injuries to players, stolen jerseys, illnesses and competing academic priorities.
“Every player was capable of playing multiple positions,” Tamashiro said. “The constant barrage of powerful attacks from every direction never gave our opponents the chance to breathe. Aggressive serving, pinpoint passing and crazy digging further suffocated offenses. The games were played with a steady flow of consistency. Large momentum swings were few and far between. The boys played as a solid team with good, kind hearts and pushed through the tough moments.”