‘Max effort’ spikes historic success for boys volleyball, beating New Trier for first time in 15 years

Jessica Sehgal, Executive Editor

Boys volleyball made history Wednesday night when they took on their long-standing rivals, New Trier. Securing a victory against the Trevians for the first time in 15 years, the three-set match was nothing short of astounding.

“New Trier is an amazing team. I’m very proud of how our boys played with max effort, played together and executed well enough to come out on top,” varsity head coach Stanley Antoine said.

Starting off in the first set, the Kits and their opponents proved to be tight competitors. With neither side securing a lead more than one point within the first 17 serves of the game, it had already indicated an exciting match up. Eventually, New Trier broke the point-for-point streak after an outside kill brought them up 10-8 and a second outside kill made it 11-8. After the Trevians worked their way up to 14-8, ETHS took a timeout, which allowed for them to regain their momentum. Following the timeout, junior outside Dylan Malow-Williams hit a kill, awakening the Kits and earning back their initial style of play. Although Evanston had begun to fight back, they were unable to secure a lead, ending the first set 22-25, New Trier’s win.

Heading into the second set, the Kits initially fell back with New Trier starting with a lead of 3-0. Evanston was down for the first portion of the set, until an outside kill by Malow-Williams followed by a hit into the net on behalf of New Trier tied the game up at 9-9. Still, Evanston remained tied with New Trier or down by a few points, never gaining a lead, until a New Trier outside hit the ball into the net resulting in 22-21, Evanston up, and a timeout from New Trier. The two opponents began to go point for point again, and Evanston eventually managed a second set victory (28-26) after an exciting middle kill from senior Aidan Klein.

In the third set, ETHS, again, started down with New Trier earning the first point off a middle kill and the second from a kill on the right side. But junior Tyler Stern stepped up, hitting a shot off the block to earn ETHS’ first third-set point. Two points later, Stern had a second kill on the outside, making the score 2-4, Trevians up. Stern, alongside Malow-Williams, led the team in kills that night, both having 10 total—Stern out of 18 attempts and Malow-Williams out of 28. Despite these exciting shots, the Kits’ remained down for the better half of the third set, trailing behind as much as five points at times.

“We mostly loved our sustained effort. Down 14-19, our boys didn’t let up at all,” Antoine said.

Even on game point, Evanston remained persistent. With New Trier up, 24-21, junior Levi Martin came through with a right side kill, indicating that the Kits were still in it. From there, they worked their way up to 24-24 after New Trier hit it out and Malow-Williams got a block kill on their right side. At 27-26, Kits up, Stern scored his tenth kill of the night, earning an Evanston win (28-26) in the third set and an overall victory (2-1) for the night. But the battle doesn’t end there.

“I think what’s special about this group is that they challenge each other to get better every day. This group isn’t satisfied with just one win versus New Trier,” Antoine said. “Going forward, we want to play more consistent, high-level volleyball. We know what we are capable of, so we have to build on these successes and get ready for the next play.”