Volleyball and Badminton Tournaments End First Semester With a Bang

Aakash Anand and Brady True face off during the senior volleyball tournament.
Aakash Anand and Brady True face off during the senior volleyball tournament.
Sofia Destaso

As our first semester came to a close, Ludlowe’s gyms were packed. The senior volleyball tournament on January 22nd and the junior badminton tournament on January 23rd provided students with a fun and competitive way to mark the school year’s halfway point.

Teams in the tournaments were formed from the different physical education classes being taught during the first semester. The volleyball tournament was run as one coed event, with teams ranging in size, while the badminton tournament was split up into boys and girls competitions, with two students per team.

In the senior volleyball tournament, Zolov’s Geezers emerged victorious. The team was composed of seniors Shane Praver, Aakash Anand, Will Hanington, Drishti Duggal, and Laila Priede. Zolov’s Geezers drew on the talent of its members—including three of whom play varsity volleyball for the school—to win the championship, including a series of sets and hits by Shane and Aakash that drew cheers from the spectators.

The runners up in the volleyball tournament were the Buttersnaps, with seniors Brady True, Luke Scaglione, Cenzo Marano, Andrew Stein, Michael Chiaverini, Nicholas Chiaverini, and Nicholas Campos. The Buttersnaps beat out the third place team, Forget’s Calves, which was made up of seniors Spencer Bradley, Caroline Spengler, Pearson Biggs, Ethan Landsman, Matt Malecky, Alex Parent, Andrew Tenerio, and Tommy Gremse.

Overall, 205 total students participated in the volleyball tournament—just under half of the senior class.

Anton Gerasimov prepares to set the ball during the senior volleyball tournament. (Sofia Destaso)

The junior badminton tournament was held on the following day, January 23rd. In the boys tournament, Ramzee Atta and Cooper Seek emerged victorious, while in the girls tournament, Julia Leykikh and Caitlin Smith won.

In the boys tournament, Wes Feher and Andrew Sakey took second place, while Jack McClane and Jackson Frame secured third place. In the girls tournament, Ava Cagnassola and Molly O’Neill won second place, and Grace Guterman and Lily Gervasi landed in third. Approximately 58 total students participated across the two badminton tournaments.

Julia and Caitlin stand victorious after their final match, holding the score. (Sofia Destaso)

Many hailed the tournaments as a fun activity to compete in, especially for the senior class—which now has less than a semester left at Ludlowe. “The tournaments are a great culminating activity,” said physical education teacher Mr. Zolov, who also stressed how “students can show competitive school spirit.”

“I thought it was really fun,” senior Spencer Bradley said of his experience in the volleyball tournament. “It was really cool to see friends who usually watch volleyball actually play and also really cool for others to see kids on the volleyball team play because it’s not a sport that typically gets a lot of attendance,” he continued.

Spencer, who played on third-place team Forget’s Calves, said that he was proud of his team and how far they had made it. “I would have liked to come out on top, but it was a fun experience nonetheless,” he remarked.

“Going into the tournament we knew that we had talent and had a good chance,” said senior Aakash Anand, who played on the victorious Zolov’s Geezers. But despite him and Spencer being opponents on the court, they agreed about the positive potential of the tournaments to promote volleyball.

“It was also a nice opportunity to show everyone how volleyball can be played, and I hope people are encouraged to play and explore the sport further. Overall, I had a great time,” Aakash said, “and I hope others did too.”

Jack Emra, a junior who watched the volleyball tournament, agreed that it was a great event for everyone involved, even those who did not directly participate. “It was a fun experience watching the tournament,” he noted, “especially after a week of stressful midterms.”

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