The Cavalier-Explorer Rivalry Meets the Volleyball Court


Emily Kay

Senior Matthew Wagner leaps in the air, preparing to strike the ball, as two Explorers aim to defend his hit.

Trey Riera-Gomez, Staff Writer

On Mar. 14, our very own Cavalier Boys Volleyball Team was matched up against one of their biggest rivals of the season, the Columbus Explorers. As it was only their second away game of the season so far, the stakes were high as the team needs to win several more district games in order to stay in contention for the district title. The Cavs went into the game with a 2-3 record, having won against strong contenders like Jackson High School, another district rivals, but losing two big games to St. Brendan and Ransom Everglades.

After winning the coin toss, senior captain Patrick Ales decided that the Cavs would take possession first, allowing senior Matthew Wagner to take his serves. The first set was off to a good start, as Gables was able to match the experienced Explorers for quite some time, managing to always remain within one and two points away from the other. Players like junior Marlon Frederique and senior Thomas Harley were controlling the court on the defensive end for the Cavs with several nice blocks and hard hits. Soon after, however, the Explorers got on a hot streak and quickly sealed the first set with a decisive victory by a score of 25-14.

“I could feel that, even from the very beginning, this was going to be a good game, as we were competing fairly well against one of the best teams around. We were just hurting ourselves on our own mistakes that can easily be corrected in practice. Looking forward, I think we have the potential to do much better,” senior Matthew Wagner said.

In the second set, the Explorers got off to a tremendous start, jumping to a four point lead early on. However, several offensive spikes made by senior Arturo Diaz-Dube, who had just come off of an ankle injury, brought the Cavs back in the game and boosted the team’s morale. This lead, however, was short-lived, as the skillful Explorers soon regained the lead and once again got onto a serving streak, putting up almost 10 straight against the Cavs. Unfortunately, the Cavs lost the second set by a similar score of 25-13, putting the Cavs down two sets to none in the best-of-five matchup.

In the last set, the Cavs seemed to find themselves playing well once again early on, putting up points quickly and establishing a lead. Despite the Explorers gaining the upper edge once more in the final set, senior Ivan Perez-Hernandez was able to put on a show for the Cavs, demonstrating his great passing and bumping ability. Sadly, his valiant efforts would not prove be enough for the Cavs to emerge victorious, losing the third and final set 25-15.

“It was a tough loss, but it was good to see how our relatively inexperienced team was able to come together and compete against one of the best teams in the region,” senior Ivan Perez-Hernandez said.

Despite the hard week that the team just endured, and with their record now sitting at 2-4, the boys all have hope to turn things around in the upcoming weeks as they look to win their upcoming games and compete for a spot in the district playoffs. On behalf of the Gables community, be sure to wish the Cavalier Boys Volleyball team luck throughout the rest of the season!