The student news site of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology


The student news site of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology


The student news site of Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology


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Bump, set, score

With an increase in interest, boys volleyball prepares to compete next year
Kimberly Cruz-Cruz
Palming the ball, freshman Tony Wang stands with sophomore Eric Cai, representing a part of boys’ volleyball. “The club has gotten more teams and gotten more competitive. But it [has the bandwidth to] become [even] bigger and become a real sport,” Wang said.

Sprawled across the gym floors, a group of Jefferson boys huddle together after practice. Every single one is determined to accomplish one goal: be a part of the first boys volleyball club at Jefferson.

Coach Seng Chiu raised interest in creating a boys volleyball club that will join the Northern Virginia High School Boys Volleyball League (NVHSBVL) next year. Planning began in Aug. 2023 with the process of having an eighth period club to learn the rules of volleyball and obtain referees.

“Currently [Jefferson] has the third highest number of boys [at] about 38 who are interested in participating,” Chiu said. “There’s a meeting that is supposed to happen this week or next week [Dec. 4 – Dec. 15]  about the next steps for adding the new sport.”

The club has gained more traction throughout the school within the past few months. Interest is high, but the club faces challenges such as finding gym space and coaches.

“For Jefferson even with two gyms, we have a lot of other groups using that space such as cheer, dance, boys and girls basketball, and community use,” Coach Chiu said. “I’m not sure how eighth period will be impacted at this time.” 

Mid jump, sophomore Eric Cai extends his arm to hit a serve thrown to him. “I think [the eight periods] will welcome a lot of new people into the community and boys volleyball, as a sport, will gain more exposure,” Cai said. (Kimberly Cruz-Cruz)

By cultivating a regular practice space, athletes can understand the rules of the game and improve coordination.

“I was first exposed to volleyball when I was in third grade,” sophomore Eric Cai said. “I would be at home and I would always practice bumping, but I would have no one to play with. Boys volleyball was, and still is, really inaccessible to people.”

Being able to start competing as a club brings challenges. While athletes remain hopeful, there are concerns from volleyball players, from filling out the applications to getting it approved by the activities office.

“I’m really glad that they’re trying to start boys volleyball. I hope it does end up happening because last year we had tried really hard to get it approved, but it didn’t happen,” girls Junior Varsity volleyball player sophomore Annie Chiu said. “Boys volleyball would be a good connection, and it’s more of a good opportunity for equal opportunities.”

Despite facing challenges, Cai maintains a strong dedication to volleyball and continues to engage in regular practice.

“I love the sport [and I’ll take] any opportunity. It’s nice to be able to stay after school and just play rather than trying to dig around and find other places,” Cai said.  “It’s nice to represent my own school while playing a sport.”

Through volleyball, Cai found other Jefferson boys, like freshman Tony Wang, who share a similar interest in the sport. 

“I started getting interested in volleyball during the pandemic, and I practiced it by myself at home, and I got really addicted,” Wang said. “I will take any opportunity to play volleyball, and I really want this [club] to be a thing.”

Having the boys volleyball club start competing in the NVHSBVL division would increase its popularity and bring more attention to it.

“The formation of this after-school club [will] significantly increase the likelihood of boys’ volleyball becoming a Virginia sanctioned sport,” Cai said. “It will show that a lot of people want [boys’] volleyball as an official sport.”

From being able to host eight periods to learn more about the sport to bringing more members to the club, the overall outlook for athletes is promising for the next year. 

“I look forward to it being a more organized and fun experience because I could just go to any open gym and get in and just play randomly,” Cai said. “I look forward to having an organized and controlled setting where we can always try to improve as a team and be competitive.” 

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    jake kimDec 9, 2023 at 10:53 am

    awesome blossoms