The scrappy Scarsdale boys volleyball team is off to its best start in the four-year history of the program. After going winless in 2016, winning three matches the next year and just one last year, the Raiders are above .500 with a 3-2 record, having defeated three different teams thus far this season.
Scarsdale’s most recent triumph was a 3-0 win over Section 1’s newest program, East Ramapo. The home team won 25-10, 25-22, 25-17.
The win follows Scarsdale’s first-ever win over a Rockland team, 3-1 over Clarkstown South, and a narrow 3-2 win over rival Eastchester, after being down 2-0. Scarsdale’s losses have been 3-0 defeats against Clarkstown North and Suffern.
Scarsdale feels the program is picking up steam and hopes not to show any signs of slowing down. The Raiders’ winning record is evidence of the team’s rapid improvement, with one more win on the season already exceeding their record for most wins in a single season and matching the combined three-year total for the team.
“It’s huge for the program,” senior captain Jack Mintzer said. “It’s only our fourth year in existence and we’ve already made such great strides. That alone just shows that Scarsdale boys volleyball is on a new echelon now, a winning echelon.”
Mintzer also remarked on the positivity and newfound poise the Raiders have attained: “Team confidence is at an all-time high. We’re on the program’s first-ever win streak, and it’s not ending any time soon. Everyone can feel it, too, because we’re winning and confidence is driven by winning. When you win, you believe anything is possible.”
Senior captain Justin Mandel has been vital to the team’s success. Being one of the team’s most dominant and consistent hitters, Mandel’s role is key as evidenced by a season highlight the previous week against Eastchester when his spike between two defenders sealed a monster comeback to shock the Eagles.
Though Mandel is very pleased with the Raiders’ win streak, he is more focused on what the team can do to get better and how to properly harness that newfound momentum. “In order to keep winning, we have to start games off strong,” Mandel said. “Usually it takes a couple of sets for us to play our best, but if we can get off to a hot start, then that would make us a consistent and powerful opponent.”
Mandel has nothing but high expectations for the final two-thirds of the season: “I look forward to playing the more competitive teams with our improved squad. Over the last month, we have improved our serving, hit harder and played together. Though we have lost a couple of games, our improved team should take the section this November.”
As more players continue to step up and provide key depth roles, the Raiders have plenty of ambition for their team to pull through with an unprecedented season with league and section titles on their minds.