A Boston City League championship was two years in the making for the Latin Academy girls’ volleyball team.
After losing in the Boston City League finals in 2018 and 2019, the latter to O’Bryant, Latin Academy denied the Tigers’ bid for a repeat with a 25-19, 15-25, 25-22, 25-10 victory Friday morning at Madison Park, netting its first City title since 2009.
“I feel like we’ve been working hard for this, especially the seniors,” said Madyson Rand, one of three captains and seven seniors on the Latin Academy roster.
“This is literally what we’ve been training for.”
On Oct. 26, 2019 — almost 18 months to the day of Friday’s win — O’Bryant defeated Latin Academy 3-0 in the 2019 City League championship. LA lost to Boston English in the 2018 final.
The turning point for the Dragons (12-1) came in the third set, with the match tied, 1-1. O’Bryant led 15-14, but senior libero Amanda Nguyen stepped to the serving line and rattled off five consecutive aces as part of a 6-0 run for a 20-15 lead.
“Honestly, she’s our best server as far as consistency [goes] being able to serve location and just serve hard, tough serves pretty much all the time,” Latin Academy coach Lok-Tin Yao said of Nguyen. “That’s why I have her serving first in almost every set.”
Ngyuen finished with seven aces and five digs.
“I just knew that this year, we had to win it. We had to win it for our seniors and our whole team,” Nguyen said. “I knew that the team had trust in me for my great serves.
O’Bryant bounced back with a 6-1 run to tie the third set 21-21, but two kills and an ace from Rand (team-leading 10 kills and three aces) pushed Latin Academy to the set win and a 2-1 lead.
Latin Academy, leading 13-10 in the fourth set, went on a 12-0 run to finish the match highlighted by strong serving from senior Kim Nguyen, the tournament MVP who finished with seven aces and 10 digs.
“I wouldn’t say I necessarily wanted to work for it, but I definitely did want to have a title like that,” Kim Nguyen said of winning MVP.
O’Bryant ended its season 12-1 despite having only eight players on its roster Friday. The Tigers took the second set convincingly because of strong serving from Grace Lloyd and Karen Huynh.
“The quality of the girls that I had was good,” O’Bryant coach Trudy Fisher said. “I’m used to quantity, but this year I had kids that had great quality. We all worked hard and they worked hard. I’m glad they made it as far as they did.”
In the Boston City League championships, held virtually at Madison Park, Latin Academy swimmers compiled 142 points to outdistance O’Bryant (67) and East Boston (63).
Latin Academy sophomore Diego Alzamora won the 200-yard (2:11.82) and 500-yard freestyles (5:53.14), O’Bryant freshman Marquis Francois was first in the 200 individual medley (2:18.88) and the 100 backstroke (1:04.56), and LA junior Amiri Sulker took the 100 freestyle (54.75) and 100 breaststroke (1:11.70). East Boston senior Remy Laribi captured the 50 free (23.16) and Latin Academy senior Simon Chernow was tops in the 100 butterfly (56.08). Latin Academy won all three relays, the 200 medley, and the 200 and 400 freestyles.
Apponequet 2, Fairhaven 1 — Dylan Barreira scored the decisive goal for the visiting Lakers (4-2-2) in the South Coast Conference regular-season finale.
St. Sebastian’s 9, Belmont Hill 8 — The Arrows staved off a seventh inning comeback attempt from the hosts and escaped with the Independent School League win. Sophomore Hagan Ward (4 innings, 0 earned runs) delivered on the mound, while sophomore Jeff Valdez (3 for 4, 3 RBIs) and junior Jack Tooney (2 for 4, two-run HR) drove in five total runs.
Somerset Berkley 8, Old Rochester 0 — Cami Crook recorded five goals and an assist for the Blue Raiders (7-0), three of the goals on corners assisted by Kayleigh McDonald, in the South Coast Conference win.
Pingree 4, Beaver Country Day 1 — Katherine Curry (6-1, 6-0) and Phoebe Thorne (6-4 6-3) won at first and second singles, respectively, for host Pingree in the EIL victory at Bass River. At doubles, Anna Souter/Caroline Mascotte (6-2, 6-4) and Melina Kaniclides/Ella Comparato (6-4, 6-3) posted wins.
Case 3, Greater New Bedford 0 — Senior captain Alyssa Storm had 14 assists and 4 aces, and senior Riley Fitzgerald added 22 digs for the Cardinals (9-1) in the South Coast Conference.
Colin Bannen, Adam Doucette, Ethan Fuller, Ethan McDowell, and Lenny Rowe contributed.