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Cambridge boys’ volleyball survives five-set tournament thriller against Lexington in Division 1 second round

From left, Cambridge’s Henry Bonney, Eric Su, and Tashi Mulug-Labrang had something to something during their win over Lexington.Barry Chin/Globe Staff

After playing to five sets in the regular season finale, the Cambridge and Lexington boys’ volleyball teams seemed destined for a postseason rematch.

Tuesday’s Division 1 second-round thriller lived up to the billing. Eighth-seeded Cambridge defended home court again, winning 22-25, 25-19, 25-18, 26-28, 17-15 against ninth-seeded Lexington in an instant classic.

“I think they did it for each other,” Cambridge coach Kelley Leary said. “They like each other and they love volleyball, so they did it for themselves and they wanted to do it for each other.”

Cambridge had Lexington facing elimination twice in the fourth set, at 24-22 and 26-25, but the Minutemen fought to keep their season alive. Nadav Vachtel hammered home a kill to finally take the set, 28-26, and suddenly Lexington had momentum.


“Focus on the skills,” Leary told her team after the fourth set. “We can’t focus on the endpoint. [We] got to focus on: What are we doing right now? What’s my job?”

Lexington's Matteo Luciani (left) tried to spike against against Cambridge's Freddy Montalvo-Lugo (right) and Henry Bonney.Barry Chin/Globe Staff

The teams were tied, 11-all, in the fifth set, and then Cambridge was on the ropes, down 13-11 before battling back. Again the Falcons worked it to match point twice, and finally, senior Henry Bonney’s winning block sent the Falcons forward.

Bonney finished with 16 kills and teammate Isaac Wedaman tallied 18. Bonney exuded competitive fire throughout the match, and said his teammates help bring out the best of his energy.

“We’ve been friends for years, and I think that just allows us to share the passion more,” Bonney said. “We know each other so well.”

The Falcons (15-6) came out sluggish, while the Minuteman (14-6) started strong with stars Matteo Luciani (22 kills) and Justin Cheng (14 kills, six blocks) leading the way. But Cambridge didn’t trail in the next two sets, relying on contributions throughout the lineup and stalwart play at the net to swing momentum.


Six Falcons registered multiple blocks, including sophomore setter Eric Su. Jayden Ferreira-Miller, Leo Rothenberg, and Freddy Montalvo-Lugo each had three.

“Honestly, [it’s] their hard work,” Leary said. “They listen to me. They worked hard in the offseason and they like each other — they did it together.”

Isaac Wedaman (left) and Jayden Ferreira-Miller celebrated a point for Cambridge.Barry Chin/Globe Staff

Cambridge will face the winner of top-seeded Needham vs. No. 16 Methuen (Wednesday, 5 p.m.) in the quarterfinals. If the Falcons face Needham, who would enter on a 70-game win streak, Bonney wants his team to harness the crowd’s energy like they did Tuesday.

“They’re going to have a big crowd, but as I said, that fuels us,” he said.