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Volleyball teams set to play city championships on Wednesday

Posted by Justin Rice  October 30, 2012 09:56 AM

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Now that the volleyball city championships have been rescheduled for Wednesday afternoon after they were delayed by Hurricane Sandy, one thing is for sure about their outcome: Boston English will not win for the fourth straight year.

That leaves the door open for Latin Academy, Madison Park, O’Bryant, and Burke.

In Wednesday's first semifinal, North conference champion Latin Academy will play South conference runner up, Burke, at 3:30 p.m. at the Burke. In the second semifinal, South conference winner O'Bryant will play North runner up Madison Park at 5 p.m., also at the Burke.

The winners of those games will meet in at 4 p.m. on Thursday in the championship match at the Burke.

Before English went on a three-year tear at the city championships, Latin Academy won the city championships about seven straight years.

“It would mean a lot to us because we work so hard as a team and we haven’t won for the last few years so for us to win the city championships would mean a lot to us,” sophomore outside hitter Alex Wilson said. “We’re going to give it our all because we faced pretty hard teams and we don’t know what to expect so we’ll give it all that we can.”

Latin Academy (10-1) hasn’t played Burke (12-3) this year.

“It does make it harder because we haven’t seen them play before but we really are going to give it are all,” Wilson said.

Burke, which just edged out Snowden for a berth in the city playoffs, hasn’t been to cities in about 25 years, according to long-time coach JoAnne Lee-Nieves. Tied with Snowden for second place in the South division, Burke got the nod because it beat Snowden by a wider margin than the margin Snowden beat Burke by earlier in the season.

“It means a lot to them,” Lee-Nieves said of her team qualifying for the tournament. “This is for the girls that have been playing three and four years .This is what you work toward. All the practicing, all the learning and skills, this is what you work toward. They finally got in.

“They’ve shown they deserve to be there. They are worthy to be there. … They showed they have the stuff to be there and I’m glad it worked out for us. It’s a little disappointing for Snowden but that’s why you have rules, or tie breakers.”

The semifinal between Madison Park and O’Bryant is the first meeting this season between the two teams. The rivals usually play each other every season but did not played this year because of a scheduling conflict.

The two teams did scrimmage each other recently and Madison Park performed well.

“If we play O’Bryant I feel good about that because she lost a lot of people, but I did too, I only have a couple seniors back,” Madison Park coach Gladys Perez-Byrd said last week before the pairings were released.

Perez-Byrd said as long as her team remains confident they will be fine in the cities.

“They have to get ready up here. It’s all a head thing with them and what happens in Boston with all of our kids and all of our teams is they have serious confidence issues,” she said. “They make a mistake and they go right down the toilet behind it. There’s no coming back, no matter what you say, what you do. They have confidence issues and it’s all in their head. It’s all a matter of pumping themselves up and staying in the game even behind the mistakes.

“That’s all they have to do.”

O’Bryant coach Trudy Fisher said even though they scrimmaged Madison Park it will be difficult to play them in a real match, especially the city tournament.

“Any time you go into a situation and you really don’t know what they do in a game you just have to make adjustments during the game,” she said before adding. “I think the cities are going to be a good representation of the good teams.”

Justin A. Rice covers Boston Public school athletics. He can be reached at jrice.globe@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeJustinRice or @BPSspts.

About Boston Public Schools Sports Blog

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Several reporters, editors and correspondents contribute updates, news and features to the BPS Sports Blog:
  • Justin A. Rice -- A metro Detroit native, Rice is a Michigan State University (Go Spartans!) and Northeastern University graduate. Rice lives in the South End with his dog and wife, who unfortunately attended the University of Michigan ... his wife, that is. He curates the BPS Sports Blog and is always looking to write about city athletes with great stories. Have an idea? He can be reached at jrice.globe@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeJustinRice or @BPSspts.
  • Ryan Butler -- A Rhode Island native and avid Boston sports fan, Butler played basketball, baseball and football throughout his time in Barrington Public Schools. Now currently in his middler year at Northeastern University, he joins Boston.com as a correspondent for the site's BPS coverage. Have a story idea? Contact him at butler.globe@gmail.com. Follow him on his Twitter @butler_globe.
Also expect updates from Boston.com High School sports editor Zuri Berry and the Globe staff.