Madison Park coach Gladys Perez-Byrd finally got one back on her friend, O’Bryant's coach Gertrude Fisher, during Tuesday night’s Boston City League girls’ volleyball All-Star game at Emmanuel College.
A scheduling conflict prevented the Tigers and Cardinals — who share a campus — from playing their usual match this fall, But O’Bryant did beat Madison Park in the semifinals of the city championships earlier this month.
In Tuesday’s all-star game, however, Perez-Byrd’s North squad defeated Fisher’s South Squad, 3-0 (26-24, 25-21, 25-21).
“This is all for fun, it’s not about revenge, it’s about the kids,” Perez-Byrd said after the game which was sponsored by the Boston Scholar Athlete Program.
North started off slow in the opening set as South jumped out to an 8-1 lead thanks to stellar serving from Snowden senior Shirley Peng and O’Bryant senior Diep Nguyen.
North finally tied the set, 17-17, before South came back to knot the set at 23. But Madison Park senior Amber Edwards successfully served out the set with three straight service points to win, 26-24.
“They just had to get used to playing with each other," Perez-Byrd said. "We didn’t have a chance to practice so positions were something we had to work out, but they worked it out."
In the second set it was the South’s turn to make a comeback, cutting the North’s lead to 23-21. But once again Edwards was there to serve out the set. And this time she had an ace that hit the far left corner of the South's side to ice the set, 25-21.
“Honestly I was just here to have a good time, I kind of zoned out during the game,” Edwards said. “But when I made that final point it was really good, I really enjoyed myself.”
South started strong in the third set to go up, 15-9, but South Boston junior Jose Honore served five straight points to tie the game at 15 and then four more points to go up, 19-15.
“[It took] a lot of concentration and my teammates really supported me so it was really good,” Honore said. “It was very big because we caught up.”
South caught up to get within four points but North ultimately won the final set, 25-21.
“It wasn’t about winning in the first place,” Latin Academy sophomore Alex Wilson said. “It was about having fun and I really enjoyed being with all the girls we were with and it was a great experience.”
O’Bryant junior Camly Pham said the South’s push in the second set was too little too late.
“Everybody has their ups and downs, you’re not always perfect,” she said. “I guess we had a spark and our team got into the rhythm of it, but I guess we were too late when that spark happened.”
South finally picked up two sets when the teams played two friendly sets at the end of the night. South won both friendly sets, 15-11.
“I think they had fun,” Fisher said. ”I’m glad they let them play five games because at least they could walk away with something.
North senior Dora Chen was playing in front of her mother, AiMeichen Chen, for the first time ever. Chen said her mother is a garment worker during the week and restaurant worker during the day and doesn’t have time to come see her matches.
“She’s very proud of me because it’s her first time to see me play volleyball ever and she’s excited and happy to see me get an all-star,” Chens said, translating for her mother before adding, “every time I go home I say ‘I played volleyball and I got an all-star game’ and it’s like ‘what is that?’"
“I want them to know what this is. And I played well.”
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