Clutching her medal, middle hitter Massiel Ramirez gleamed with a bright smile, saying, "We never lost hope. I knew we could do it."
In an emotional roller coaster of a match, her Boston English volleyball squad came out on top to defeat O'Bryant, 3-1, at Burke High School Tuesday for the school's fourth city championship.
"I knew it was going to be a battle. They played great defense and our girls didn't give up and stayed at it," said Bulldogs coach Hardy Mondesir after the 25-16, 25-12, 21-25, 25-23 win.
"The only thing we had to do was work on defense, because we finally made it as a team, as a family," said Ramirez. "I feel the best in my life. This is the thing I know I am good at and I love doing it. Now I know I'm good at it because I have my medal."
Middle hitter Jasmine Allen's performance at the service line carried the Bulldogs through the final set, bringing them back from a 23-21 deficit.
The set was a point-for-point rally that came after a tightly contested third set in which O'Bryant managed its first lead of the match. When it mattered most, Ramirez hit over a block and managed a service ace to set up the Bulldogs for game point before a timeout. An O'Bryant error settled the set.
Ramirez had her biggest moments in the first and second sets along with outside hitter Heidy Barreiro. They worked side by side to deliver an unstoppable offense.
"[Heidy] is everywhere and she works hard to get every ball," said Mondesir. "[Massiel], the key is her height. The minutes she stays behind the ball and attacks, it's pretty dominating."
Ramirez pounded through a double block to help end the second set, 25-12.
The duo worked to set the bar in the first set by giving the Bulldogs a 10-point lead and control over the volley, allowing Ramirez to showcase her hitting. Barreiro had an all-around consistent performance but shined on the service line, earning Boston English 5 points before forcing O'Bryant to a timeout at 19-11. Errors kept the rest of the set tight.
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