Members of the HBS Volleyball Club traveled to Philadelphia for the 11th Annual Wharton Volleyball Tournament on Saturday, April 13th. The HBS Team captured the 1st place trophy and the team gold medals by sweeping through the playoffs with convincing, two-game victories over Michigan in the semifinal and the Wharton White team in the final.
With the exception of a minor dip in the level of play midday, the HBS team dominated the competition for most of the tournament. Competing in the Wharton tournament against the HBS team were Columbia, Michigan, MIT Sloan, NYU Stern, and three Wharton teams (Wharton Red, Wharton White, and Wharton Blue).
The championship team was comprised of HBS captain Marcus Lo (OD), 2nd year students Sasha Berson (OH), and Peter Platzer (OJ), and 1st years Alex Dearaujo(NE), Laura Hontoria (NI), and Legrand Lewis (NC).
The HBS team started strong, without losing a single match in the early rounds of the tournament. After 10 games of regular pool play, with one match remaining, the HBS team stood in a clear #1 position, with an 8-2 game record, guaranteeing a spot in the playoff semifinals.
In the final match of pool play, HBS faced the Wharton White team. The HBS team was already guaranteed a playoff spot based on their current game record. The Wharton White team needed to win both games to avoid elimination from the tournament. The Wharton White team needed the victory much more than the HBS team, and it showed in their level of play.
HBS lost both games of the match, dropping the team from the 1st place position to the 3rd seeded position for the playoffs, with an 8-4 record. Wharton White moved up to 4th place, with a 6-6 record, squeezing into the last playoff spot.
As the 3rd seed in the playoffs, HBS faced the 2nd seeded Michigan team, the defending champions from last year’s tournament. The HBS team played with intensity and shut the Michigan offense down, easily winning the match and a spot in the championship final in two games.
In the other semifinal, the 4th seeded Wharton White team defeated the 1st seeded NYU Stern team in a two-game upset, claiming the other spot in the championship final.
Facing the Wharton White team in the championship final, the HBS team raised the level of intensity an extra notch. Building off the momentum from the two-game win over Michigan, the HBS team steamrolled over the Wharton home team as well, capturing the championship title 2-0 (15-12, 15-10).