Perfection is rare. When a sports team approaches perfection, it seems like the whole world drops everything to watch. Perfection does not come around often, and when it does, we all stand in awe of the almost impossible feats the team performs. This is what has made the accomplishments of the Stuyvesant girls’ volleyball team so spectacular. They have not had one perfect regular season—they have had twelve.
The Vixens clinched their 12th straight perfect regular season in 2 quick sets against Seward Park on Monday, November 8, a match that coach and physical education teacher Phil Fisher called the “high point of the season.” The girls won almost every game in this fashion, losing only one set the entire season to Bard High School Early College. “We were very confident throughout the season that the team would be able to keep [the record] up…It was a lot of pressure though,” senior and captain Dorothy “Dot” Weldon said.
“It was great that [the team] could continue the legacy, even though we lost a lot of players from last year,” junior Melissa Chin said.
Chin has been a large part of the team’s success this year. Despite standing at just 5’5”, Chin is the only Vixen who plays on a team outside of school and is the team’s premier outside hitter, with a vertical that would put most Stuyvesant athletes to shame. Chin had 78 kills in the regular season, eighteenth most in the Public Schools Athletic League (PSAL) and second in the Vixens’ division, Manhattan A4. She added another 22 kills in the playoffs to end the season with an impressive 100 kills.
Weldon probably put it best when she said, “[Chin]’s a beast…I don’t know what else there is to say.”
Weldon has been instrumental to the Vixens this year as well. She handled her captaincy with poise, coming through in the clutch on the court. She had a division leading 144 assists in the regular season, 8th most in the PSAL. Weldon also assisted her teammates off the court. As one of two seniors on the team and a third year Vixen, Weldon led the other girls through experience and by example.
“Dot inspires [the team] to not give up … and have fun,” Chin said.
Weldon has been more easygoing and relaxed than previous Vixen’s captains. Fisher described Weldon and her captaincy as “a breath of fresh air.”
The other senior Vixen was Clarey Hung. Hung had previously been a member of the swim team but this year she decided to play volleyball. Though only a rookie, Hung may have been the keystone to this team. She filled a vital defensive position, the libero. Coming into this year, Fisher “had no idea who was going to play libero. Then little Clarey came out, all 4’10” of her…and made our trip up to this point much easier,” he said.
The Vixen’s dominance of the Manhattan A4 division was seemingly effortless, as they won almost every division game without much opposition. However, the ease with which they breezed through division was both a blessing and a curse. Because the Vixen’s division was seen as somewhat weak, they only received the seventh seed in the playoffs despite their perfect regular season record. “I think most of the time it just hurts, because we play lazy and then when we play some good teams we’re not ready to step up our game,” Weldon said of playing in this weak division.
The Vixen’s handled their first opponents in the playoffs, the Grand Street Campus Lady Wolves, much like they did their opponents in the regular season—swiftly and mercilessly. The Vixens dominated the Lady Wolves in just half an hour, winning in two sets, 25-6 and 25-11. The quick pace of the match even left many fans stranded outside of the gym as they did not expect such a speedy conclusion.
The Vixens started off their second playoff game shakily, falling behind early to the Newcomers Lady Lions in the first set. This did not discourage the Vixens, though. “It’s important to keep playing, even when we’re down. It’s important to keep pushing,” Chin said. The Vixens went on to win the next two sets, 25-15 and 25-14. The Vixens faced the second seeded Cardozo Judges, 8-2 in the regular season, in the quarterfinals and failed to get past the eventual PSAL champion Judges. The Vixens were knocked out of the playoffs by the Cardozo Judges in straight sets for the third year in a row.
The Vixens future is very promising. The team will only lose two seniors, with ten players returning next year to solidify a strong core, likely to repeat their regular season success for their thirteenth consecutive undefeated season.