The Dragons, Stuyvesant’s boys’ handball team, defended the sixth-floor gym on Monday, March 26, decisively defeating the High School of Environmental Studies Eagles 5-0. The game served as a testament to the ability of the Dragons, as they built upon their already lengthy string of undefeated seasons.
Senior Calvin Chong, competing in the first singles match, easily and expectedly dominated his opponent, setting the stage for the rest of the Dragons to follow in a similar fashion. They were able to do so across all of the subsequent matches—in singles and in doubles. The only exception to this trend lay in the third singles match in which senior and cocaptain Eric Han fell behind 7-1 before coming back to score 11 straight points. “Eric’s opponent was competent and ambidextrous, and I was happy to see Eric’s persistence in coming back,” coach Robert Sandler said.
The ability to hit the ball with both hands is instrumental to a player’s game. “It’s so important to be ambidextrous in handball. You need both hands otherwise you won’t be able to rally with the opponent once they cross the ball and hit it to your weak side. That’s what separates the weak players from the strong players,” Han said.
That, along with Han’s unfamiliarity with the new handball that was being used, may have added to his slow start. “It definitely had nothing to do with skill, it was a mental thing,” Han said.
The only unexpected hindrance to the team so far this season has been senior and cocaptain Richard Hsu’s tennis elbow, which is getting better and will most likely not influence the playoffs, the most important part of the season. As the Dragons continue along the road to the playoffs, they carry high hopes. “In the playoffs we’ll be amazing and I’ll definitely be stronger,” Han said.