Volleyball closes out unprecedented season


Photo curtesy Leah Boxman

Top: Michelle Yu, Liza Brodyo, Cansu Moral Center: Leah Boxman

The girls’ varsity volleyball team finished out an unprecedented season with a record of 3-2. Despite the strange circumstances and only five games played, the team was still able to celebrate their seniors as normally as possible through their senior night against BCC.

Leah Boxman, a senior middle hitter, was thankful to have some sense of normalcy when closing out her final season as a Patriot. The seniors’ celebration included captains Boxman and Morgan Tinsley along with Liza Broydo, a right side hitter who was unable to play due to an ACL and meniscus injury and Excurra Taiganides. Parents were allowed to attend due to the expansion of MCPS sporting event policy where each player was allowed up to two spectators for the event, while still requiring masks and social distancing. “All of the younger players made us posters, decorated the gym, made up T-shirts, got candy and little gifts. Our coach wrote us cheesy poems and made us pies,” Boxman said.

Last year, the team was able to make it to the state quarterfinal game and gained school-wide support, something not often seen for girls’ sports. Boxman noted this as her favorite memory from her high school volleyball career, despite the loss. “Though we lost, the game was amazing because the whole school came together to celebrate our team,” Boxman said.

Broydo was unable to play this season due to her injuries but still participated as much as possible by attending every practice and game. She looks back most fondly on the team’s away game against Urbana, they won. “People were so excited for our game that there was a bus and I have never seen the stands so packed at an away game and then we won. It was just the best environment,” Broydo said.

After last season with such widespread support, the biggest difference was the lack of spectators and cheering this season. Broydo noticed this shift in energy and environment, but also noted that the team did everything in their power to have fun and try their best. Boxman thought that another big change came from not being able to participate in normal team bonding activities and not being able to dress up for games during the school day. “Despite everything, what didn’t change was the fun we had at practices and our love for the game,” Boxman said.

I wouldn’t be who I am today without Wootton volleyball.”

— Leah Boxman

This season will definitely be one that the seniors will never forget, maybe not in the exact way they had pictured but unforgettable nonetheless. The fall sports season has been a lighthouse for high schoolers even without a pandemic. It was an escape from the stress of the school day before and now as an addition, it is an escape from the loneliness that comes from the isolation of COVID-19. “I wouldn’t be who I am today without Wootton volleyball. I met my best friends from the team and have had the best experiences with these girls. I am going to miss volleyball so much and I am so grateful for my experience,” Boxman said.