How the Beasts Serve Up

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Issue 15, Volume 109

By Aki Yamaguchi 

Kevin Mitchell and Scott Abramowitz are the senior captains of Stuyvesant’s boys’ volleyball team, the Beasts. The Beasts are currently second in their division with two games to go until playoffs, and they have a record of 7-1. Looking to keep their hold on the division as in previous years and advance further in playoffs, the Beasts are looking strong and coming in with energy to reflect on their journey in volleyball.

Kevin Mitchell
: Senior
Height: 6’1”
Eye color: Brown
Hair color: Brown
DOB: 4/20/2001

Scott Abramowitz
Height: 5’9’’
Eye color: Light brown/dirty brown
Hair color: Brown
DOB: 1/15/2001

When did you start playing volleyball?

SA: In freshman year, I first started playing in gym, and my teacher suggested I try out for the volleyball team, which I did. KM: I played once in P.E. during the eighth grade. However, other than that, I didn't play until freshman year tryouts for the team.

What are your goals for yourself this year?

KM: Just being a good leader for the team. I don’t really have a goal for myself in terms of stats; those aren't really important to me. As long as I’m a good leader, that’s what matters. SA: Yeah, it’s more about how we lead the team, how we get the team ready to play for every single game. Make sure to set a good example on the court, but part of that is improving our own game. I’m a setter, so every time I know I can set better, I can do things better. It’s just the same approach as other sports: you just want to get better each game and make them learning experiences to improve for the next time.

What are your goals for the season and the team?

KM: We want to close out the season by winning the season and [having] a strong day at the Seward Park tournament. We haven’t had a strong showing at a tournament yet, and this would improve our seeding for playoffs. SA: Yeah, for me, I think it’s about playing to our potential. We know how good we can be and the work we have to do to get to that point. Putting the work in and playing together to get the best possible way we can play—that’s what I would be satisfied with, knowing we are playing to the highest level we can.

What are your respective positions on the team, and what do you do there?

KM: I play middle; basically I have to call out where the setter is and the type of serve that’s coming before the play. During the play, it’s just mostly hitting and blocking. I don’t do a lot of digging unless the ball [is] intentionally passed short to me. SA: You also run away from me. KM: Right, I also want to make sure I don't run into the setter; most of my job is being aware on the court and being in the right position so I can hit. SA: For me, I’m a setter, so I set the ball when it comes over the net. The ball gets passed to me; then, I sort of run the offense. I decide who to set to, who to pass to, what types of sets. I also call the types of plays on the court.

How do you deal with playing volleyball and your schoolwork, and do you have any tips?

KM: Sometimes, it would be hard; last year during second term of junior year, it [got] hard. Most of it, though, is being on top of your homework by doing work during the day [and] not procrastinating when you get home. As long as you are good with time management, I think it’s not that bad. SA: Yeah, I agree. When I was a freshman, I would, no matter the time I get home, sort of finish homework at the same relative time. In a way, volleyball forced me to do my work on time as a freshman. I knew I could not procrastinate, and it did get harder as you went into sophomore and junior year. Like Kevin said, just do work during free periods and work on the train. If we have downtime during tournaments, we can do homework. Something helpful for our team is if you have trouble with a class or a teacher, you can ask the group chat, and we support each other with help and advice.

What have been your favorite memories or moments in volleyball, and what will you miss?

KM: My favorite memory is freshman year when I was working lines at the Grover Cleveland tournament. I don’t remember who was playing, but I do remember Midwood was one of the teams playing, and they had this really scary middle. Anyway, the ball got hit out, and the Midwood middle turned to me and yelled in. I got so scared that I called in even though it was way out, so one of the seniors on our team came to me and just took the flag from me. So that was it for me doing the lines. SA: This isn’t directly related to volleyball, but we have this team bonding activity where you have to stand in a line and slap each other’s hands. The last person has to slap a water bottle at the end, so it gets super intense with [whoever] can do it the fastest. It’s with your eyes closed, and some people are maybe cheating a little, so it becomes maybe the most intense moment of the year, and it’s not even volleyball-related. It’s just so fun and gets so crazy, but [it’s] also just what we will miss. I remember a lot of the seniors in the past have said that their main motivation for coming to school was volleyball. You know you have to come to school to play in the games, so that’s what makes it the best. We have a great team environment; we are laughing during practices and always having fun. Just missing those small moments like that. KM: I definitely agree, more than any team I’ve ever been on. The volleyball team is a family; there are no real cliques in the team, and we are all friends with each other. I’ll really miss that; I have not been on a team like this before.

Funniest moment or funniest player on the team?

SA: Ray [Jones, graduated senior] last year said it was me for the Spec article. I [think], for you, it’s when you got pantsed last year. KM: It was really funny; it was at West 50th, and no one knows this besides Scott because no one else saw besides him. I don't know how but Nick Kim was playing middle and was rotating out, and Scott and I were at the end of the line, not paying attention. So Nick pantsed me in front of everyone but Scott because I got them up really quick. SA: That was a highlight. This didn't happen to me but during our freshman year, we had a rookie tournament, and it was really our first time getting game experience. So with Mitchell, a ball came, and he didn’t really know whether to go for it or not, so he lunged for it but he didn’t put his hands out. So he ended up digging the ball with his face and ended up an okay pass, but it was just really funny to see the ball bounce off his face.

Choice drink:
Dr. Brown’s Cream Soda
Favorite food: Veal Parm
Quote to live by: If you doodoo on yourself
Fun fact: My favorite candy is Reese's Pieces.

Choice drink:
Orange pineapple juice
Favorite food: Chicken Parm
Motto to live by: Yesterday’s home runs don’t win today’s games
Fun fact: I love pets; I once had a dog, two rabbits, and three guinea pigs all at the same time.