The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

The Dream Team

May 25, 2023

In large part, the Scots credit their successful season to a family-like bond within the team.

“We are way more mature as people in practice, and we take things more seriously. Practice gives us more time to develop and become more of a team,” said junior defensive specialist Brendan Chan-Wittry. 

Although the Scots seem to have incredible cohesion, their dynamic is a product of years of hard work. The team’s origins began at Ralston Middle School, where Chan-Wittry, Hua, and junior setter Kevin Tomita started to play volleyball. 

“I got into volleyball in 7th grade, and I honestly started because I thought it was an interesting sport. The original three were Simon (Hua), Kevin (Tomita), and I,” Chan-Wittry said. 

Soon, the original trio grew together by joining the same club team where Fadeyev also played. Throughout the years, more athletes from Carlmont started to play volleyball, which led to the creation of the CIF NorCal championship team. 

The isolated days of quarantine facilitated the growth and development of numerous of Carlmont’s athletes. Particularly, Murphy, Nathan, Engberg, and Maher found their start to volleyball in their grassy backyards. 

“We played grass volleyball throughout the whole summer in 2020. Eli (Nathan) has a net in his backyard, so we just started playing,” Murphy said. 

Their fun times during the depths of COVID-19 led to the assistant coach telling Murphy and Nathan to start playing for Carlmont, and they brought Engberg and Maher with them. From this group, Murphy has seen incredible success with the sport and was named the San Mateo Daily Journal’s Athlete of the Week on May 16.

While this group and the original trio began their journeys in volleyball alongside friends, one of the newest additions to the team, Wong, found his start through an act of spontaneity. 

“I received an email from Kevin (Tomita) during Christmas break telling me to play volleyball, and I took the opportunity and decided to give it a try. My teammates dragged me to play for a club, so I focused on volleyball and fell in love with it,” Wong said. 

Not only was Wong new to the volleyball team, but he was also new to the United States, having moved from Hong Kong at the beginning of his sophomore year, during which he played for Carlmont’s varsity boys’ football team. 

For Wong, the transition between two drastically different sports involved doing a lot of catching up, but receiving a lot of help from teammates.

Although some of the athletes began volleyball years ago with friends, and some began solo, their paths have led them to one another. This conjointness has led them to achieve remarkable things. 

“If you check out our record, 38-6 overall, it’s one of the top records in the entire nation. The athletes continue to improve and amaze every time they’re out on the court,” Nelson said. 

However, it hasn’t always been the smoothest sailing for this group. Like any other sports team, there were communication issues on the court, but they could be resolved during practice and team bonding throughout the season.

“This season, we developed a lot as players and people. Since we’ve all been in the same cohort, we know everyone’s habits, how everyone plays, and we have very good chemistry,” Tomita said. 

Ultimately, they are just a group of boys alongside their closest friends playing the game they love.  

“We’ve all had a different journey to get here, but all the differences have made a dream team,” Tomita said.

About the Writer
Photo of Gracia Shao-Xue
Gracia Shao-Xue, Social Media Managing Editor
Gracia Shao-Xue is a senior at Carlmont High School. She loves trying new foods and taking photos of everything!

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