The Drew men’s volleyball team celebrated graduating seniors No. 11 Matt Burke (‘23) and No. 27 Furat Alhayek (‘23) on Tuesday, March 28. In a 3-0 victory over SUNY Old Westbury, the Drew Rangers forced through an outstanding sweep in the program’s first ever Senior Night.
The Senior Night game opened with a small ceremony introducing Burke and Alhayek to the audience before inviting them to gather for a picture with their families. Both seniors performed well throughout the game, with Alhayek leading the team with eight kills and Burke contributing four blocks. Following the quick celebration of the seniors, players were announced and the first set began.
The set initially saw the Rangers falling behind the Panthers 8-5 as their only major deficit in the entire match. Down 9-7, the Rangers rallied for a 14 point streak, launching them to 21-9 before finally losing a point and passing the serve back to the Panthers. In a short back-and-forth, the Rangers locked the first set 25-13.
The Rangers broke out of the second set with a strong 11-4 lead above the Panthers. With significantly more communication than the Panthers, which proved to be a massive advantage, the Rangers cruised through the second set, closing it 25-14.
The final set of the night saw a haggard Panthers team fight for a chance at another set. The downtrodden Panthers made six errors in the third set. The Rangers, leading 24-12, tried as hard as they could to give the winning point to a senior, but after four attempts, the Panthers’ server suffered an error to end the set 25-16, giving the match to the Rangers.
Following an overwhelming victory, the Rangers celebrated their first player to achieve 1000 career assists during their previous game on Saturday, March 25 at Lehman College. Huriel Perez (‘25) received flowers and congratulations from the team. A Senior Night photo was taken to commemorate the seniors and Perez’s achievement.
The Drew Rangers play next Sunday, April 8 against Elmira College’s Soaring Eagles at Juniata College.
Brandon Dennis is a junior majoring in English with a concentration in creative writing.