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Sophomore makes All-County boys volleyball team

Sophomore+Colby+Fong+sets+a+spike+for+his+teammates+against+Einstein+High+School.+Fong+earned+an+All-County+boys+volleyball+honorable+mention+May+20+after+taking+over+the+setter+role+this+year.+Photo+courtesy+Tom+Fong.+
Sophomore Colby Fong sets a spike for his teammates against Einstein High School. Fong earned an All-County boys volleyball honorable mention May 20 after taking over the setter role this year. Photo courtesy Tom Fong.

Sophomore Colby Fong sets a spike for his teammates against Einstein High School. Fong earned an All-County boys volleyball honorable mention May 20 after taking over the setter role this year. Photo courtesy Tom Fong.

Sophomore Colby Fong sets a spike for his teammates against Einstein High School. Fong earned an All-County boys volleyball honorable mention May 20 after taking over the setter role this year. Photo courtesy Tom Fong.

By Matthew van Bastelaer

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Sophomore Colby Fong earned an honorable mention on the all-MCPS boys volleyball team from county coaches May 20. Fong led a team made up of predominantly new members as co-captain and took on a supporting position for the benefit of his teammates to help lead the team to a 3-8 record.

Fong played libero his freshman season but took over the setter position, as former setter Stefan Greenberg graduated last spring.

After playing with Fong for a year, Greenberg said he thought that Fong was a solid player with great potential. Fong’s knowledge of the game made him the clear choice for who should take over as setter, Greenberg said.

“He had a high volleyball IQ, which is important for a setter,” Greenberg said. “Simply put, he was the best at setting so it made sense for him to be the next setter.”

Outside hitter Harrison Jacobs agreed, saying Fong stepped in to help his teammates.

“After our setter graduated, Colby stepped into the setting role, which was really important because you can’t hit without good sets,” Jacobs said.

Fong’s modest stature better qualifies him to play defensive positions. As the libero, Fong specialized in defense and wasn’t allowed to block or attack the ball, but as the setter, Fong’s main job is to give his teammates easy passes to spike.

Fong quickly adapted to the new role; his strength during the season and resulting All-County nod served as proof. Back row player Ali Shafii said Fong’s All-County acknowledgement is a testament to his integral role on the team.

Fong began playing volleyball when he was 11 after watching his dad play in an outdoor league. His years of experience allow him to play the more difficult positions. Fong’s choice to assume another supportive role as the setter put him in a tougher position, making it more difficult to earn acclaim.

“It’s harder for underclassmen to make [the All-County team], specifically setters,” Fong said. “Setters aren’t as flashy, they don’t hit the ball as hard, and also they’re joining the team together rather than scoring the points.”

The commendation didn’t surprise boys volleyball coach Luis Gomes, who has coached Fong for one season. Gomes noted that Fong’s hard work throughout the year earned him this position.

“Colby is the kind of kid who stands out simply by nature of who he is,” Gomes said. “He’s a natural leader to his teammates. He has an unstoppable work ethic, yet he’s humble about his talent.”

Fong said he will continue to improve his game to eventually play in college, and Gomes expects to continue seeing big things from him.

“This is a well-deserved honor,” Gomes said. “Colby’s characteristics and talents on the court speak for themselves. Hopefully, he’ll continue to improve and receive this honor again next year.”

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The Student News Site of Walt Whitman High School
Sophomore makes All-County boys volleyball team