The student news site of The Harker School.

Harker Aquila

The student news site of The Harker School.

Harker Aquila

The student news site of The Harker School.

Harker Aquila

‘Hustle for Muscle’ raises awareness of muscular dystrophy

Spencer+Mak+%2810%29+and+Adrian+Liu+%2810%29+block+a+hit+from+Vishnu+Kannan+%2812%29+during+the+sophomores+versus+senior+match+in+the+%E2%80%9CHustle+for+Muscle%E2%80%9D+volleyball+tournament.+The+seniors+won+the+game+15-11.

Kinnera Mulam

Spencer Mak (10) and Adrian Liu (10) block a hit from Vishnu Kannan (12) during the sophomores versus senior match in the “Hustle for Muscle” volleyball tournament. The seniors won the game 15-11.

by Katelyn Zhao and Ananya Sriram

Freshman, sophomore, junior, senior and faculty teams faced off in the annual “Hustle for Muscle” volleyball tournament hosted by Harker DECA and Harker Spirit Leadership Team (HSLT) during lunch last Tuesday and Thursday in the Zhang Athletic Center. The event’s initiative to raise awareness for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA), a nonprofit that works to cure muscular dystrophy, attracted a crowd of around 100 students, administration and faculty. 

In the past, DECA has raised money for MDA by selling ice cream during basketball, soccer and volleyball tournaments.

“This year due to COVID, we weren’t able to sell any food during the game like we normally do to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association,” Harker DECA director of Finance Trisha Variyar (11) said. “We also did this to promote Winter Wishes, which we are doing this year for fundraising for the association.“

Through Winter Wishes, a fundraiser organized by DECA for MDA, students can give $5 to support the cause by Nov. 30 and send a holiday gift of chocolate, candy canes, hot chocolate, a note and a rubber duck or polar bear toy to someone at Harker. Although only Winter Wishes are being used for fundraising this year, DECA chose to hold “Hustle for Muscle” this year due to their tradition of holding the game and to help raise awareness for mda during the game, during which they could talk about the organization.

“It was good to see the community get together to watch the game and to support a good cause during lunch,” said Alfredo Alves, assistant athletics director for the upper school and referee for the tournament.

DECA has been fundraising for MDA for six years with annual volleyball tournaments, encouraging students to help Harker DECA support MDA’s cause to find treatments for muscular dystrophy in patients in America.

Due to remote learning during the 2019-2020 school year, DECA changed its usual volleyball game fundraiser to selling St. Patrick’s Day goodie bags due to remote learning.

 “Last year, we did the Lucky Charms fundraiser instead, so I thought it was great to collaborate with HSLT in person again and fundraise for MDA,” DECA Co-CEO Gianna “Gigi” Chan (12) said. 

Both the freshmen and junior teams started off strong with serves from Aaron Guo (9) and Tyler Beede (11). Saves and spikes from Leo Sobcyzn (9), tips from Navya Samuel (9) and an ace from Norah Mehanna (9) put the freshmen up 7-6 five minutes into the match. The juniors upped their game, tying the score at 14-14 just before the final play. HSLT and DECA added an extra 30 seconds to the game clock to break the tie, and the freshmen team capitalized on the time, ultimately pulling ahead for an 18-16 victory. 

The sophomores faced the seniors in the next match, with Tara Ozdemir (12) serving first. Blocks by Spencer Mak (10) and spikes from Vishnu Kannan (12) led to wild cheering from onlookers. Following a tip from Adrian Liu (10) and a spike from Spencer, the sophomores evened the score to 11-11. The two teams exchanged points for a majority of the match without any obvious winner, but in the end, the seniors won 15-11.

For the semifinals, the freshman team played the seniors and the sophomores played the juniors on Thursday during long lunch. The sophomores won 14-6 against the juniors, earning the third place spot for 200 spirit points, while the juniors received 100 points for fourth place. The freshman class beat the seniors with a score of 8-3, giving them 400 points for first place, while the seniors received 300 for second. The freshman class will also receive a Krispy Kreme party for winning.

The freshman class advanced to the final stage of the tournament to play against teachers in the faculty-student match, with the freshman team winning in the first set. However, faculty caught up to the freshmen in the next two sets, giving the faculty a win against the freshmen. 

“While I hope everyone who watched the game [on Thursday] enjoyed watching people in their class play a competitive game of volleyball, I also hope they became more aware of the reason why DECA is doing this,” Trisha said.

A previous version of this article incorrectly referred to the sophomore team as the freshman team in a photo caption. The article has been updated on Nov. 23, 2021 to reflect the correction of this error.

About the Contributors
Photo of Katelyn Zhao
Katelyn Zhao, Reporter

Katelyn Zhao (10) is a reporter for Harker Aquila, and this is her second year on staff. This year, she hopes to elevate her reporting skills and photograph...

Photo of Ananya Sriram
Ananya Sriram, Reporter

Ananya Sriram (10) is a reporter for Harker Aquila, and this is her second year on staff. She hopes to advance her photography skills and write about national...

Photo of Kinnera Mulam
Kinnera Mulam, Reporter

Kinnera Mulam (10) is a reporter for Harker Aquila, and this is her second year on staff. This year, she hopes to write more about new projects and developments...

Navigate Left
  • Pencil in hand and timer set, Junior Jessica Zhou writes a practice test during an AP United States History (APUSH) class yesterday. The APUSH exam is scheduled to take place this Friday.

    News

    Upper school students take AP exams with special bell schedule

  • Sporting a yellow class shirt, junior Richard Zhang delivers a response to a question asked by junior class dean Karl Kuehn. Prior to the question and answer session, the junior class could view candidates responses to a set of five questions.

    News

    Freshmen, sophomores, juniors elect class council and SAB representatives

  • Downbeat takes the stage with an a cappella arrangement of TV show “Euphoria”’s song “All for Us. Spring Choral Concert took place last Thursday at 6:30 p.m., with performances by upper school singing groups Bel Canto, Camerata, Cantilena and Downbeat.

    News

    School meeting recap 4/18/22: Downbeat performance, lockdown drill and Green Team club week

  • Students look on as the sprinkler sprays others exiting the library. “I was very surprised, of course, you don’t really see that kind of thing every day,” said Richie Amarillas (12), who was outside the library when the pipe burst. “When I looked outside I just thought it was raining because it was supposed to rain today, but no, it was a sprinkler.

    News

    BREAKING: Sprinkler bursts near library, temporarily drenches walkway

  • Elvis Han (12) adds a chair to the barricade of Upper School Science Department Chair Anita Chettys period 6 Honors Human Anatomy and Physiology class on Monday. Upper school students and staff participated in a “Run, Hide and Defend” drill to practice emergency response protocol from 10:20 to 10:50 a.m. on Monday.

    Briefs

    Upper school community practices lockdown drill

  • Sonia Yu (9) leads the freshmen in a section of their class dance. The juniors placed first in the class dance competition, followed by the seniors, the sophomores and the freshmen, respectively.

    News

    From heroes to villains: Upper school hosts in-person spring Spirit Week

  • The freshmen step into formation while rehearsing their dance routine on April 1 on Davis Field for spirit week. The dance was choreographed by freshmen Maya Affaki, Yasmin Sudarsanam and Sonia Yu.

    News

    Spirit week activities to begin tomorrow

  • The Harker Aquila staff and co-advisers Whitney Huang and Ellen Austin, MJE, receive a Pacemaker award at the National High School Journalism Convention today. Harker Aquila also placed sixth in the Best of Show competition as an online news site.

    Briefs

    Harker Journalism attends National High School Journalism Convention in LA, receives national recognition

  • Harker Journalisms Quiz Bowl team competed this morning in the finalists round at 8 a.m. in the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles. The team consisted of Shinjan Ghosh (12), Tiffany Chang (11), Lakshmi Mulgund (11) and Lavanya Subramanian (11).

    News

    Harker Journalism advances to National Journalism Quiz Bowl finalist round

  • Keynote speaker at the JEA/NSPA journalism conference Hilde Lysiak speaks to a crowd of 2,131 high school journalists. Lysiak started a news site Orange Street News at age seven and is the feature of the Apple TV+ series Home Before Dark.

    Editor's Pick

    15-year-old journalist delivers keynote speech at national journalism convention

Navigate Right

Comments (0)

All Harker Aquila Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest