Statistically speaking: 13 undefeated regular seasons in a row

Cameron Smith

Coaches and players often talk about "going out on top." It's rare that someone is able to cherry pick a perfect moment for such a departure, but New York (N.Y.) Stuyvesant High volleyball coach Philip Fisher might get precisely that opportunity, for one primary reason: His team has never lost in the regular season. Ever.

Stuyvesant volleyball coach Phil Fisher
Stuyvesant volleyball coach Phil Fisher

By default, that means that almost any time could be a perfect time for Fisher to "go out on top." According to the New York Daily News, Fisher has decided that time is coming soon, with the 13-year coaching veteran announcing that he plans to step aside at the end of the 2011 season.

The reasons for Fisher's retirement aren't unlikely, or even unusual. At 57, the physical education teacher decided he wanted to spend more time with his new wife. That inspired him to choose between the two sports he has long coached at Stuyvesant, volleyball and boys basketball.

Fisher eventually chose boys basketball, even though that ensures that his personal run at the helm of one of New York City's prep sports dynasties would come to an end.

In particular, Fisher's retirement will bring an end to 13 consecutive regular season campaigns without a loss for the Vixens under his guidance. Stuyvesant is currently 5-0, and could conceivably lose a match during the current regular season, but that seems unlikely. Why, you ask? Because the Vixens haven't even lost a set in a regular season match in nearly a year.

Though their longtime leader will be gone, Fisher's players insist that they'll be ready to move on without him come 2012.

"Even after he leaves next year, I'm confident that we can still uphold the streak," junior Natalie Kozlova told the Daily News.

Fisher was equally positive about the program's future, with or without him, provided that the team's younger players dedicate themselves the way their forebears have.

"We'll be good next year, but the non-starters are going to really have to work on their games," added Fisher. "So will (the streak) stay? Maybe."

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