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April 8, 2008

Blazers demolish Wolverines in home opener

by Ya Zhou, Online Connections Editor & Online Copy Editor
NELSON H. KOBREN GYMNASIUM, April 7

After losing their season opener to Rockville, the boys' volleyball team won decisively against the Watkins Mill Wolverines on Monday in their home opener. The three sets (25-17, 25-18 and 25-13) were characterized by strong serves and mediocre hits. While the Blazers began sluggishly, they quickly picked up speed and momentum to capture the win.

Freshman Robert Huang began the game with Blair's serve. With sloppy hitting and lackluster attempts to save balls, both teams were head-to-head on the scoreboard. During a long rally, spike after spike from Blair was returned by the Wolverines' strong defensive specialists. The game reached a turningpoint when junior co-captain Bryan Huang's consistent serves led to a 6-0 Blair run, making the score 20-15 before the Wolverines regained the serve. Shortly after, a surprise tip from a Blazer hitter disrupted the series of expected spikes. Losing momentum to the Blazers, the Wolverines quickly ceded the 25-17 loss.

The second game began much like the first, with many Blazers lacking energy. Blair called the first time out of the second game when senior Steve Lu suffered a minor ankle injury. The Blazers had some difficulty covering the court due to lack of communication. More than once, the ball fell to the ground in the middle of the court.

However, the Blazers regained energy after falling behind 4-7, and held a 6-5 point lead over the Wolverines by the middle of the game. Similar to the first game, tipping was strategically used. Sophomore Sina Shahamatdar also showed exemplary blocking, upping the Blazers' lead.

After two wins, the Blazers found new energy in the third game and started strongly with a lead. The Wolverines showed the same energy as they pulled even with Blair at 6-6 before junior co-captain Willy Li delivered a smashing ace. The teams continued evenly matched until Robert Huang began his 9-0 serve run. Huang led the Blazers from a one-point deficit to an eight-point lead (19-10) before the Blazers hit out. In the third game, Huang served a total of 12 points. Co-captain Bryan Huang closed the game on a satisfactory on-the-line ace.

The win against Watkins Mill was not only a morale booster for the Blazers after a disappointing season opener loss, but it also gave the team more breathing room, according to coach Chris Liang. The Blazers were tenser during the first game compared to the more relaxed and "fun" second game. Liang felt that while passing needed additional work, the Blazers showed more control in serves. "They're not trying to kill the ball," Liang said.

Watkins Mill coach Mark Carothers commended both teams. According to Carothers, the Wolverines played hard to eliminate mistakes, even though they were aware that Blair was an "experienced, talented and athletic" team. "We tried hard to not give away as many points," Carothers said.

The boys' volleyball team's next home game is on Thursday, April 10 at 5:15 p.m.



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  • carlos (View Email) on April 11, 2008 at 1:46 PM
    You already kno''''''
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