Silver Chips Online

Boys' volleyball shuts down Northwood

Season opener allowed new players to gain experience

By Molly Nicholson, Online Features and Food Editor
March 22, 2011
NELSON H. KOBREN GYMNASIUM, March 21 -

In their season opener, the boys' varsity volleyball team (1-0) defeated the Northwood Gladiators (0-1) in three straight sets with scores of 25 - 10, 25 - 13, and 25 - 18. Through consistent kills and veteran team members, Blair overcame lack of communication to bring about a merciless defeat of boulevard rival, Northwood.

Junior co-captain Andrew Zhang had six kills during the one set he played and senior Robert Huang served eight aces during all three sets, accelerating the Blazers scoring in each set.

With Blair's powerful serving and spiking, all three sets were very similar, even after substitutions. The team overpowered the Gladiators with their technique and teamwork, even if communication was a low point. "Communication is a big problem," head coach Chris Liang said. "It's kind of quiet except for two players." With six players on the court at a time, Zhang agrees that communication needs to pick up in order to accomplish their goals this season.

According to sophomore co-captain William Cai, the team still has small adjustments that need to be made during practice before their next game. "We need to work on coordination, sometimes balls will drop when they shouldn't," Cai said.

According to Liang, the Blazers only played their starters for the first set, and then began to incorporate the second squad during the next two sets. "Playing against lower level teams like today, we're able to walk [second squad] through the game," Liang said. The team consists of seven returning players and about six new players, according to Liang. "The solid seven knows what they're doing," Liang said.

According to Zhang, the returning players have to help build up the new generation for Blair's volleyball team to continue winning in future seasons. "A lot of players joined this year, so they have to work on their basic skills before they can replace old players," Zhang said.

According to Zhang, the returning players have played together on club teams and know each other and each other's skill levels very well, so an opportunity to play a lower level team like Northwood allowed the new players to get in the game. "The second and third set we subbed a lot, which was good because newer players got more playing experience," Zhang said.

After winning the division last year, and coming close to a county championship, Blair sees each game as an opportunity to advance farther.

The boys' volleyball team will play their next home game on Friday, Mar. 25 against Poolesville at 7 p.m.

http://silverchips.mbhs.edu/story/10808