Silver Chips Online

Patriots overpower coed volleyball

Blazers fall in straight games for first home loss

By Anshul Sood, Online Sports Editor
April 29, 2008
NELSON H. KOBREN GYMNASIUM, April 28

The Blair coed volleyball team (4-5) fell to the Wootton Patriots in straight games on Monday, 25-17, 25-14 and 25-22. The Blazers failed to communicate well on the court numerous times, but still gave the Patriots a good fight with some strong stretches of play. Head coach Greg Franklin was once again unable to make it to the match and boys' volleyball head coach Chris Liang again filled in. This was just the first home loss for the Blazers this season.

The Patriots came out hot in the first game. They quickly broke a 2-2 tie by scoring three unanswered points en route to a 7-2 run overall. A great spike by junior Ignacio "Nacho" Gaete slowed the Patriots' momentum for a bit, but they quickly returned to their dominant form. Blair struggled to keep the ball in the court and faced a 19-9 deficit before a timeout by Liang.

The timeout could not have come at a better time. The Blazers returned to the court reenergized and went on a 7-2 run that contained two more great kills by Gaete. Gaete, who has posted double-digit kills in most of his games this season, finished the game with a team-high seven kills. But with a 21-16 lead, the Patriots closed the game strong with great serves to take the first game, 25-17.

The Patriots were even more dominant to begin the second game, scoring five unanswered points right from the start before a bad serve gave the Blazers their first point. But once again, the Blazers rallied off great hits from senior co-captain Olivia Bozik to cut the deficit to 7-5. The Blazers kept up for most of the way, matching most of the Patriots' points with the score a 18-13 deficit. But the front line for the Patriots was too strong for the Blazers. Great kills from two of Wootton's tallest hitters helped the Patriots to secure the second game, 25-14.

The Blazers were determined to stay in the match. The Patriots did not dominate the opening of the third game: instead, the Blazers found themselves with an 8-5 lead. But a lack of communication on the court led to the Blazers allowing many balls to hit the ground and the Patriots to reclaim the lead, 10-9. The score seesawed back and forth until the two teams were tied at 16 apiece.

But the Patriots were able to make great kills and serves that the Blazers were unable to return and took a 23-18 lead before a Blazer timeout. The Blazers found a spark and fought hard, winning the next three points to trail by just one point 23-22 following an ace by sophomore Lawrence Cho. But the Patriots claimed the final two points off a kill and an ace to win the final game, 25-22.

Liang was disappointed in the loss and how the team played early on. "We didn't do as well as I would have hoped," Liang said. "We don't play as a team, we played as individuals. People need to stop trying to be a star player and instead play as a team."

Bozik, on the other hand, saw some improvement in the team's on-court chemistry. "We moved around a lot more and covered each other, which is good teamwork," Bozik said. "But we still need to work on talking on the court. We could have had this game, we just needed to calm down and play our game."

The Blazers' next home game is Wednesday, April 30 against Kennedy at 5:15 p.m.

http://silverchips.mbhs.edu/story/8329