Silver Chips Online

Blair volleyball annihilates Rams

Boys' varsity volleyball sweeps Rockville in straight sets to open season

By Sophia Deng, Online Managing Editor
March 23, 2009
NELSON H. KOBREN GYMNASIUM, March 20 -

In their first match of the season, the boys' varsity volleyball team (1-0) soundly defeated the Rockville Rams in three straight sets (0-1). The Blazers led early across the three sets, showing no mercy to Rockville, the team who beat the boys twice last year, including a loss in the playoffs. Through consistent serving and hitting, coupled with poor Ram defense, the boys avenged their losses last year through an easy yet fulfilling win.

Effortlessly dominating the first set, the boys only allowed Rockville to put up five points on the scoreboard. Often the Rams were unable to pass the ball to their teammates, let alone place the ball onto Blazer territory. This enabled the unforgiving Blazers to penetrate the vulnerable Rockville defense time and again. Senior middle hitter Nick Vujcic served nine straight points, leaving him with a total of 10 aces on the night, while senior co-captain setter Willy Li also aced the Rams several times.

Junior co-captain Pin-Joe Ko believed that the Blazers' initial success was mainly due to their consistent serving. "It's something we've been working on, and it really paid off," he said.

With the Blazers leading quickly through powerful spiking and serving, the second set was very similar to the first. Along with powerhouses Vujcic and Li, freshman outside hitter Andy Zhang smashed ball after ball onto the open Rockville court. Taking advantage of Rockville's weak playing and Blair's easy lead, head coach Chris Liang had the opportunity to play several of his bench players during the second set, including freshman Eric Huang and junior Vikas Mendhiratta. Mendhiratta proved to be a key contributor in the second set, giving the Blazers three straight points through serving. Although the boys made one more mistake in the second set than they did in the first, they handily closed the second match, 25-6.

The Blazers continued acing their feeble opponents in the final set, but knowing they would win the game, the boys lost steam in the closing moments. When Blair was only two points shy of victory, Rockville deterred Blair's rapid win by scoring four consecutive points that forced the Blazers to make various mistakes. However, senior outside hitter Bryan Huang finally ended the match with a hearty kill, giving the boys a 25-14 victory.

Coach Liang was proud of his team's win. "They did really great for their first game," he said. Despite his happiness about the team's win, Liang still believes the Blazers have to work on better passing in future games.

Senior outside hitter Pan Wang was happy about his team's victory, but he was especially pleased with the equality on the team, as all 14 players received opportunities to step onto the court. "Playing all the players gave them a good experience," he said.

The Blazers' next home game is Wednesday, April 1 against Sherwood at 7 p.m.

http://silverchips.mbhs.edu/story/9030