Silver Chips Online

Warriors slip past Blazers

Boys' varsity volleyball loses to Sherwood in last straight sets

By Sophia Deng, Online Managing Editor
April 2, 2009
NELSON H. KOBREN GYMNASIUM, April 1 -

After two hours of intense play, the boys' varsity volleyball team (3-1) exited the gym following a loss to the Sherwood Warriors (5-0), arguably their toughest opponent of the season. Although the Blazers handily defeated the Warriors in the first two sets, Sherwood walked away victorious by winning the last three. The Blazers' frustration in the last sets, in addition to their inconsistent serving, cost the Blazers a hearty victory against their long-time rival.

In the final three sets, the Blazers were unable to hold onto their initial leads, allowing Sherwood to snatch tight victories. In the fourth set, the Blazers seemed poised to seal the victory. For six straight points, the boys allowed Sherwood to score only one point off their own mistake. However, the Blazers began to serve and hit out, the errors started to accumulate and the Warriors took advantage of Blair's weaknesses to win the set 27-25.

The Blazers showed their strongest covering against Sherwood. While all members scrambled, pancaked and dived to keep the ball in play, junior libero Li Ma was a key player in protecting the Blair court from the penetrating hits of Sherwood outside hitter Dainis Berzins. Strong covering, however, was countered by a weaker serve-receive, which allowed the Warrior offense to strike at Blair's holes, particularly in a 25-16 crushing of Blair in the third set.

In spite of their loss of momentum and energy in the last sets, the Blazers played with strength and determination on the whole, which was highlighted in their first two set wins of 25-17 and 25-15. Defensively junior middle hitter Sina Shahamatdar put up a brick wall against Berzins' hits, preventing several potential kills. Offensively, senior middle hitter Nick Vujcic smashed the ball onto the Sherwood court time and again, while senior outside hitter Bryan Huang effectively frazzled the Warriors with his powerful jump serves. Sophomore setter Robert Huang also tactically hit at the Warriors' open spots to weaken the solid Warrior defense.

Despite their close loss, senior co-captain Willy Li was proud of his team. "It went really well," he said. "Even though we lost, we played our best. That's all I can ask for."

Assistant coach Phillip Huang agreed with Li's positive feeling of the match. "It was a great game, and in my opinion, most likely between two of the best teams in the county." However, Huang noted that the boys would have to work on serve-receive and serving in order to improve for future matches. "Our serving wasn't as good this game," he said.

Though a little disappointed by their loss to rival Sherwood, junior Pin-Joe Ko predicted that Blair would see their rival soon. "We hope to see them in the playoffs," he said.

The Blazers' next home game is Wednesday, April 15 against Quince Orchard at 7 p.m.

http://silverchips.mbhs.edu/story/9054