Blair girls’ volleyball defeats Blake Bengals in home opener

Sept. 12, 2023, 3:05 p.m. | By Katie Phung | 8 months, 2 weeks ago

The Blazers fight hard for their well deserve 3-0 win over the Bengals

On Sept. 11, the Blair girls’ varsity volleyball team (2-0) beat the Blake Bengals (0-2) in a tough, neck-to-neck 3-0 game. Despite a fast and less-intense first set, the Bengals proved to be more of a challenge, throughout the later sets of the game. 

The first set started strong for the Blazers as the Bengals immediately served out of the court. Both teams showed off their offensive skills as with impressive kills and corner shots on both sides. The score was an even 4-4 until junior setter Manooyee Fedha gave the Blazers a 8-5 lead with three ace serves in a row. 

This momentum was a great opportunity for the Blazers, with multiple slow kills from senior captain outside hitter Aria Shimanek and an impressive shutdown block from senior captain middle blocker Chrissie Oppong. These offensive plays were able to give Blair a strong 14-7 lead over Blake. The set ended with an intense, almost 2-minute rally between both sides which ended with an upsetting block from the Blazers, winning the set at 25-12. 

The Blazers celebrating after preforming their iconic pre-game ritual cheer Photo courtesy of Katie Phung.

The second set started slow. There were multiple communications errors, which allowed the Bengals to lead 2-4. Shortly after however, the Blazers were able to drill powerful kills through Blake’s defense and advance 7-4. 

The set suddenly became slower and more nerve-racking when the Bengals caught up by ten points to Blazers, setting the score to 20-18 even after Blair’s extremely strong lead in the middle of the set.

The Bengals continued to prove themselves as a tough challenge for Blair. Blake was able to improve their swings and target open spots on the court that were too short for Blair’s defense to receive. Shimanek finally ended the intense set with a kill at 25-20. 

By the third set it was evident that the Blazers were growing tired in the hot gym. The libero from Blake was able to get an impressive three aces on Blair’s defense, giving them a 3-4 advantage. Junior opposite hitter Nicole Neal slowed the Bengals momentum with a stunning pipe hit from the back row which caught the other team off guard. Starting junior setter Manooyee Fedhaa increased Blair’s momentum with two aces in a row.

The Blazers get low in defensive position to prepare for serve receive against Blake's serve Photo courtesy of Katie Phung.

The rest of the game kept a close score, both teams matched each other offensively with back-and-forth kills throughout the game. This eventually led to a tie at 18-18. Even so, Blake continued to make several communication errors which pushed the Blazers into the lead at 21-18, causing the Bengals to call a timeout. 

Coming out of time out strong, the Blazers were finally able to finish the third set with another tricky slow hit again by Shimanek at 25-21. They were crowned victorious after successfully sweeping the Bengals at the home court.

After the game, senior captain Oppong felt that the Blazers had much needed room for improvement. “I think we started off slow in all three sets, but we focused on fixing our mistakes so that we were able to run more plays. But I am very happy about our win.”

Senior captain outside hitter Aria Shimanek (#19) swings powerfully at the ball and over the net Photo courtesy of Katie Phung.

The Blazers will face Rockville at home this Wednesday at 6:30 PM.

Last updated: Sept. 13, 2023, 8:04 a.m.

Katie Phung. Hi, I'm Katie! (she/her) I'm on business staff and a fact-checker. My unhealthy addictions are playing Sims 4 and watching Say Yes to the Dress. More »

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