Boys' volleyball defeats Northwest with strong serves, killer hits
MARCH 23, NELSON H. KOBREN MEMORIAL GYMNASIUM--
After opening the season with an uninspiring victory over a first-year Gaithersburg squad just two days ago, Blair's varsity boys' volleyball team pulled together and played a much more solid game against the Northwest Jaguars. The Blazers defeated the Jaguars 25-12, 25-13 and 25-13 in three straight sets, boosting their season record to 2-0.
The Blazers began the first match on a strong note, putting down four straight kills and blocking a Northwest overpass within the first five minutes of play to put the score at 5-1. Although the Jaguars quickly countered with a strong block that ended Blair's kill streak, Blair was still able to slam a good percentage of its hits past the Jaguar front line. Seniors James Lee and Peter Bullen led the Blazers' offense with five and three kills, respectively. Lee also led the Blazers' service with four aces, and senior Randy Li followed with a fifth ace to end the first match 25-12.
Blair's energy seemed to drain away in the three minutes between the first and second match, however, and the team that returned to the court for the second match made far too many sloppy mistakes. The Blazers let three balls fall to the court due to poor communication, netting a third play and sending a serve out of bounds. With the score tied at 6-6, however, Lee sent a kill past the Jaguar's defense from behind the ten-foot line, and the Blazers finally shook off their lethargy. Seniors Jansen Sheng and Kevin Kahn both served up five-point runs, and several missed hits and poor serves by the Jaguars gave Blair enough points to take the second match.
Once again, however, the Blazers' energy flagged between matches, and Blair opened the third match by allowing Northwest to gain a 4-1 lead in the first three minutes, largely because of poor setter-hitter communication. After Northwest lost the serve by sending a free ball into the net, however, the Blazers were able to finally shake off their inconsistencies and play at their true strength. Senior co-captain Paul Wong served up a 13-point run that included four aces, and Lee led the team's offense once more with four of Blair's eight kills. Though the Blazers gave Northwest a few free points with missed serves and insufficient blocking, sophomore Max Wolf won back the serve with a kill late in the game, and Wong aced two more to clinch Blair's victory.
According to Lee, the Blazers' performance against Northwest was a significant step up from its first game. As the season continues, he predicts that Blair will continue to improve: "It's only the second game, but we can already sense our team condensing into a unit," Lee said. "it's good that our team worked together to beat these easy teams, but we'll need more experience and killer instincts to take on the tougher teams we'll meet later."
The Blazers' next game will be against the Damascus Hornets, whom the Blazers will host at 5:15 p.m. on Tuesday, April 5.
Kristina Yang. Kristina Yang is 1/10 of the Blair girls' volleyball team. When not on the court, she most likely to be running away from Magnet math homework, trying to pay off her three speeding/redlight tickets, or feeding her bubble tea addiction. She would also like to ... More »