JV girls' volleyball defeats Gaithersburg
OCT. 19, NELSON H. KOBREN MEMORIAL GYMNASIUM-
Four days after winning by a small margin to the Blake Bengals, the JV girls' volleyball team returned to the court, this time earning a much-deserved victory against the Gaithersburg Trojans in an equally close match. The game went to three sets, 6-25, 25-23 and 15-10, improving the Blazers' season record to 6-5.
The night began slow when Blair's substitutes played the entire first match. The Blazers failed to get serves over the net, while Gaithersburg served up four aces. The Trojans continued to lead 2-9 before freshman Molly Martinez added four points to the scoreboard and closed the gap with her powerful overhand serves. Despite the early rally, the Blazers lost momentum, and their score remained stagnate. Blair's defense rarely passed the first ball to set up a hit, and when a dig was successful, Blair's hitters netted the balls; therefore, the Blazers never managed to side-out. An unfamiliar line-up, including several less experienced players, led to the Blazers' devastating loss in the first match.
With Blair's starters back on the court for the second match, the game was noticeably tighter. The two teams were closely matched from the very first point, and possession continued to alternate with only a few long runs for either side. Serves from both Blair and Gaithersburg dominated the scoring for the match. Sophomore co-captain Wenjia Zhu served five points to give Blair the largest lead of the set, 16-8. In two particular exciting plays, sophomores Kagnga Op and Christie Lin each ended long runs with well-placed tips. Late in the game, the Trojans gained momentum and nearly tied the match. Had freshman Olivia Bozik not made a kill for the last point, the second set would have gone into overtime. "I'm so glad we came back to win the second game," Zhu said. "It would have been such a disappointing loss."
The third set was equally close, but the Blazers managed a razor-thin victory. Blair's noticeable energy helped the team keep several balls from hitting the ground. Lin was able to pass a number of balls off the net to keep the plays going, while Blair's hitters consistently put the ball over the net. Since the third set only goes to 15 points, both teams were forced to cut down on errors, particularly missed serves. The Blazers' unfailing teamwork led to their hard-earned victory in the last match and overall game. "I'm really excited after this win. It was a close match," said sophomore co-captain Alice Fan. "In the end, we individually had great games, and we also really worked together."
Since the season is winding down, many standout players are anticipated to move up to varsity. The remaining girls received the opportunity to play a full match and prepare for next season. "We all got the chance to play in this game, and I think it was a good experience for everyone," stated junior NgocLan Nguyen, "We ended up victorious, and it proves what we're capable of." Before tonight, the Blazers never won in a three-set game. "I think everyone really did their best tonight. It's been one of our best games," said Nguyen, "It's an indicator of how much we've improved since the beginning of the season."
The Blazers next play at Springbrook this Friday, Oct. 22, at 6:00 p.m.
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