Coed volleyball beats Damascus 3-1
APRIL 5, NELSON H. KOBREN MEMORIAL GYMNASIUM—
Blair's coed volleyball lacked its lead setter going into a match against the Damascus Hornets, one of the strongest teams in the county. But after a slow start, the Blazers adapted to problems caused by the absence and overcame the Hornets 3-1.
The Blazers jumped into the first set with energy. They had a 5-0 lead within a few minutes. It was all down hill after that for them for the first set. The Blazers netted the next serve. Suddenly, the Hornets were spiking balls and the Blazers could not get to and under them in time, and if they did manage a lucky save, they were largely unable to keep the ball in bounds. The Hornets were up 9-8 before long.
Blair's energy was down and only after senior co-captain Zack Koerper made Blair's first kill did the team begin to show the fire it had in its 3-0 win over Northwest only two weeks ago. The spike sparked the Blazers' awareness of their repeated mistakes, which were mainly double-touching, uncontrolled returns and not tipping high enough. At the time of the kill, Blair was down 16-20, but within minutes, the score was 21-20. The Damascus coach then called a time-out that threw off the Blazer's newfound dominance. The points went back and forth, but Damascus eventually won 27-25 because of its even floor spacing.
The second set started out much like the first and Damascus was up 9-7. Blair's returns and sets were unreliable or ineffective because of poor communication. The Blazers called outs but calls for ownership were scarce and, at most times, inaudible. What shifted the team into gear during this set were co-captain senior Tina Yang's two aces that tied the scores. Even though their front line was powerful, knocking down a sixth rejection before the set was up, the Hornets could not keep the ball in bounds and gave the game to Blair when they over spiked the ball at 24-19.
The Blazers broke away much earlier in the third set. Again, Koerper made the Blair's first kill – one that sped to the floor so quickly that not a single Hornet had time to block much less react to it. In a mere ten minutes, the Blazers energy and lead was at a match high: 8 points at 21-13. Blair won the set 25-22.
Damascus struggled in the fourth set. The Hornets did not space well and Blair found the openings. Damascus also only had four males on the team, who were showing signs of exhaustion by this time. Fifteen minutes into the set, the star male Hornet jammed his thumb while making a block and Damascus lost its edge. Blair won the set 25-23.
Blair's main weakness was that the Blazers were unable to make many successful dives. They hesitated too often, which either stopped them from diving at all or forced them to rush the dive.
Sophomore Christie Lin took the spot left open by the absence of freshman setter Julie Zhu, who was at an art class according to Koerper. "Lin did really well, coming in with not much experience setting," said Coach John Mott. This was Lin's first time playing since the season began according to Mott, and she was in for the whole match.
Coed volleyball's next match will be at Wootton on April 7 at 5:15 p.m.
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