Blazers fall to Bengals in first round of playoffs

Nov. 4, 2007, midnight | By Sean Howard | 14 years, 6 months ago

Girls' volleyball ends season with loss despite several impressive plays

BLAKE, Nov. 2

The varsity girls' volleyball team traveled to Blake for their first, and ultimately last, playoff game of the season on Friday, losing in an upsetting 3-0 match. The Bengals triumphed by scores of 25-11, 25-17 and 25-19, with a superior defense and precise, hard spikes. The loss ended Blair's season with a record of 7-8.

The Lady Blazers began the first set with some careless mistakes, allowing the Bengals to get an early two-point lead. But the Blazers quickly regrouped and matched their opponent almost point for point. After a substitution though, the Bengals went on a scoring spree that Blair could not handle, taking the set by a score of 25-11.

Embattled by this first defeat, the Blazers came onto the court with a newfound sense of urgency. After falling behind 7-4, sophomore Julia Skolnik started a rally with two good serves to bring the score to within one, 7-6 Blake. The Bengals were able to pull ahead by a few more points, but the Blazers stayed with them, no more than three or four points behind. Unfortunately, the early rally was not enough to pull the Blazers ahead. With the set winding down, the Bengals had a rally of their own and ended the second set with a 25-17 win.

The third set began much the same way as the second, with strong opening play on Blair's part, and a neck-and-neck battle in terms of points. The Blazers came out firing with jump serves by sophomore Kaiti Hague and a strong defense led by senior co-captain Julie Brice. The Blazers took the lead and were up 10-8 before the opposing team took a timeout.

After the break, the Bengals proceeded to capitalize on the Blazers' frequent bump balls that ended up in the rafters, going on yet another spree and scoring seven unanswered points in the biggest rally of the entire game. The Blazers struggled to keep up with their opponent and in the end, lost the set 25-19, finishing their 2007 season with a 3-0 playoff defeat.

Despite the loss, head coach Heather Amell was optimistic about the game and the season as a whole. "They came together, they played pretty good, they had good team chemistry," she said. "But we need to be aggressive, just dive and be tough. It would be nice next year if we could get some strong hitters and some height."

This sentiment was echoed by several members of the team. "We didn't live up to our expectations this game," said senior co-captain Julie Brice. "I'm not too worried about next year, we're not missing too many seniors next year."

Sean Howard. There is a spy among us and his name is Sean Howard. Originally from Dallas, Texas, Sean moved to Germantown prior to his current residence in Gaithersburg. Although he has now lived in Maryland for most of his life, he has retained his loyalty to … More »

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