Blazers glimmer, sparkle; fade

Oct. 25, 2004, midnight | By Nick Falgout | 16 years, 2 months ago

Blair girls come up just short against Sherwood


The Blair varsity girls' volleyball team attempted to put a terrible first game, a seven-game losing streak, and an increasingly lackluster season behind them today in an effort to salvage a very winnable match against the Sherwood Warriors. Finding their groove in the second game and entering the third like a well-oiled winning machine, Blair fell just below the threshold both times, losing in straight games 9-25, 19-25 and 24-26.

The Blazer girls early looked all too familiar, failing to communicate, set passes effectively, or return serves with any consistency. Coach Anne Garrison was particularly critical of the last category. "Out of seventeen service [receptions] only four were any good," said Garrison. However, the Blazers slowly gained momentum. Desperation bumps and smacks turned into precision spikes, voices chattered like the squeak of tennis shoes on the gym floor and Blair's fighting spirit returned.

The first game, though, was abysmal. Blair scored consecutive points only twice, and scored only three points that were not the result of Sherwood miscues. Far more common were Blair miscues, which amounted to ten of Sherwood's eventual 25 points. Sherwood easily took the first game by a final score of 25 to 9.

Game two looked to be much of the same. Blair lost the first three points to a net reach, an ace, and a spike that sailed wide. Sherwood held early leads of 2-6 and 3-7, and Blair looked to be floundering. The score reached 6-17 on yet another carry call against Blair, and all seemed lost. The Blazers won a couple of points here and there on a stray carry call or double hit, but the score hit 12-22 on yet another ace by the solid Sherwood service game. The next serve sailed wide, though, and the Blazers seemed to wake from a stupor. With senior Thaissa Souza on the serve, Blair strung together six straight points, including a beautifully finessed shot by freshman Julie Zhu and a kill shot right into the midst of two Warriors by senior co-captain Tina Yang. A long rally accompanied the next point, with the point given to Sherwood as the result of a carry called on Zhu on what seemed to be a perfectly legitimate set shot. A bump into the net by Blair brought the score to 18-24. Zhu set another beautiful shot just out of the range of every Sherwood player, but senior co-captain Kate Selby's serve hit the net, giving the game to Sherwood, 19-25.

But Blair was not to be sated with merely tasting blood. Souza dug the first Sherwood serve right between three Warriors, and Zhu hit another excellent directional set shot to even the score at two. Yang then served two straight unreturned points, giving the Blazers their first multi-point lead of the game. The score was even at five, six, eight, ten, and 11, but the Warriors started to pull away, wining five straight at eleven-all to bring the score to 11-16. It took an ace to make the score 12-20, though, to re-reawaken the Blazers. Souza was once again at the helm, serving two straight points after a missed block. On the second point, Souza helped her own cause, digging a kill shot and then spiking the set from Zhu to bring the score to 15-20. Sherwood got one on a shot close to the line, but Blair stormed right back with the service of senior Agathe Nyake, bringing the score to 19-21. Sherwood won the next two points on Blair shots that sailed just wide, but now the Warriors were on their heels. Selby served to 21-23, but a missed block pushed th4e Blazers to the brink. Zhu made a nice kill to bring the service back to herself, Sherwood hit a crucial long ball, and senior AJ Willis made a huge block to even the score at 24 and induce deuce. A flailing dive by Selby and a long kill shot later, Sherwood had secured the match, 24-26.

After the game, Garrison maintained a positive attitude, despite the team's 1-10 record. "Overall our missed serves are going down," said Garrison. Souza, the catalyst of both games two and three, was similarly upbeat. "I think we played better than last game, and that's all that matters," said Souza. Garrison expressed a similar sentiment. "We're playing for ourselves now," said Garrison. "We're not worrying so much about the score anymore."

Blair's next and final home game is versus Paint Branch at 3:30 p.m.

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Nick Falgout. Nick Falgout was bored one day and decided to change his Chips staff information. And now, for a touching song lyric: "I'm a reasonable man, get off my case Get off my case, get off my case." ~ Radiohead, "Packt Like Sardines in a Crushd … More »

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