Blazers lose five set marathon to Bengals

Oct. 6, 2005, midnight | By Morgan Aronson | 18 years, 9 months ago

Girls volleyball show increased teamwork in defeat


The Blair girls' varsity volleyball team made a valiant effort in a down to the wire contest against the Blake Bengals tonight. The Blazers played some of their best volleyball of the year, but eventually lost a tie-breaking fifth set after splitting the first four. In the first two sets, a lack of communication doomed Blair to losses, but more evident teamwork in the final three sets made for a very close contest.

The Blazers started out strong tonight and kept ahead of the Bengals for almost the entire first set. Unfortunately, the Blazers began to come apart with a lead of 23-17. The Blazers' had difficulty saving the ball and getting it over the net, giving up six consecutive points to Blake, which tied the score at 23-23. Communication between teammates died and an attitude of selfishness and independence ended up costing Blair. "We don't call the ball, and that's why we lost," reasoned sophomore Julie Zhu. The scoring streak for Blake continued and the Blazers lost 23-25 even after accumulating a solid lead towards the end of the set.

Blair took the Blake comeback to heart and staged one of their own early on in the second set. With Blair down 6-7, junior Wendolyn Quintanilla scored seven straight points off of serves to capture a 13-7 lead for Blair. The Blazers reverted to their earlier play and almost instantly gave up their lead due to several out of bounds serves and miscommunications between players. Finally, with the score 19-21, Blair decided to fight back. "They're much more competitive," said coach Heather Amell in response to the Blazer's renewed vigor in tonight's match. The Blazers gave Blake a tight chase, tying the score at 22-22. Blair refused to give the Bengals an easy win, making for an intense finale. After several attempts on both sides to break the seemingly endless tie, Blake was able to pull away and won 27-29.

The Blazers learned from their mistakes in the second set and began playing like a team in the third. "We started working together," explained Quintanilla. Blair quickly gained a 7-1 lead mostly due to Zhu's consistently strong serving. The Blazers retained control of the game, and extended their lead to 19-8 with very few mistakes. Blair continued their top-notch playing, defeating the Bengals 25-13 in their easiest set of the evening.

Blair's positive momentum continued into the fourth set. The Blazers again took the lead early and never gave it back, eventually leaving Blake in the dust 25-17. Blair was able to sustain long volleys whereas the Bengals often did not have enough stamina to see their own to the end. The Blazer's cooperation and communication also helped them win the set. "We have teamwork now, it's great!" said junior Felicia Olawuni.

Blake was able to overcome Blair's two set winning streak and took the lead in the tie-breaking fifth set. The Blazers continued their excellent teamwork but it was not enough to take the lead from the Bengals before Blake reached 15 points in the shortened fifth set. "In the end we picked up and fought hard," says Zhu. The set ended 12-15, and the Bengals won three out of the five sets played to win the game overall. Blair's record now stands at 2-6-0.

Blair's next game is at Whitman on Oct. 10 at 7 pm.

Morgan Aronson. Morgan is a sports champ. She is a member of print sports staff. Sunglasses on fridays. More »

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