Blazers remain undefeated after victory over Gaithersburg
NELSON H. KOBREN GYMNASIUM, April 11 -
The undefeated boys' varsity volleyball team (9-0) conquered the Gaithersburg Trojans (4-5) in three sets, by a score of 25-16, 25-15, 25-19. Although three-set victories are becoming a habit for the Blazers, the undefeated team had to overcome an initial lack of energy and focus at the start of the match before putting away their ninth straight victory.
The Blazers started out the match fairly slowly, lacking energy on both the offensive and defensive ends. But even with through slow start, the Blazers' offensive skill kept them on top of the game. Sophomore Henok Addis led the team with four aces while sophomore Sean Meng and senior Robert Huang followed with two aces a piece.
After the slow start, the Blazers began the second set with several kills and a strong offensive attack that the Trojans were unable to combat. Sophomore Jacky Chu finished the match with 11 kills and sophomore Ricci Huang and junior Rick Narcissce completed seven and five kills, respectively. Even as the Blazers began to pull away from the Trojans in the second and third sets, Gaithersburg continued to fight back and capitalize on crucial Blazer errors.
The Trojans proved to be a competitive squad, but they frequently had to dive on to the ground and use their feet to defend some of Blair's tougher hits. At times, Gaithersburg's uncontrolled hits overshoot the ball or sent it zooming out of bounds.
Junior Andy Zhang played briefly in the first set of the match after missing a few previous games due to an injury. Zhang and senior Eugene Kim had various blocks in the first set that helped to stifle the Trojan offense.
Head Coach Chris Liang was disappointed with the team's first set performance and believes that they need to get rid of the bad habit of starting matches out slow. "We were goofing around a lot and laughing at our mistakes," he said. "We have to maintain our focus throughout the entire match."
Sophomore captain William Cai believes that the team's mistakes can be easily prevented if the right effort is put in. "The Trojans weren't the best team we played, but they were very competitive with us because of our mistakes and lapses," he said. "We just need to take the matches more seriously."
The Blazers were satisfied with their win, but look to work harder in practice in order to become more dominant. "It's sad that we couldn't crush them," Chu said. "But if we improve our communication and make a few simple changes, we will be a lot better by playoff time."
The boys' varsity volleyball team will play its next home game on Monday, May 6 against Churchill at 5:15 p.m.
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