Blazer boys fall 1-3 to Kennedy on senior night
MAY 2, NELSON H. KOBREN MEMORIAL GYMNASIUM--
After starting the season 8-0, Blair's boys' volleyball season is showing signs of choking just in time for playoffs. After falling to Churchill 2-3 in their first five-match game of the season just a week ago, the Blazers stumbled their way to a 1-3 loss to the Kennedy Cavaliers, falling 23-25, 25-23, 20-25 and 22-25 and dropping their season record to 9-2.
The Blazers began the night with an incomplete starting lineup, as senior Peter Bullen was sidelined with an ankle injury and senior Randy Li was delayed. Although sophomores Jay Chang and Tim He filled in admirably, the Blazers' hitting power was not what it could have been in the first match. Kennedy put up a strong block, further dampening Blair's chances of scoring on kills. After a long, drawn-out match that also contained repeated court-coverage issues, Li arrived just in time to see Kennedy score one last kill on Blair, finishing the match in the Cavaliers' favor.
The second match was no better; even with Li back in his usual starting spot as the token right-side lefty, the Blazers had trouble keeping the serve and playing with their usual precision. Instead of adjusting to Kennedy's block and hitting with more versatility, the Blazers upped the power but didn't change their plays, and a huge number of balls fell either straight back on Blair's side (where the Blazers seemed to have more difficulty than usual with saving blocked hits) or into the net. Luckily for the Blazers, Kennedy also made a fair amount of mistakes, and the second match concluded in Blair's favor after referee Sang Ahn found a Cavalier player to be "over the net" on a kill that would have tied the score at 24.
Though the second-match victory should have spurred the Blazers on to a stronger performance in the third match, it was in fact Kennedy that stepped up with a stronger offense and the same tight block that had won them the first match. The Blazers put up a good block of their own, but struggled with inconsistency and difficulties popping up balls that fell off the block onto Blair's court. As Blair's defense struggled to cover despite the shaky blocking, they also showed some sluggishness in adjusting to Kennedy's increased aggressiveness at the net, giving the Cavaliers a few extra points and allowing them to take the match.
The fourth and final match of the night was no better, with Kennedy grabbing onto a two-point lead midway through the game after a long series of side-outs on both sides. The Blazers tried to play aggressively and swung hard at every set, but their efforts resulted in netted hits as often as kills, and Blair still had trouble hitting around Kennedy's 6'4" middle blocker. After tying the score back up at 22-22 with a streak of good hits, Blair found itself precariously down once more as Kennedy's attackers found the holes in the Blazers' defense. Though the Blazers tried their hardest to dig their way out, a Cavalier kill and a Blair error ended the match in Kennedy's favor, putting an end to Blair's hope of recouping the game.
The Blazers will have one last time to redeem themselves before heading into playoffs; their next and final game will be at Sherwood on Friday, May 6 at 5:15 p.m.
Kristina Yang. Kristina Yang is 1/10 of the Blair girls' volleyball team. When not on the court, she most likely to be running away from Magnet math homework, trying to pay off her three speeding/redlight tickets, or feeding her bubble tea addiction. She would also like to ... More »