Developing v-ball spikes to success

Nov. 16, 2001, midnight | By Ben Meiselman | 19 years, 2 months ago

The girls' volleyball team ended its season with a disappointing loss to Watkins Mill High School on Nov 2 in the first round of the Class 4A West Region tournament to even its overall record at 7-7, a drastic improvement over last year's dismal 3-11.

Blair's play varied within the match, symbolic of the team's unpredictable performance over the entire season. Watkins Mill coach Jim Garlock mentioned both Blair's near victory over Magruder High School, a team he regarded highly, and Blair's lopsided loss to Blake High School, a far weaker team. "You [Blazers] are like Jekyll and Hyde," said Garlock.

Though Watkins Mill had just one more win than Blair and the same number of losses prior to the match, Watkins Mill had a harder schedule, according to Coach Jamie Franck.

In the third and decisive game of the Sept 21 match against Magruder, a scoring controversy arose when the official scorekeepers neglected to record a Blair point, which was accurately tallied on the scoreboard. Later, when the scoreboard showed that Blair had 15 points and the Blazers began to celebrate a victory, a Blair point was taken away. Magruder came back to win in overtime.

Franck chose not to challenge the scoring controversy because division record only matters for teams with the best records. Blair had already lost too many games when the decision was made to stay in contention for a high seed in the tournament.

Early in the season, the team switched from a two-setter strategy, using sophomore captain Amanda Hsiung and junior Jeanne Yang, to a single-setter strategy using only Hsiung.

Sophomore Carey Bartlett also served as captain and began to "play around" towards the end of the season, rotating through both her native position as a hitter and experimenting as a back row. Bartlett often led the team with her dominant spikes and dives. "Carey Bartlett is my best offensive player," said Franck.

With just two returning seniors, hitter Tracy Lin and back row Christi Chew, the Blazers were a relatively young team, beginning the season with only nine players on the varsity roster.

Sophomores Simone Viger, Rebecca Cho, Ariel Wilchek and Ram Gohoure were moved up from junior varsity for the playoff match against Watkins Mill.

Franck hopes Blair will benefit in upcoming seasons from the participation of the younger players this year.

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Ben Meiselman. Ben Meiselman is a senior in the Communication Arts Program at Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, Maryland. He enjoys playing sports, especially baseball. Ben is seventeen years old, born May 16, 1985. He has played the trumpet since fourth grade when he began … More »

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