Blazers' spirited performance gives solid win on senior night
NELSON H. KOBREN MEMORIAL GYMNASIUM- Oct. 27
In their last home game of the regular season, the Lady Blazers severely beat the Kennedy Cavaliers in all three games, closing their regular season at an even 7-7. The height of the night came during Blair's second game as they crushed the Cavaliers 25-9 and won the first and last games at 25-18 and 25-16.
The Lady Blazers exhibited a balanced mixture of agility and celerity to win by strong margins in the second game. Solid serves and great defense from co-captains junior Sibyl Brown and senior Caitlin Ludington allowed the Blazers to maintain a solid lead. As the only senior on the team, Ludington played forcefully, leading the defense against Kennedy and bringing great energy onto the court. "I just wanted to have a good time and not play down to their level," Ludington said.
Coach Chris Liang remarked on Ludington's performance throughout the season before the start of the game. "She has done a lot for the team, senior-wise, emotion-wise and spirit-wise. She has supported her entire team," Liang said. Liang also noted the mood of the whole team on the night, saying, "They all played well and had fun at the same time."
Both teams matched each other in the score at the start of the first set, playing with lax defense and uneven formation across the court. Blair was scattered across the court, leaving some spots for the Cavaliers to spike. Kennedy continued to hit frequent out-of-bounds balls and neither team was able to keep a lead. A slew of strong spikes from junior setter Chloe Sheridan and Ludington enabled Blair to pull away late and win the set, 25-18.
The Lady Blazers brought enthusiasm and a combination of their best work this season in the second game, starting with a strong 7-0 run. The Cavaliers were plagued with miscommunication and several net faults, including sloppy serves into the net that kept them behind in the score. Meanwhile, Blair kept up their motivation with coordinated plays and solid spikes. Brown stationed herself in crucial positions at the sides of the net, which enabled her to block well and hit hard. Kennedy could not contend with Blair's vigor and got crushed by Blair, 25-9.
The final set was full of rigorous rallies as both teams tightened the competition. Blair lost some focus and made careless net errors in the beginning, falling a few points behind in the score. Still, both teams engaged in lengthy volleys and Blair was able to gain momentum towards the middle, hitting hard balls the Cavaliers could not return. Junior co-captain Elaine Brice was glad to see her team play with "consistency" and noticed that Blair's "strong passing" helped them finish off the game. Ludington was an intense force for Blair and played well on tip-defense at the net, touching the ball quickly over the net for quick points. In the end, weak passing forced Kennedy to drop balls and Blair won the game, 25-16.
Junior libero Caitlin Schwindt was proud of her team's strength on the court. "We really emphasized on pulling away and communicated well."
Ludington, the lone senior on the team, felt the Blazers worked hard for the win. "We played on our game level, not theirs," Ludington said. Ludington has high hopes for playoffs as she looks off to the next game against Springbrook, which Blair beat in the regular season. "I just hope we can take them in three games, after all, it'll be Halloween."
The girls' varsity volleyball team plays its first playoff game against Springbrook on Friday, Oct. 31 at 5 p.m.
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