JV girls' volleyball wins in straight sets
Oct. 1, Northwood—
Just two days after losing to Whitman, the JV girls' volleyball team arrived at Northwood determined to add a fourth win the Blazer's 3-3 record. In an easy game, Blair scored a well-deserved victory in two straight sets, defeating the Gladiators 25-10 and 25-22.
The Blazers started strong and led the entire first match thanks to the team's overall consistency. Olivia Bozik managed to earn Blair early points with seven consecutive serves, which left Whitman scrambling to pass the ball. Although the Blazers mostly bumped the ball over, the Gladiators lacked defensive organization, and therefore, were unable to make several free-ball returns. A dozen balls slipped between Gladiators and landed in Northwood territory.
The Gladiators' frustration became apparent when one of their players was yellow-carded for shouting a profanity. Although a yellow card is equivalent to just a warning, Northwood was obviously flustered and continued to hand over points, unable to get balls over the net. Blair further increased its lead with several well-placed free balls and successful tips. With an impressive performance, Bozik went up to hit two balls in back to back plays, winning Blair a point on each occasion and adding to the 20-8 lead. Defensively, the Blazers' fast reflexes and quick feet kept many balls off the court and into the hands of sophomore setter Christie Lin.
However, Blair lost momentum during the second set. After Blair made several errors caused by sloppy serving and passing, Northwood came dangerously near to taking the lead. "At one point, it was way too close. We were too relaxed and kept thinking, 'There's no way we can lose this,'" explained sophomore co-captain Alice Fan. Blair played down to the inexperienced team's level and gave away several points. Despite the Gladiators' bold turn-around and the Blazers' errors, Northwood could never come within two points of Blair. After Blair missed a serve, the Gladiators gave the Blazers a run for the victory, trailing just 21-23. Head to head, the Blazers earned the last point after a player for the opposite team netted, ending the match and capturing a win.
Since Northwood solely consists of freshman, the Gladiators lacked the understanding of the game necessary to defeat the Blazers' more experienced team. Blair's overall communication gave them an edge. In contrast, the Gladiators seemed disorganized and lost in confusion. Throughout the game, the Gladiators sacrificed a number of points after running into each other. Northwood has no veteran players compared to Blair's six returning players. For players on the Blazers' team who do not usually start, this game provided great opportunity for time on the court.
The team learned to work together, and they improved much since their last loss, according to Bozik. "We had really good team spirit and worked together a lot better this game," Bozik said.
Coach Darya Holmes agreed and summed up the game with one simple statement; "Great job Blair," she noted with a smile.
Blair will return home to play Wootton on October 6 at 3:30 p.m.
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