Wootton defeats Blair in three straight sets
NELSON H. KOBREN GYMNASIUM, Sept. 13—
The Wootton Patriots (3-1) defeated the girls' varsity volleyball team (1-3) in a tense match on Thursday. Wootton overpowered the Blazers by significant leads in three sets, with scores of 6-25, 15-25 and 10-25.
Though the Blazers displayed awesome focus, pre-game jitters took their toll on the team. Senior Linda Kang said that the team felt anxious before the first set began. "Before the game, we had a kind of negative attitude," she said.
Head Coach Christopher Klein agreed that nervousness had a significant effect on the Blazers. "I think sometimes when we play a tough opponent, we get rattled. And they were a tough opponent," Klein said. As a result, the Blazers quickly fell behind Wootton in the first set.
The volleyball team rallied in their second set, gaining a little more confidence. Though the Blazers initially dropped three points behind Wootton, a great play on the fourth serve helped the players regain some confidence. After a serve by Wootton, two touches on Blair's side sent the ball out of bounds. Sophomore libero Jade Liu dashed out of bounds to the back left of the court and managed to send the ball over the net on the third touch. Later on in the same volley, Kang scored the Blazers their first point of the second set with a skillful block which the Patriots were unable to return. Following the play, the Patriots quickly surrendered three points to the Blazers by hitting the ball out of bounds, allowing Blair to tie the game at 4-4. Blair, however, fell behind again when Wootton regained the serve.
The Blazers showed improvement in the third set as well. Blocks by senior Jordyn Schroeder and aggressive offense by senior captain Lizzy Liu, junior captain Amy Yan and Kang kept the Blazers in the game. "It got better towards the end," Yan said. "We started to come alive again."
Klein emphasized the importance of the players' anxiety on their game. "When you play nervous, you make mistakes," he said. "You have to play with confidence."
The girls' varsity volleyball team will play its next home game against Springbrook on Oct. 1 at 6:30 p.m.
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