Vikings conquer the Blazers


Sept. 28, 2004, midnight | By Nick Falgout | 16 years, 3 months ago

Blair loses second straight match in straight sets


SEPT. 28, NELSON H. KOBREN MEMORIAL GYMNASIUM--

The Whitman Vikings stormed into Blair on a rainy afternoon and handed the Blair girls' volleyball team its second straight loss, winning in straight sets, 25-14, 25-17, and 25-17. It was the Blazers' fifth loss this season, all of them in straight sets.

From the opening whistle the Blazers struggled against a talented Whitman squad, which scored five quick points, prompting Coach Anne Garrison to call timeout to refocus her team. The timeout did little to alleviate Blair's problems with passing or communication, however, and the Vikings were quickly up 16-6 after a flurry of hard-hit serves by the Vikings. Freshman Julie Zhu had several good service series, but Whitman's lead never dwindled below seven after going up 10 and they cruised to a 25-14 final.

The Blazers play improved dramatically in the second set, with crisper passes and clearer communication. Blair won the first point on an excellent kill by AJ Willis, for the Blazers' first lead of the match. Whitman scored several points in succession, but the Blazers kept with them, evening the set at 11 all on a nice serve by Julie Zhu. However, the Vikings once again pulled away, and despite excellent shots by seniors Kristina Yang and Kate Selby, and a particularly nice save by junior Tiffany Yee on the first set point, the Vikings pulled out the set, 25-17.

Blair led off the third set competitively as well, with senior Thaissa Souza hitting several superb kills to even the score up early. Zhu once again provided excellent service, serving Blair from being down 13-8 to 13-11, but that's as close as Blair would get. Whitman capitalized on Blair's lapses in communication and unforced errors to win the third set by a score of 25-17.

Despite the loss, Garrison seemed optimistic. "The first game, I don't know who they were," said Garrison. "After that they picked it up, with only a few flashbacks [to the first game]." She believes that the Blazers' troubles lie not in the physical aspect of the game, but in the mental. "Mentally they've convinced themselves that they aren't supposed to get more than fifteen points," said Garrison. "They can get the first fifteen, nineteen points, but can't seem to push it past that."

The Blazers will next take on the Wootton Patriots on October 6, at 3:30.



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