Blazers lose momentum in three sets
NELSON H. KOBREN GYMNASIUM, Oct. 5—
The girls' varsity volleyball team (3-5) lost to the Walt Whitman Vikings (2-5) in straight sets on Friday. The Blazers were competitive in the first two sets but slowed down in the third, ending the game with final scores of 14-25, 20-25 and 11-25.
In the first set, Whitman developed an eight point lead in only ten serves. Blair did not get competitive until Whitman made two consecutive errors, hitting the ball out twice in a row and bringing the score to 3-9. From that point on, the scoring was more equal but Blair could never recover from their initial deficit. The Blazers' final point of the set was scored on a block by junior Tatiana Sindass, which brought the score to 14-22. The set ended on a block by Whitman with the Vikings leading by eleven points at 14-25.
In the second set, Whitman again built a substantial, four point, lead before hitting the ball into the net and giving the Blazers their first point of the set. Blair scored a string of points shortly afterwards, the first on a well-placed hit by senior Rebecca Munroe. The Blazers played stronger defense in this set, making it difficult for Whitman to capitalize on their offense. Blair established its largest lead of the game, of four points, after a kill by junior captain Amy Yan.
The Blazers' success in the second set was due in part to greater flexibility on Blair's part, according to coach Christopher Klein. "[The second set] definitely shows that when we make adjustments in the game and execute our game plan, we can really do well out there,” he said.
Blair started the third set off well, scoring after sophomore Angela Zhou dived to return a block by Whitman. Unfortunately, the Blazers went on to surrender seven consecutive points to Whitman, once again allowing the Vikings to build a lead that would prove insurmountable for the Blazers. The third set was Blair's weakest of the game, in part due to fatigue. "I guess we got tired,” said Yan.
Yan said that the Blazers went into the game feeling nervous because the team was missing many of its senior players, who were preparing for the SAT. "I think we played really well, considering we were missing six players today," Klein said.
Both volunteer coach Philip Huang and Klein agreed that the Blazers' serve-receive was a clear weakness in the game against Whitman. "If we can't get a good serve-receive, we're going to struggle a bit,” Klein said.
Zhou felt that the Blazers need to work on their defense and communication as well. "We need to clean up our defense a little and we need to talk a lot more,” she said.
The girls' varsity volleyball team will play their next home match against Paint Branch on Oct. 11 at 6:30 p.m.
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