Blazers drop their first playoff game 2-3.
QUINCE ORCHARD, Nov. 1
The girls' varsity volleyball team fell to the Quince Orchard Cougars in a close game on Thursday, ending their run in the playoffs this year. The game extended into five sets, with scores of 21-25, 25-23, 25-17, 23-25 and 13-15.
All of the sets were close, and Blair kept up their momentum even when they were down. Varsity Coach Christopher Klein and many of the players thought the game was the best the team had played all season.
Klein felt the team did a good job of performing the skills they display on the practice court. "We executed what the best of Blair volleyball looks like," he said.
The team went into the game with a specific strategy for success according to Klein. "It was communicate, play it if it's close to the line and let nothing hit the floor," he said.
The team executed their strategy well in the first set, communicating and working together to tire out Quince Orchard's defense. "We came in knowing that we needed to fight in order to win," said senior captain Lizzy Liu.
In the final stretch of the first set, as Blair tried to close Quince Orchard's five point lead, freshman Ruby Barreto and junior captain Amy Yan worked together to tire out the Cougars' defense. Barreto put the Cougars on edge with a powerful hit over the net and Yan followed up with on another hard hit right after, bringing the score to 21-17. Sophomore Jade Liu also played an exceptional game in this set, serving three aces for her team.
The Blazers started the second set off right with some great serving by senior Angela Wu and kills by Yan and senior Jordyn Schroeder. The Blazers built a seven point lead on their first serves before Quince Orchard was able to side out.
In the fourth set, senior Linda Kang, Liu and Schroeder worked together well defensively, shutting down the Cougars' offense with three consecutive blocks in a single play. The Blazers scored on the third block, by Schroeder. This game was Schroeder's first since an injury earlier in the season. "I got a lot of tips and blocks down, and I played well on an injured ankle," she said.
Schroeder was proud of her team's play at the end of the fifth set, managing to finish by a close score of 13-15, despite a rough start. "During the fifth game, [that] was only 15 points, we started off down 6-1," she said. "We pulled it together as a team."
According to Klein, the Blazers played at their best in this game. "We executed our game plan better than all season, even than in games we won," he said.
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