Undefeated Blair boys’ volleyball crushes Northwood Gladiators in Battle of the Boulevard

April 25, 2023, 7:59 a.m. | By Katie Phung | 1 year, 3 months ago

The Blazers take the Boulevard in a noncompetitive 3-0 game against the Gladiators

Blazers patiently wait as Northwood gets ready to serve. Photo courtesy of Katie Phung.

On April 21, the Blair Blazers (7-0) defeated rival Northwood (0-9), sweeping the Gladiators in a 3-0 game.

At the start of the first set, the Gladiators served over to the Blazers which was immediately a point for Blair as junior outside hitter Luke Mei sent a slow tip over to Northwood, catching their defense off-guard. 

The side out was immediately followed by continuous ace serves from sophomore libero Ricky Ye, which created a strong 11-0 lead for the Blazers. With senior outside hitter Bill Nguyen’s successful kills, momentum was with the Blazers. Nguyen and Mei were able to best Northwood’s defense with strong and powerful hits. The first ended 25-3 for the Blazers. 

The start of the second set was another great advance for the Blazers as freshman outside hitter Jason Liang used effective jump serves to quickly give Blair a 7-0 lead. Junior setter Michael Bach was first in receiving serves, which had to bring other backrow players to set. After successful pick-ups from Ye, senior outside hitter Shahid Mahrami was able to follow through with powerful swings to get multiple kills. 

The Gladiators' use of effective short tips proved to be a challenge for Blair’s defense as their passes became less accurate. However, Bach was still able to send the ball straight towards the Blair hitters where they made great use of his recovery.

Despite some service errors from Blair, the Blazers were able to impressively recover from their mistakes and make great use of their offense against Northwood. The second set ended 25-9 Blair.

Northwood started the third set with a service from their side. After a short rally, Bach had to make use of a tight pass by surprising the Gladiators with a setter dump. 

The Blazers were able to experiment with different kinds of plays, setting outside hitter Liang while he was backrow for a surprise backrow attack which proved to be a smart and successful play. Sophomore middle blocker Eric Zhau was also able to swing fast and thoroughly through Northwood’s blocks. 

The game ended with a technical error from Northwood, winning the Blazers the third set at 25-10. The Blazers had taken the Boulevard from the Gladditors in a 3-0 game. 

After the game, junior setter Bach was satisfied with the victory, yet felt like there were some mistakes that the Blazers needed to work on. “I think our team did really well working together. However, our individual skills such as passing needs work.”

Last updated: April 25, 2023, 8:02 a.m.

Tags: Boys Volleyball Northwood Volleyball

Katie Phung. Hi, I'm Katie! (she/her) I'm on business staff and a fact-checker. My unhealthy addictions are playing Sims 4 and watching Say Yes to the Dress. More »

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