A Newsletter for the Wootton High School Boys Volleyball Community


2009 Side-Out Grass Doubles Tourney on June 13 & 14

The Side-Out Foundation's 2009 Side-Out Grass Doubles Festival (to raise Breast Cancer awareness and funds) is on June 13 and 14. We are making a push to have 200 juniors teams participate in our event this year. This is a great way for high school players to keep their skills up for the upcoming season.

Help the Side-Out Foundation reach its goal as well as get out and play this summer. There will be music, vendors, and each participating team will get a Side-Out T-shirt. Winning teams will get medals and small prizes and get their picture on our website.

1. Go to: http://www.side-out.org/news-events/sideout_festival/ and read up on our event.
2. To register go to: http://www.sideoutvolleyball.org/event/register.cfm
3. Add pictures and text to your fund raising page.
4. Each team must raise a minimum of $75 to participate.


Support The Side-Out Foundation: MoCo Boys Volleyball Showcase at Wootton Tonight

Celebrate volleyball and support a good cause.

The inaugural Montgomery County Senior Boys Volleyball Showcase will be held on Tuesday, May 19, 2009 at Wootton High School at 7 pm. Click here for details.

Come out and see a showcase of sportsmanship, talented high school seniors playing volleyball, and support a good cause! Admission is $5.00 ($3.00 for students).

Proceeds from this event will be donated to the Side-Out Foundation, a volleyball organization that raises money for breast cancer research. Visit www.side-out.org for more information about the Side-Out Foundation.

Honorary Coach: Aldis Berzins, 1984 Olympic Gold Medalist & Sherwood Boys Volleyball Coach.

Honorary Head Coaches: Elmer Matlock (Richard Montgomery HS) and Wanda Hsiung (Kennedy HS), the two longest serving boys volleyball coaches in MCPS will coach Team Red. Also, Chris Liang, head coach at Blair High School, along with other boys coaches, will coach Team Blue.

Announcer: Barry Goldberg, Head Volleyball Coach, American University.

Event Hosts / Coordinators: John Hartranft and Mary Malinauskas (Wootton High School)

Organizing Committee: Dawn Dickinson (Clarksburg HS), Cindy Hollies (Rockville HS), Wanda Hsiung (Kennedy HS), Sue McPherson (Bethesda-Chevy Chase HS), Tom Siegrist (Wheaton HS), Raymond Trail (Northwood HS)

Advisor: Scott Zanni (Magruder HS)

Team Rosters: 25 players selected representing 14 schools.

This is a non-MCPS event. The 2009 MoCo Senior Boys Volleyball Showcase is organized and staffed by coaches, parents, students and others who have volunteered their time, money and services to make this event possible.


Wootton Sweeps Kennedy; Advances to Semifinals

Patriots score 25-19, 25-18, 25-15 victory; Will host semifinal match against Richard Montgomery Rockets on Tuesday, May 12 at 5:30 pm.


Wootton Wins Round 1 in Playoffs

#1 seed Wootton defeats Bethesda-Chevy Chase 25-13, 25-10, 25-13; Patriots to host Kennedy in quarterfinals on Friday, May 8. The match will start at 3:30 pm.


Wootton Earns Road Win at Rockville

Patriots complete regular season with win against Rams 25-11, 25-10, 25-16; Playoffs begin on May 6.


It's not a picnic when playing against Rockville, particularly with Coach Hollies at the helm. Good athletes and good coaching are main ingredients for a winning boys volleyball program, and Rockville is cooking up a recipe for a bright future on par with its outstanding teams of the past several years. Rockville has good young athletes that now know how to play volleyball. Take them for granted next year, then prepare to be eaten alive.

Experience, fortunately, served up a win for Wootton this year. Setters Aaron Yee and Eray Wang adjusted to a change in the usual Patriot lineup in the first set, directing an offense led by Tony Malinauskas, Alex Filie, and Zhenyang Zhang. Kevin Liang contributed a strong all-around performance in the swing hitter position.

The Patriots jumped out to an early lead in game two behind Filie's serving. Eray Wang took over the sole quarterback duties, and, along with Malinauskas, Mark Yang, Zhenyang Zhang and Richard Fan led an effective transition game. Eric Zhang and Chris Wong came off the bench to protect the lead for the Patriots.

Since the beginning of March, the talents of Wootton's younger players have been simmering in the practice gym. Michael Ip, George Ewald, Eric Zhang, along with Chris Wong, got the nod to cook up their own winning recipe, giving the fans a taste of what's on the Wootton menu for the next few years...Ewald patrolling the net, and Ip, Zhang, and Wong adding their own seasoning.

Of note in game three was the steady leadership of veterans Eray Wang, Mark Yang, Zhenyang Zhang and Xinyuan Wang. Well done.

With the win, Wootton completes its regular season with an 11-1 match record, and 35-4 set record, and a division championship. Anyone hungry for the playoffs to begin? See you in the gym on Wednesday, May 6. Opponent, site and time to be determined.


Blair Edges Wootton 3-2

Blazers squeak out tight victory over Patriots, 22-25, 19-25, 25-22, 25-23, 18-16.

The great UCLA basketball coach John Wooden said, "Success is never final, failure is never fatal. It's courage that counts."

Legendary Penn State coach Joe Paterno noted "The will to win is important, but the will to prepare is vital."

For the Wootton boys volleyball team, the will to prepare for each match this year resulted in ten consecutive victories. Alas, that success hit a bump in the road Monday evening against a very talented and experienced Blair team considered by many to be one the best two teams in Montgomery County.

Blair and Wootton battled in a five game match that reached a level of intensity and competitiveness that tested each team's resolve. It was, aguably, the most fun the Wootton boys had all year. Each set was close, with Wootton taking the first two and Blair clawing back to take sets three, four, and five.

For Wootton, sophomore setter Aaron Yee had an outstanding match, quarterbacking the Patriot attack for all five sets. Seniors Alex Filie and Kevin Wong, along with Junior Tony Malinauskas, elevated the Wootton blocking game. Seniors Rex Hsu and Richard Fan, along with Junior Kevin Liang and Sophomore Eray Wang, contributed clutch performances at critical times during the match.

Having learned that their failure to win this match was not fatal, the Patriots begin their preparation for the playoffs. As division champions, and with a 32-4 set record for the season, Wootton is in a position to earn a high seeding and possible home court advantage in the early rounds.

Next up: The last regular season match will be at Rockville on Wednesday, April 29 at 5:15 pm. Playoffs begin May 6.


Wootton Wins at Magruder 3-0

Patriots sweep Colonels 25-15, 25-19, 25-16.

Wasn't pretty. Wasn't bad, either. Wootton faced one of the best digging teams it has faced all year. Magruder was relentless in their defensive play, reading Wootton's hitters and digging them consistently well. Wootton responded with enough resolve to win the match in three games, particularly the resolve to overcome its own drop in intensity from its previous four matches.

Next up: The Patriots will need to muster up its A game against what is arguably one of the two most talented teams in the County. Blair will bring it's powerhouse program, featuring several elite USA High Performance Team players, to Wootton's gym on Monday, April 27 at 5:15 pm. For the fans, this will be a great opportunity to see some very good high school boys volleyball players compete in a match with playoff seeding at stake.


Strategic Setting

Watch the setter on the team with the white jerseys. Clever fellow... not a strategy that I'd recommend ... but clever.


Wootton Tops Whitman 3-0

Patriots sweep Vikings 25-9, 25-23, 25-8.

Wootton was happy to get this one over. After a looooooong warmup waiting and wishing for the whistle, Whitman and Wootton (whoa, what wonderful waxing with words, wha? whew!), took to the court in a competitive match that featured a tall, athletic, and well-coached Viking squad taking it to the Patriots with a wicked serving game and some impressive net play. Wootton held its own, making several key adjustments and playing from its strengths. Kevin Liang played perhaps his best match this season with his stellar attack. Once again, Tony Malinauskas, Kevin Wong and Alex Filie paced the Patriot attack with Aaron Yee taking his setting game up a notch. Eray Wang and Richard Fan played exceptional all-around games.

With the win, the Patriots completed their division schedule with a record of 7-0, and improved their season record to 9-0.

Next up: The Patriots visit Magruder on Friday, April 24 in a 5:15 non division match.


Wootton Defeats Churchill 3-0

Patriots sweep Bulldogs 25-15, 25-10, 25-21.

Wootton-Churchill. No need for extra motivation. Throw away the season records....they don't matter. This one is for bragging rights...in any sport. It just so happens that Churchill and Wootton have a good pool of volleyball talent to draw on, so this is a match marked on the calendar at the beginning of the season.

The Wootton boys got the upper hand this time, led by Tony Malinauskas, Kevin Wong, Alex Filie and setter Aaron Yee. Kevin Liang, Eray Wang, Zhenyang Zhang and Richard Fan were strong on the outside, with Wang also setting the third set. Wootton was able to play fourteen players in this match; Wootton's younger players filled in nicely during key moments of the match. Of note, freshmen Chris Wong, Michael Ip and Eric Zhang stepped up to the challenge presented by Churchill's well coached team of younger players. George Ewald and Xin Wang once again were solid in utility roles.

Next up: The Patriots return home to face Whitman on Wednesday, April 22 at 5:15 pm. The Whitman match will be the final division matchup before the Patriots complete the regular season with interdivision matches against Magruder, Blair and Rockville.

Wootton's season record is now 8-0.


Thank You Very Mulch!

The Wootton volleyball team participated in the senior class and athletic program fundraiser by delivering mulch to homes on Friday, April 17 and Saturday, April 18. The Wootton Mulch Sale is a large operation ably handled by senior class leaders and sponsors. The volleyballers were happy to lend a hand.



Watch Penn State - Ball State Volleyball match on 4/17/09

The Ball State – Penn State men's volleyball match on Friday, April 17 is being televised over Indiana and the BSU website will have the feed in case any one wants to view it. Click here to access the BSU volleyball website.

Wootton tops Wheaton 3-0

Wong, Yee, Filie and Malinauskas lead Patriots to 25-13, 25-14, 25-15 win.

Fifteen days had passed since Wootton's last match. The team also "enjoyed" an eleven day layoff from practice during Spring Break before returning to the gym on Tuesday to prepare for a tough, athletic Wheaton team. The challenge was set: Would the Patriots pick up from where they left off the first half of the season and "enjoy" their return to competition in a key division match against the Knights.

Wheaton coach Tom Siegrist has a top-notch volleyball program in place and is set to challenge any team in the county. The Wootton players knew a formidable Wheaton team would give the Patriots a way to measure its own standing in a competitive division.

Sophomore setter Aaron Yee directed the Wootton offense in a solid performance, with the attack punctuated by senior Kevin Wong and junior Tony Malinauskas. Alex Filie, along with Malinauskas and Wong, led the Patriot blocking game. The four veterans were instrumental in maintaining team focus on the game plan while applying the pressure needed to neutralize Wheaton's talented offense.

Of note were key performances by Wootton's multi-dimensional players. Freshman Michael Ip, earning his first start of the year, and sophomore Eray Wang were key to the Patriots' effective defensive and transition game. Seniors Rex Hsu and Richard Fan added firepower to the Wootton attack. Sophomore Mark Yang, junior Xinyuan Wang, along with freshmen Eric Zhang and Chris Wong contributed to the well-balanced effort with their utility play, particularly in pressure situations.

Wootton continues its season on Monday, April 20 against rival Churchill in the first of three matches in one week against teams with notable talent. Monday's game at Churchill begins at 5:15 pm.


Patriots Prepare for 2nd Half of Season

A 3-0 forfeit victory at the expense of a short-handed Seneca Valley team put Wootton's match record at 6-0 for the season. At the half-way point of the regular season, the Patriots took a well-deserved Spring Break, and return to the gym on Tuesday, 4/14/09 to prepare for a very good Wheaton team at home on Wednesday, 4/15/09.

The Wheaton match has championship implications, as the winner will have the upper hand in the race for the division title and higher seeding in the playoffs. Wheaton has an imposing lineup that features some of the most talented players in the county....and they bring their 6-0 record to Wootton's gym in what promises to be tough match for the Patriots.

The season does not get any easier, as the Patriots play Churchill, Whitman and Magruder next week in a five day stretch that will test the team's resolve.


Wootton tops Richard Montgomery, 3-1

Patriots prevail over Rockets, 25-22, 25-21, 22-25, 26-24.

Cross-town rivals Richard Montgomery Rockets and Wootton Patriots went head-to-head in an evenly matched contest Tuesday night, picking up from when they last met in an epic five game match in April 2008. With both teams playing at a higher level than 2008, RM and Wootton, along with Wheaton High School, are shaping up as favorites for the division title and hoping to compete for the county championship. The Patriots got the upper hand this time in a close match that featured a solid all-around performance by the Wootton starting six (though playing without veteran Richard Fan).

Of note, for Wootton, are the players that didn't see action against RM. The younger Patriots have found a way to use their considerable skills to push the veterans in practice. To prepare for RM's excellent defense, the Wootton starters had to compete with the likes of talented first year players Michael Ip, Chris Wong, Eric Zhang, and George Ewald, along with the steady play of veterans Xin Wang, Mark Yang and Zhenyang Zhang in practice. Not an easy task. Setter/Hitter Eray Wang, when not playing with Wootton's first team, is more than capable of beating them in practice. Tuesday's victory had its roots in a sweaty Wootton gym beginning in early March, where the team philosophy is put to practice: prepare with purpose, compete with intensity, and have fun!


Wootton Wins at Walter Johnson

Patriots score 25-19, 25-8, 25-20 victory; Improve season record to 4-0.

Playing without veterans Rex Hsu and Richard Fan, and defensive stalwart Chris Wong, the Patriots held off a younger, but well-coached Walter Johnson team in a key division matchup. Eray Wang stepped out of his setting role and performed admirably at swing hitter. Tony Malinauskas and Kevin Wong led the Patriot attack and, along with Alex Filie, contributed solid blocking. Aaron Yee ran the Wootton offense with intelligent set selection. Kevin Liang played a solid all-around game and established his role as the latest in Wootton's history of hard-hitting outside hitters.

The Patriots travel to meet the undefeated and multi-talented Rockets of Richard Montgomery on Tuesday, March 31. The boys game follows the 5:15 pm coed match.


Wootton Wades Water, Wins Against Gaithersburg, 3-0

Patriots over Trojans 25-9, 25-11, 25-23 in Division Matchup

The volleyball fun at Wootton began flowing on Wednesday just around the same time as the water from a broken water main along Wootton Parkway. The coed match was soon to start, while many of the spectators were making their way to the match. In front of the high school, around 5 pm, Wootton Parkway was transformed into a small stream, blocking most traffic and forcing fans and players to change/adapt/improvise their routes to Wootton's gymnasium. Outside, construction workers directed traffic and worked well into the night to be sure
school would be open on Thursday.

Inside, the Patriot coed and boys volleyball teams began constructing their victories over the visiting Trojans. Energized by an impressive five game victory by the Wootton coed team, the boys took the floor against an athletic, personable Gaithersburg team that knows how to enjoy the game. Wootton's experienced players took the Trojans the first two games, led by Kevin Wong, Alex Filie, and Tony Malinauskas. Aaron Yee ran the offense, while Rex Hsu, Kevin Liang, Zhengyang Zhang, and Richard Fan played perhaps their best volleyball of the season so far.

Veterans Hsu, Fan and Liang, along with Eray Wang, led the younger Patriots in game three. Mark Yang, Chris Wong and Michael Ip played a solid all-around games, George Ewald patrolled the net, and Eric Zhang contributed an exceptional performance in the home stretch as the Patriots held off a relentless Gaithersburg rally.

Next up: the Patriots visit Walter Johnson in a critical division match up on Friday, 3/27. The boys game follows the 5:15 coed match.


Patriots Win Second Straight Match

Win at Einstein, 25-5, 25-11, 25-14

Einstein coaches Emily Hallam and James Chan run a classy program with good team spirit and are gracious hosts. Their success with developing student-athletes is evident in how their first year volleyball players enjoy the game and the entire team's sportsmanship on the court. It's a pleasure to compete against and associate with good people.

The younger Patriot players were exceptional in their performance in the third game. With Eray Wang leading the way at setter, Xinyuan Wang, Michael Ip, Mark Yang, Eric Zhang performed well all-around, with George Ewald and Chris Wong making significant contributions at the net and back row, respectively.

The Patriots jumped out to early leads in games one and two and played steadily throughout. Aaron Yee directed the Patriot offense in game 1 and Eray Wang in game 2. Veterans Alex Filie, Kevin Wong and Tony Malinauskas paced the Patriot attack. Kevin Liang, Richard Fan, Zhengyang Zhang, and Rex Hsu contributed strong all-around performances. Chris Wong again showed his gutsy approach defensive play during game 2.

The Patriots return home on Wednesday, March 25 for a 7:00 pm match against Gaithersburg, following the 5:15 coed match.


Wootton Wins 2009 Opener

Patriots defeat Blake 25-9, 25-7, 27-25

Behind an effective serving game (25 aces), and playing in front of its home crowd, the Patriots opened the 2009 season with an important victory against a young Bengal squad. Alex Filie led the serving effort with nine aces. Aaron Yee (5 aces), Rex Hsu (3 aces), Kevin Wong (3 aces), Tony Malinauskas (3 aces), Richard Fan, Zhengyang Zhang, Chris Wong, Michael Ip and Kevin Liang joined Filie on the court during the first two games.

Of note was the exceptional, come-from-behind victory in game three by Wootton's younger players. Facing a deficit of six points mid-game and down 21-23 late in the game, the Patriots rallied behind the steady play of Xinyuan Wang, Eray Wang's setting, George Ewald's net play, Mark Yang's hitting, Eric Zhang's ball control, and Chris Wong's gutsy defensive play.

Next up: The Patriots travel to meet the Titans of Einstein High School on Monday, March 23.