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.