Wootton and Kennedy knew what was at stake. It wasn't a pair of eyeglasses, or national pride, or the claim to be "King of the Beach." It was match played on a pleasant Friday night in April in a high school gym in front of a few dozen spectators, far away from the more popular images of the world's #2 participation sport: beach players on the sand courts of sunny southern California; the international pageantry of Olympic venues; the high school gym class or company picnic where egos and eyeglasses are put at risk by the overzealous "power volleyball" ringer.
The MCPS Gold Division title was at stake. The winner clinches a playoff spot. Simple.
The Wootton boys were up for the task, and pulled out a victory, but not without plenty of fight and hustle from the Kennedy boys. Wootton tested a few variations in it's lineup, and incorporated a strategic use of substitutions to draw strength from it's depth. The team executed the game plan with intelligence and composure, a step forward as the Patriots prepare for the home stretch of the regular season and playoffs.
So, a few dozen fans saw Wootton win a second consecutive division title. The match was not played in the most glamorous of volleyball venues, but was arguably truer to the origins of the sport that grew out of the YMCAs of Springfield, Pittsburgh and Chicago and spread throughout the world by American GIs stationed overseas. And as any volleyball fan knows after being a part of a good high school match, it is no wonder why volleyball is the world's #2 participation sport.
The Patriots put their unbeaten season (7-0 match, 21-0 set record) on the line against White Division front-runner Magruder at home on Monday, April 19 at 7:00 pm. The Gold Division-winning Wootton Coed team plays Marguder at 5:15 pm.