In a game where Nic Texier unleashed the "spike block" and Clayton Zhang's "stylin' serve" ultimately scored an ace, the Wootton boys shook off the Spring Break cob webs against a tough Rockville team in a MCPS Gold Division matchup.
With the win, Wootton improved its season record to 3-0 and, with wins over the two other high schools within the corporate boundaries of Rockville, claimed the mythical City of Rockville "championship", which ultimately proves to be meaningless except to those of us that make up such things when a family member plays for a rival City of Rockville school.
Tony Malinauskas and Aaron Yee were outstanding with their all-around playmaking abilities. The two demonstrated once again why they were selected to the All-Gazette Team last year. In the meantime, Kevin Liang is quietly establishing himself as a top hard-hitting outside hitter that will consistently score points for the Patriots. Clayton Zhang and Nic Texier (yes, the famous ones..see first paragraph), along with Eric Zhang and Jeffrey Qiu, trolled the middle and outside looking for volleyballs to crunch, stuff, wreak havoc upon, etc. Eray Wang, Justin Fowler, Elliott Liu and Mark Yang balanced the Wootton side with their strong passing, utility and defensive play. Christopher Wong and Michael Ip kept the floor clean of volleyballs in strong back row performances.
But it wasn't easy. Rockville has perhaps the best digging team Wootton has faced. The Rams' defensive hustle, along with their big hitters, form the basis of a formidable, talented team that should challenge for the MCPS championship. With temperatures outside topping 90 degrees, the gym was warm, but Wootton was able to go deep into its bench to keep fresh legs on the court, which perhaps was the key to victory in a hard fought match.
The Patriots return home on Friday, April 9 at 5:15 pm against Northwood in another division matchup.
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