Wootton takes a break after brushing back Paint Branch 25-8, 25-7, 25-5.
Prior to a two week break from it's regular season, the Wootton boys took on the visiting Panthers of Paint Branch in a match that is becoming increasingly meaningful in terms of playoff seeding. Three quarters through the season, the Patriots sit atop the overall MCPS standing as one of two undefeated teams, squeezing out Springbrook based on overall set record of 27-1 versus 27-2. With three regular season matches remaining, Wootton has the slight upper hand to earn the top seed for a third consecutive year.
Pardon my attempt at British colloquialism.... Sophomore Jeffrey Qiu was bloody effective in unleashing a torrent of bombs against the Panther defense. Queuing up Qiu was sophomore setter Justin Fowler, who took on full time setting duties with the absence of senior Eray Wang. And the rest of the Patriots followed Qiu's lead, with everyone seeing action minus all-utility Wang and senior Mark (serve: BANG!) Yang and the late (but very much still alive) Nic Texier. Texier turned over the middle hitting reigns to sophomore Charles Wang and junior Alan "Jungle Man" Ngyun, who proved that volleyball is more than a recreational pastime played by beer bellied "bumpers and spikers" at the company picnic. Ngyun, in fact, showed up 24 hours earlier ready to play, demonstrating a commitment to the sport that ringers at the clambake are often lacking.
Henry Zhou, Michael Ip, Eric Zhang and Chris Wong played solid all-around games. Juniors Wong and Ip are establishing themselves as two of the premier defensive players in the county. Following in Wong's and Ip's footsteps are freshmen Ben Wang and Cary Chin, who are on a path to step up when the opportunity is presented to them. Freshman Paul Malinauskas played a fine match as a left-handed volleyball cruncher...perhaps the most talented Wootton freshman in years to crunch volleyballs left-handedly..... At least since now-senior Mark Yang and older Malinauskas brother Tony "the Phalanx" set foot on Wootton's storied volleyball court.
Senior Aaron Yee deserves a line all to himself for his usual stellar play. Good job Aaron. Bigger opportunities are on the horizon for you. All-County....been there, done that.
Wootton returns from it's two week layoff when it visits Seneca Valley in a 3:30 pm match on Wednesday, April 27.