A Newsletter for the Wootton High School Boys Volleyball Community



Patriots Round Up Bulldogs and Cougars On Way to Semifinals

Wootton defeats Churchill in first round 25-12, 25-11, 25-17 and wins quarterfinal match against Quince Orchard 25-14, 25-11, 25-21; To play Sherwood at home on Tuesday, May 8 at 5:30 pm.


2012 MCPS Championship Quarterfinals

Boys volleyball quarterfinal results:
#1 Wootton defeated #8 Quince Orchard 3-0
#2 Blair defeated #10 Wheaton 3-0
#3 RM defeated #11 Kennedy 3-0
#4 sherwood defeated #5 Blake 3-0 

The semifinals will take place Tuesday, May 8:

#4 Sherwood at #1 Wootton at 5:30PM
#3 Richard Montgomery at #2 Blair at 5:15PM


2012 MCPS Boys Volleyball Playoffs: Round 1

Here are the first round boys volleyball results:

#1 Wootton defeated #16 Churchill 3-0

#2 Blair defeated #15 Northwest 3-0

#3 Richard Montgomery defeated #14 Poolesville 3-0

#4 Sherwood defeats #13 Magruder 3-2

#5 Blake defeated #12 Watkins Mill 3-1

#11 Kennedy defeated #6 Clarksburg 3-1

#10 Wheaton defeated #7 BCC 3-2

#8 Quince Orchard defeated #9 Springbrook 3-1

The boys volleyball quarterfinals take place on Friday, May 4th as follows: 

#8 Quince Orchard at #1 Wootton

#10 Wheaton at #2 Blair

#11 Kennedy at #3 Richard Montgomery

#5 Blake at #4 Sherwood


2012 MCPS Playoff Seeding

The final regular season records and playoff seeding:

1.  Wootton 11-0 (overall game record or 33-2, .942)

2.  Blair 10-1 (overall game record of 32-4, .888)

3.  Richard Montgomery 10-1 (overall game record of 31-5, .861))

4.  Sherwood 9-2

5.  Blake 8-3 (overall game record of 27-14, .658)

6.  Clarksburg 8-3 (overall game record of 26-14, .650)

7.  BCC 8-3  (25-14, .641)

8.  Quince Orchard 8-3 (26-15, .634)

9.  Springbrook 8-3, (24-15, .615)

10.  Wheaton 7-4 (wins tiebreaker by defeating Kennedy and Waktins Mill)

11.  Kennedy 7-4 (wins coin toss versus Watkins Mill)

12.  Watkins Mill 7-4 (wins coin toss versus Kennedy)

13.  Magruder 6-5 (overall game record of 23-15, .605)

14.  Poolesville 6-5 (overall game record of 21-18, .538)

15.  Northwest 5-6 (overall game record of 22-25, .468)

16.  Churchill 5-6 (overall game record of 18-22,  .450)


Wootton Completes 11-0 Regular Season, Looks To Playoffs As #1 Seed.

Patriots top Clarksburg Coyotes 25-18, 25-13, 25-19.

If there were doubts that the Patriots boys could make it through a tough regular season schedule and match the unbeaten Wootton squads from 2010 and 2011, then those doubts were put to rest on Clarksburg's court in the regular season finale on Monday night.  In doing so, the Patriots extended the school's streak of unbeaten regular seasons to three, and for the fourth consecutive year, earned the #1 in the MCPS playoffs.

There will be time to reflect on what the Patriots have already accomplished as they continue on to the playoffs.  Of note has been the high level of competition the Patriots have faced this season, and the Clarksburg match offered yet another challenge. During the past few years, Clarksburg Coach Dawn Dickinson has been building a program that has yielded one of the top teams in Montgomery County this year. And playing the Coyotes on their home court is not an easy task.

The Coyotes took it to the Patriots in each set behind their aggressive defense and strong setting.  The Patriots were forced to come from behind in each set, including a five-point deficit halfway through set three to ultimately take the match.  Once again, senior Michael Ip steadied the Patriot transition game with junior outside hitters Jeffrey Qui feeding off of Justin Fowler's sets. Along with Qui and Zhou, sophomore Paul Malinauskas demonstrated why he is one of the top hitters in the county by taking over the match in clutch situations. Sophomore libero Benjamin Wang provided key digs and passes. IN perhaps his best game of the season, freshman Richard Hum, along with fellow classmate Mark Pang, closed out sets two and three with strong hitting. Senior Alan Ngyen and sophomore Cary Chin picked up the pace of the match with their play in the middle and at opposite.

The Patriots now face rival and #16 seed Churchill in the first round of the MCPS playoffs.  Though as #1 seed the Patriots earned home court advantage throughout the playoffs, due to a scheduling conflict at Wootton High School, the Patriots will play at Churchill's Dawgpound in a 7 pm match on Wednesday, May 2.


Wootton Learns, Earns Win at Springbrook

Patriots work through kinks in 26-24, 25-14, 25-16 victory over Blue Devils.

Ten matches into the 2012 season, Wootton has faced stiff competition and has earned ten victories. With each match, the Patriots have learned a bit more about what it takes to respond to a different set of challenges.

The Blue Devils' big hitters attacked in set one, supported by strong defensive and ball control play, and threatening to close out the set before Wootton junior setter Justin Fowler settled his team for the close two point win. Senior Michael Ip and sophomore Benjamin Wang adjusted well to Springbrook's attack to spark the Patriots' transition game down the stretch.

Wootton's adjustments between sets one and two kept Springbrook from gaining momentum on multiple point scoring runs, and Fowler fed Wootton's outside hitters, juniors Jeffrey Qiu and Henry Zhou, sophomore Paul Malinauskas and freshman Richard Hum.

Wootton jumped out to a 7-1 lead in set three and didn't look back. Sophomore Cary Chin's utility play and senior middle blocker Alan Nguyen bolstered the Patriots precision in the back and front row. With Fowler picking up the serving game and the offense kicking into higher gear, the now-smarter Patriots were able to find the open spots on Springbrook's side of the court.

With the win, the Patriots' season record improves to 10-0. On Monday, April 30, Wootton plays its last regular season match on the road against a talented Clarksburg squad that is challenging for the MCPS title. The boys match follows the 5:15 pm coed match.


Si Señor: Veterans Lead Wootton Past Gaithersburg

On Senior Night, Patriots hold off Trojans 25-14, 25-14, 25-19.

A young, athletic and well-coached Gaithersburg team challenged the Patriots with a strong digging and blocking game for three sets, but the steadying play of Wootton's veterans pushed the hosts toward it's ninth victory of the season without a loss. It was the final regular season home match for Wootton's seniors.

The impact that Michael Ip, Alan Nguyen, Nic Texier and Christopher Wong have had on Wootton's volleyball program is understated, yet far-reaching and significant. The wins have been plenty, but it's their commitment to developing all facets of being excellent teammates that has set the standard for those that will follow in their big footsteps.

Ip, who has played every position on the court, has quietly compiled a record unmatched by any player in the county in the past four years. Including the Gaithersburg win, Ip has contributed to Wootton's 44-1 regular season record since 2009. "Quiet Mike" has never walked away from a challenge, and his teammates are now benefitting from his leadership.

Nguyen, a fierce competitor at middle blocker, has earned the endearing nickname "Jungle Man" and elicits chest-pounding grunts from his teammates for each of his volleyball-pounding kills. No doubt his team rallies behind him on the court, yet his humble approach to success is perhaps most impressive on and off the court. 

Texier, one of the county's best middle attackers since he was a sophomore, has been on sidelines in 2012 due to injury. Though the Patriots miss Nic on the court, his encouraging presence at practice, his leadership and his appearance as a "serving specialist" in the Gaithersburg match have energized the team during the home stretch of the season. Should Nic be ready to patrol the nets to complete his senior season, it will be an added bonus to his already-stellar career.

Wong, a terrific all-around player and one of the best defensive players in the county during his career, has been the standard for work ethic at Wootton. Though his focus his senior year has taken him beyond the volleyball court, his presence is felt each time a Wootton player relentlessly pursues the volleyball.

Well done, Seniors. Except, you are not done yet.

The Patriots are on the road to face a tough Springbrook squad on Wednesday, April 25. The boys' match follows the 5:15 pm coed match.


In the Dawgpound, Patriots Mark Territory, Win Division Crown

Patriots sweep Bulldogs 25-9, 25-14, 25-18.

Grantland Rice (1880-1954), an American sports writer, said:
For when the One Great Scorer comes, / To write against your name, / He marks - not that you won or lost - / But how you played the Game.
 Nice sentiment.  Tennis great Martina Navratilova followed up years later with an appending thought:
Whoever said, "It's not whether you win or lose that counts," probably lost.
Ah, Martina didn't discount the competitive spirit and drive to win.  Her thinking certainly served her and the game of tennis well. Fortunately for the Patriots,

For Wootton seniors Michael Ip, Alan Nguyen and Nic Texier, Thursday's match against Churchill served as affirmation of their competitive spirit and how they play the game of volleyball.  The three seniors completed an unblemished record versus the rival Bulldogs, having never lost in their years playing for the Patriots.

And for senior Texier, who had been forced to sit our all season due to injury, the Churchill match marked the first time he set foot on the court, leading the younger Patriots, including freshmen Richard Hum and Mark Pang and sophomores Benjamin Wang and Cary Chin, to match point and the Patriots eighth victory of the season without a loss.  The win also marked the fourth consecutive MCPS Division Championship for the Patriots.

Seniors Ip, Nguyen and Texier will be celebrated on Senior night prior to their last home match on Monday, April 23 at 7 pm against Gaithersburg.


Wootton-Sherwood: Wootton Sure Did

Patriots squeek by Warriors 25-20, 25-23, 25-22

Perennial power Sherwood brought its strong blocking and outside attack to Wootton's gym with playoff seeding at stake.  In the end, Wootton had the upper hand in a highly competitive match, and remained unbeaten and tied with Richard Montgomery in the overall MCPS standings.

Once again, setter Justin Fowler directed an attack led by outside hitters Jeffrey Qiu, Henry Zhou, Paul Malinauskas. Charles Wang provided solid blocking in the middle, along with Alan Nguyen. Do-everything senior Michael Ip had an excellent all-around match and libero Benjamin Wang covered a large part of the court on serve receive and defense/transition.

Of note for the Patriots was a comeback from an eight point deficit in set two to take the win.

The Patriots aim to clinch the division title on the road against rival Churchill on Thursday, April 19. First serve is scheduled for 30 minutes after the 5:15 pm coed match.

In Battle of Unbeatens, Wootton Tops Blake

Patriots end Bengal win streak at six, 25-8, 25-14, 25-21

"It's not so important who starts the game but who finishes it"
Former UCLA basketball coach John Wooden

Wootton started it's match against Blake High School playing as solid a game as it has all year, with  passes on target, tough serving, smart setting and an agressive attack.  The patriots jumped out to a large lead in set one and never looked back. It was a complete team effort that put a measure of success on the Patriots preparation for the previously 6-0 Bengals, who were a half game ahead of the Patriots in the race for the division championship.  But volleyball matches do not end after one set.

In set 2, the Patriots again jumped out to an early lead, but Blake fought back, showing signs that set one was an anomaly. The Bengals are a good defensive team and were able to dig some of Wootton's hard hit balls and force errors on Wootton's side of the net. Though the Patriots pulled away at the end to go up 2-0, the Bengals were warming up to the competition.

BONG! You can almost hear the bell that rings when Rocky Balboa takes Apollo Creed beyond the third round and the realization sets in that this was going to be a heck of a boxing match.  Set three was a serve against serve, point to point matchup that was deadlocked at 18 all when the Patriots had to dig deeper to deliver the final punches to secure the match victory.

So, the important thing about in this match was how both teams finished, with Blake showing the athleticism and competitive spirit that has put them near the top of MCPS volleyball this spring, and with Wootton showing it's strength through adversity. And in the end, it was a battle between two of the three remaining unbeaten teams. And at the final whistle, Wootton took the upper hand for the division crown; but a possible meeting in the playoffs should be an interesting rematch.

Wootton takes on a talented team when perennial powerhouse Sherwood visits on Wednesday, April 18. The first serve is scheduled to take place 30 minutes after the end of the 5:15 pm coed match.


Key Win at Walter Johnson Positions Wootton In Thick of Race for Division Crown

Patriots tame Wildcats 25-7, 25-12, 25-16 to remain unbeaten; To face unbeaten Blake at home on Monday, April 16.
It was a good night for high school sports in Montgomery County. The baseball, track, softball and lacrosse teams are now well into their spring seasons and critical matchups are determining who will play for the division, county and state championships. At Walter Johnson High School, the talented Wootton lacrosse team was playing against formidable Wildcats outside on the turf while the Patriot volleyball teams took to the hardwood inside the gymnasium in a division match against traditionally strong rival.

Wootton had the upper hand in this match with experience. Walter Johnson played tough defense throughout the match. For the Patriots, Paul Malinauskas, Jeffrey Qiu, Justin Fowler, Henry Zhou, Benjamin Wang, Charles Wang, and do-everything Michael Ip provided a well-balanced attack and defensive effort for the win. Freshmen Richard Hum and Mark Pang, along with sophomore Cary Chin and senior Alan Nguyen, kept the pressure on the Wildcats with key plays coming off the bench.

Too bad the local papers don't cover volleyball.  There are many compelling stories to tell about boys volleyball in Montgomery County. The world's #2 participation sport draws from fan base that is extensive, engaged, committed and knowledgeable about the athleticism to compete at a high level. Inside Walter Johnson's gymnasium were two high school communities that represent that fan base well.  You won't be able to read about what happened in the Gazette.  We'll just have to keep it a secret among the estimated 240 boys playing at Montgomery County's 26 high schools, and the 800 million players worldwide who love their sport.

Wootton faces unbeaten Blak at home on Monday, April 16. The first serve is 30 minutes after the completion of the 5:15 pm coed match.


Wootton Earns Road Win at Paint Branch

Patriots improve season record to 4-0 with 25-7, 25-9, 25-7 win.

The Patriots traveled across county to face Paint Branch on their home court in a division match. While satisfied with a win, the scores did not indicate the level play necessary to hold off the young, athletic Paint Branch squad.

The Patriots travel to play the Walter Johnson Wildcats on Friday, April, 13 at 5:15 pm.... and hope for little luck on an unlucky day.


Wootton Claims Win in Cross-City Clash

Patriots top Rams 25-12, 25-6, 25-13; Season record improves to 3-0.

Wootton alum and current Rockville High School coach Sean Pang brought his team from east Rockville to his alma mater's gymnasium in western Rockville to face the team whose roster included his younger brother, Mark, a freshman outside hitter at Wootton. The Pang brothers, Sen, Sam Paul and Mark, have made their mark on the volleyball community, as former championship and all-county players at Wootton, and now as coaches.  And, for the match against Rockville, Mark made his mark.

The obviously well-coached Rams featured young, athletic players determined to keep the ball off the floor.  Mark Pang entered the match in the second set and had a stellar performance hitting outside for the Patriots, and finished the match with an undefeated record in head-to-head matchups against his legendary brothers.

The Patriots were led by setter Justin Fowler, and outside hitters Paul Malinauskas, Jeffrey Qiu and Henry Zhou. Senior do-everything Michael Ip stepped in at middle and proved to be one of the most productive players on Wootton's side of the court. Charles Wang blocked well in the middle. Coming off the bench were Richard Hum and Cary Chin, who played their best matches this season at left side and right side, respectively. Also, emerging as one of the county's top liberos, Benjamin Wang steadied Wootton's passing and digging.

The Patriots take a two week layoff for Spring break before returning to action on the road agains Paint Branch at 5:15 on April 11.


Wootton Wins Home Opener Versus Poolesville

Patriots clip Falcons 25-13, 25-14, 25-19

The 2012 MCPS boys volleyball season is off to a fresh start, and Wootton was riding high, fresh off its big road win over defending champion Blair as the Patriot Spikers returned home on Friday, March 23 to face the Poolesville Falcons.

Fittingly, Wootton turned to its freshmen so they could begin to write their chapter to Wootton's rich volleyball history. Richard Hum and Mark Pang took to the court with a strong supporting cast of veteran players, and showed a glimpse into the bright days ahead in their athletic careers.

The Patriots won the first set with junior Justin Fowler directing the offense and sophomore Paul Malinauskas, juniors Henry Zhou and Jeffrey Qiu leading the outside attack. Junior Charles Wang and Senior Alan Nyugen controlled the middle of the net while sophomores Benjamin Wang and Cary Chin passed and dug balls to create opportunities for Wootton's attack. Four year veteran and senior captain Michael Ip asserted his steadying force with outstanding all-around play and key contributions to the Wootton transition game.

With Ip quietly providing the veteran leadership, freshmen Hum and Pang launched their Wootton volleyball careers with a solid performances. Hum's experience and skill as point guard on the Wootton basketball team translated well to his volleyball game as a swing hitter with consistent passing and key kills from the left side. Pang, part of the Pang dynasty of outstanding brothers to have played volleyball for Wootton, distinguished himself with a strong serving game and flashes of explosiveness with his attack. Stay tuned for more from the Class of 2015.

Fowler and Malinauskas directed a 5-1 offense in sets 2 and 3, respectively. The pair are playing at a level to be the latest in Wootton's line of all-county setters/hitters. So, with a fresh outlook on the 2012 season, the young Patriots are showing the qualities of a team that is willing to work hard to bring honor to those who have played before them.

The Patriots meet Rockville in the Wootton gym on Wednesday, March 28, 2012. First serve is at 5:15 pm.


Wootton - Blair Matchup Sets 2012 High School Season on Fire

Patriots squeak past talented Blazers in hard-fought battle 21-25, 21-25, 25-23, 25-18, 19-17.

Referees for MCPS high school boys' volleyball matches do not have an easy task. There is just one referee--the R1 on the stand "up top"--with no help from a "down" ref to watch for net, line, and rotation violations. The MCPS athletic budget does not cover the cost for a second referee for the boys' matches as it does for the girls' matches.

So what?

Two evenly-matched teams opened the 2012 high school boys season at Montgomery Blair High School gymnasium on Wednesday evening. Wootton won the toss and served the first ball of the first set at 5:08 pm. TWO HOURS LATER a ball landed out-of-bounds to give the Patriots an extended fifth game victory, and a 1-0 season record. Two points separated the winner and loser. Along with the even draw of talent and play, mix in the emotion and intensity of a friendly but fierce rivalry, a close five-set match and.... so what?

Every point counts. The teams know that. The coaches know that. The spectators know that. Every spin of the ball, every jump at the net, every sprawl to the floor, every hit off the block is going to be interpreted, analyzed and scrutinized. Everyone in the gym considers the play, but only one person regulates it objectively.

The referee has a very difficult task.

Blair pulled out in front of the Patriots to win the first two sets and took control of the match with serving, defense and the offensive power of their top players. Wootton rebounded in the third set, taking an early 8-2 lead, and again 22-18, but had to fight off a late Blair rally. Wootton took the fourth set behind the serving and hitting of Paul Malinauskas and Jeffrey Qiu, and the serving and setting of Justin Fowler.

Key blocking by Malinauskas, Qui Fowler and Charles Wang yielded important points for Wootton in set 5. Benjamin Wang, Michael Ip and Cary Chin steadied the Patriot passing and digging game. Henry Zhou and Alan Nyugen joined Malinauskas and Qui on the offensive attack. After coming back from a 2-5 deficit, the Patriots had match point at 14-11 and held back a surging Blazer effort to win set 5, 19-17, and the match as the final ball dropped out of bounds in Wootton's favor.

And the referee signalled the end of the match. And handshakes were delivered with mutual respect among friendly rivals, spectators, and with the objective regulator of the difficult task.

The Patriot's next match is at home against Poolesville on Friday, March 23. First serve is scheduled for 5:15 pm.


Spring 2012 Tryouts on March 1-2

Currently, volleyball tryouts are scheduled for 3:00-5:00 on Thursday, March 1, and 1:00-4:00 on Friday, March 2 (This could change depending on basketball playoff).  ALL students trying out for volleyball are expected to attend all tryout sessions. Please plan accordingly.

All MCPS and Wootton required forms are available at woottonathletics.com (or
click here to go directly to the page). Be sure to make copies of your completed Health Inventory.  The Athletic Department does not physically keep them on file. The forms include:
Continue to check this website or woottonathletics.com for information.