A Newsletter for the Wootton High School Boys Volleyball Community


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.