Woodbridge senior Azize Hazou had been dreaming about competing against Forest Park since Saturday; as many professional athletes do, she visualized the win. However, winning in real life is not as easy as winning in a dream, and at the end of Tuesday evening, Vikings volleyball had to accept the reality of its first loss of the season.
“We had a Saturday practice and it looked solid, it looked like we had it,” said Hazou. “[And,] you should have seen us during the warmup, [we all felt like] we had it.”
The Vikings haven't defeated Forest Park since Hazou's freshman year, and the emotion tied to this game was apparent from the start.
“We did cheers [before the game]; and we don't do cheers,” said Hazou.
The first match was like a seesaw, with the lead changing hands five different times, before Forest Park closed with three straight points to win 25-22. The Vikings exuded confidence after that, and completely dominated the second match. With Forest Park leading 5-2, the Vikings went on a 9-point rally. After the Bruins finally scored due to a long serve by Erin Morrissey, Woodbridge rallied another 4 straight points, making the score 15-6. Forest Park then put together a couple rallies of their own to tie the game at 17, but the defense of the Vikings would not give up. Morrissey spent a lot of the match on the floor, as she dove for saves and helped her team maintain the lead, and Woodbridge ended up winning the second match 25-18.
During the third match, Morrissey was perfect at placing the set, and Hazou's kill shot could not be stopped, but Forest Park adjusted to the Vikings' aggressive play by using dink shots and quick hits to keep the Vikings guessing at where and when the ball would cross the net; the Bruins won the match 25-23.
“We weren't able to adjust, and we should have been able to,” said Woodbridge head coach Jean Morrissey. “I tried to get the defense to move up to the tip balls, but they just weren't responding. You can bet that we're gonna work more on watching the hitter and adjusting the defense.”
Everything seemed to fall apart for the Vikings in the fourth match. Woobridge lacked communication from the start, and allowed a couple balls hit by the Bruins to drop untouched; Forest Park won 25-12.
“The first three games we did fine; they were talking and worked as a team,” said coach Morrissey. “But during the fourth game, when the going got tough, they shut their mouths.”
Azize Hazou had 11 kills; Adriana Hazou and Erin Buckley both had 7. Morrissey had 27 assists, Molly Glynn had 8 digs, and Rachel Lowther had 3 blocks.
The Vikings are now 3-1; the next opponent is Osbourn Park.
Vikings football improved in two key areas in its game against Broad Run Saturday: penalties and turnovers. Woodbridge was penalized 41-yards less than in week one, and didn't turn the ball over a single time; however, every other stat for the Vikings can be summed up with one word: embarrassing.
Woodbridge rushed the ball 28 times for a total of 56 yards. Freshman quarterback Mike Majette completed 8-of-14 passes for 32 yards, and was sacked five times for a loss of 33 yards. The Vikings lost 32-0
“Mike is getting better every week,” said head coach Kevin Smith. “We ask a lot of him, probably too much. We are going to simplify things for him.”
The upside for the Vikings is that the two losses thus far have come against non-district opponents. Last year, Woodbridge started the season 0-3 and still made the regional playoffs. The next opponent is Granby.