The Bullis Bulldogs bested the GDS varsity volleyball team 3–1 in four back-and-forth sets on Wednesday, Sept. 27 in the lower/middle school gym.
Despite not receiving the result they wanted, the GDS team and coaching staff were pleased with their effort, energy and performance on the court.
On Aug. 22, The Washington Post ranked the Hoppers sixth and the Bulldogs eighth in the metropolitan area. College volleyball scouts representing the United States Naval Academy and George Mason University were at the game.
Both teams came out hot in the first set, with the last two points determining which team won the set. GDS fought back from a 5-point deficit, with a score of 11–6, to tie the game at 23 points. However, the Bulldogs narrowly stole the set by a score of 25–23.
The second set began as the first set ended — a back-and-forth battle between the teams to put the Hoppers up by two with a score of 10–8. For the remainder of the second set, GDS scored 15 points in the time it took Bullis to score two. The Hoppers won the second set 25–10.
Bullis came back for the third set, winning with a score of 25–17.
The Hoppers and Bulldogs also alternated points in the game’s fourth and final set. Each point was highly contested, and the players brought high energy to the whole set. The set was tied at 22–22, and following some climactic final points, Bullis sealed the victory with a 25–23 final set.
Junior Jada Aksu was GDS’ standout player. She had many electric spikes and scored points for the team throughout the game. “Jada Aksu may have had the performance of the season for herself,” head coach Brandon Weist said. She was “unstoppable in the front row and back row,” he added.
Bullis was led by its star outside hitter Alexis Ewing, a junior and Penn State University commit. Ewing, the daughter of NBA legend Patrick Ewing, was hard to stop offensively with her athleticism and 6’4” stature.
“I remember Bullis having a very strong offense, which put a lot of pressure on our defense,” junior and spectator Eli Zucker said.
Senior and setter Clara Yu, who is committed to Columbia University for volleyball, is looking forward to playing Bullis, a league rival, again in the future. “I’ve been waiting for this game for a really long time, and unfortunately, it didn’t go as we wanted,” Yu said. “But that just means we have more reason to win the next one.”
The Hoppers faced off against Thomas S. Wootton High School on Sept. 29 at 6:00 p.m. Students, families and staff packed the stands to support the Hoppers in the team’s “Pack the House Night.” The game was also the team’s first in the newly refinished high school gym. GDS emerged victorious, winning all three sets.