Branson School News, Sports, Life and Opinion

The Blazer

Branson’s student-run newspaper
Branson School News, Sports, Life and Opinion

The Blazer

Branson School News, Sports, Life and Opinion

The Blazer

Bulls roar past Hawks in dominant 3-0 win; heading to final

Charlie Zwibelman
Dylan Whisenant ’24 starts her serve in an MCAL game this year. The Bulls have been dominant in league play.

Branson Bulls girls volleyball dominated Tam in a 3-0 win, punching their ticket to the MCAL championship game.

The Bulls came out firing, and whenever Tam gained any momentum, the Bulls quickly put that to bed, winning sets 25-16, 25-14, and 25-13. 

“We did an incredible job not letting the opposing team’s good plays slow us down. In the beginning of the sets, it was back and forth, then we would do one really positive thing, take it, and never look back,” said Head Coach Michelle Brazil. 

All three sets began close, but the Bulls were able to pull away every time. The second set hung in the balance a bit after a Tam service ace cut the deficit to 12-10. However, freshman middle Abby King came up with a huge block, regaining the serve for the Bulls. This led to a 6-point run that shifted the momentum back to Branson.

I was so glad that Michelle gave me the chance to play in such an important game. The crowd and energy in the gym made the game so much more fun to play,” King said. 

Brazil’s decision to start the star freshman paid off; in her first career MCAL playoff game, King had several clutch plays, including a kill to win the first set for the Bulls. King credits her teammates and coaches for preparing her for the moment. 

Coming from playing club indoor, and then having to play on such a high level team was an adjustment. But the people and the coaches made the transition 10-times easier than it would have been,” King said. 

The Bulls got off to a strong 11-4 start, with several powerful kills from Logan Tusher and Elena Fisher. 

“Low-error play was a focus. We made them make the errors. Our attack is so strong that they couldn’t get the ball over the net,” said Dylan Whisenant. 

Tam got back into the set, but as was the story of the game, every time Tam posed a challenge, Branson effectively responded. Fisher had a huge shot to balloon the lead 17-12, and the Bulls rallied to win the opening set 25-16. 

Tam kept the third set close, but several key blocks and kills allowed Branson to go on a 7-0 run and push the lead to 17-9. They never looked back, closing the game out with a 25-13 win in the third set. 

“Against Redwood, we let off the gas in the third set, but today we were able to stay consistent throughout,” said setter Logan Tusher.

Tusher had a big game in all facets, setting, hitting, and even making some nice digs to spark rallies. 

“I’ve been playing both [setter and hitter] for most of the season, but today I played particularly well hitting — it’s something we’ve worked on a lot in practice,” said Tusher. 

Blocking and defense has been a key focus for the Bulls in practice, and in this game it was their dominance at the net that pushed them over the top. 

“We have been working on staying consistent until the opportunity is right, and then really going for it hard,” said Brazil, on the emphasis the team puts on defense. 

Whisenant and fellow libero Lauren Dignan were huge in the back line for Branson, making several key digs and keeping points alive.

“It’s a huge focus for us in practice to make defense a priority. No matter how far away the ball is, we’re always going for it, laying our body on the line for the team,” said Whisenant. 

Branson will take on Redwood in the MCAL championship Friday, and heads into that matchup red-hot. 

“This is the most successful 3-0 match we’ve had in a while, and I love that going into the playoffs that’s the first thing we did. Hopefully it can be the catalyst for us to continue,” said Brazil. 

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