By James Kinneen
Hometown Weekly Reporter
Medfield volleyball continued their same-week, home-and-away schedule with a pair of matchups against the Westwood Wolverines. While they took the first matchup in four sets, just two days later, the Warriors would suffer their first loss of the year by way of straight sets, which both elevated Westwood out of the winless column and ended Medfield’s undefeated streak.
In the first game, things went well for Medfield early on. From a 6-6 tie in the first set, the Warriors rattled off five unanswered points. By the time Westwood had eleven points of their own, Medfield had nineteen, and were on their way to a 25-17 first set. The second was extremely close, eventually tied at 20-20 before a Medfield run ended the set, 25-22. The third was the outlier of the match, with Medfield trailing 18-3 early on, en route to a 7-25 set drubbing. The fourth was more similar to the previously-established norm, with Westwood fighting back from a 15-point deficit to make it a 20-20 tie, before a Westwood run gave them a 26-24 victory, shortly after Westwood had crawled back to make the match 24-24.
“There was a high energy level in the gym as each team was determined," Coach Cynthia Souza explained. "Westwood is a very strong team and the match was very competitive. Each team was fighting for every point. With a two set lead, Medfield fell into a slump in the third set when Westwood served a tough game. Medfield rallied in the fourth set and played their own game - and brought a tough fought victory to win the match.”
When asked which of her players stood out, Coach Souza noted: “Molly Wagenseller, with excellent setting skills, assisted the Medfield hitters to finish out the match. Molly had 45 set attempts with seven assists (that's when the hitter gets a kill from her set). She also had three service aces and six kills of her own. Molly continues to lead by example as a senior captain. Krista Anderson had five service aces, and junior Rachel Parry followed right behind with four aces in the match, each having two kills.”
While that win moved the team to 3-0 and dropped Westwood to 0-3 (with losses to Ashland, as well), just two days later, the Wolverines would get their revenge via a straight-sets win of their own.
“Medfield was confident and prepared to have another great competitive match,” Souza explained. “Westwood once again served well and continually would push the ball to the setter to try to take Medfield out of system to disrupt our offense. Medfield handled that maneuver well, but was struggling on serve receive, and had service errors.”
Still, as there are always positives to take away from the game. “Rachel Parry had four service aces on the evening," Souza noted. "Senior Captain Kate Anderson led the team in kills and continued to lift up the team, but in the end, the team had what amounted to an 'off night' and dropped the match in three straight sets, with respectable scores of 18-25, 19-25, 12-25 against a tough opponent. We just couldn't seem to get anything going in our favor. Playing an opponent with only two days in between matches has been an unusual circumstance this season, and this week it ended with a split between two very good teams.”
What does the loss mean for the team, overall? Souza noted that her upcoming schedule is very tough, with lots of strong opponents. Now 3-1 on the year, Medfield is tied for first place with Ashland and Hopkinton in the TVL Large division.
There will be no time to dwell on the loss, however, with next week’s pair of games coming against Hopkinton.