Medfield volleyball takes a unique, mask-wearing team photo ahead of a very different season.
By James Kinneen
Hometown Weekly Reporter
When girls’ volleyball moved to the new Fall II season, one of the biggest among a myriad of changes made to the sport was in its unique scheduling. TVL teams play the same teams on Tuesdays and Thursdays each week, home and away, meaning in week one of the season, Medfield played Norwood on both Tuesday and Thursday. At the time of print, after going 2-0, Medfield girls’ volleyball is currently undefeated. No, not the Medfield varsity team, the whole program, from varsity to the freshman team have yet to experience defeat. In fact, only the freshmen have dropped a set so far.
Their first match against the Mustangs was a straight-set (25-7, 25-22, 25-10) victory, highlighted by junior Elli Langton’s seven service aces, junior Ava Boudreau’s eight kills and 100 percent serving efficiency on the match, and senior captain Molly Wagenseller’s 29 sets and 11 set assists, as well as five service aces.
The second match wasn’t much closer, with the Warriors again winning in straight sets (25-16, 25-17, 25-16). This time, Wagenseller led the team with 52 sets and 22 set assists, as well as having a 100% serving efficiency match with 15 attempts and 3 aces, while Sabrina Lee had a period during which she rattled off twelve serves in a row with a total of nineteen service attempts and three aces.
While the varsity team finished 2-18 in 2018 when Cynthia Souza was not the coach, last year they went 14-6. Unfortunately, with only eleven matches over the course of the season, the team won’t be able to improve on last year’s win-loss record, and won’t be able to make an apples-to-apples comparison between this season and last, since the Warrior’s opponents will not all be the same as last year.
“The TVL is split into the Big and Small schools. In a regular season, we play the 'big' schools home and away, and the 'small' schools once,” Souza explained, “and then we pick up some out of league matches. Due to COVID restrictions, the season is shorter, with half as many matches. But we are very happy to be having a season at all.”
Coach Souza noted her team has a solid core of returning varsity players, though one of last year’s players did opt out of the season due to COVID fears. She also felt good about the players moving from JV to varsity.
When pressed on the biggest competitive issue she noticed due to COVID, Coach Souza had a surprising answer: the lack of warm-up time before the match. She explained that she noticed the team suffering from “bus lag,” and coming out sluggishly at the start of matches after the referee asked her to do the coin toss almost immediately upon entering the gym. If that didn’t make their away game against Norwood difficult enough, Souza was also surprised to find that Norwood had some fans present, while Medfield had not.
“Our first home game we had no fans and when we went to Norwood because they have a track at the top of the gym … the parents of some of the players were allowed to stand at the top of. I think next Tuesday we have a home match, and our AD Eric Scott is going to allow the parents of our seniors to be there if they’d like to be. Again, there’s always two sides to the coin where having fans can really pump you up with the other students cheering and making it really exciting, but sometimes when you’re away you have the disadvantage where they have their fans cheering.”
With an undefeated start, Medfield fans, at least via streaming, have had a lot to cheer about.