By Mike Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor
Following back-to-back 3-0 defeats to reigning Division I state champ Needham and Natick to open up the 2021 Fall II season, Walpole High School varsity girls volleyball returned home on March 11 to try and earn their first win of the season.
Thursday's match was the back half of a home-and-home with Natick, and Walpole came out flying. A pair of aces from Ali Fair and back-to-back kills by Shannon Jordan helped Walpole to a 10-6 lead to begin the first set. A kill by Morgan Dority sparked a 6-0 run by Walpole to go ahead by 10 at 16-6. Walpole would close out the set with four consecutive points to take a 1-0 lead with a 25-16 victory.
Walpole again started strong in the second set, jumping ahead, 8-5, following a kill by Jordan and an ace by Fair. The lead grew to 12-5 before Natick rallied to trim the deficit to 12-10. Walpole would respond with five consecutive points to go up 17-10 before closing out the set by a 25-18 final to go up 2-0.
Ali Fair took over in the third set, slamming home a kill and racking up three aces to help Walpole to a 9-2 lead and force Natick into a timeout. Following the break, Natick rallied to trim the deficit down to 11-6. A kill by Shannon Jordan later in the set pushed Walpole's lead to 18-11, but Natick rallied with an 8-3 run to trim the deficit down to 21-19. Walpole tightened up defensively and fought off the late comeback attempt. A kill by Jordan on match point gave Walpole the 25-21 set win and the overall 3-0 victory.
For funny and incisive sports analysis as well as video highlights of games, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter and Instagram handles @flano0.