By Avonlea Cummings
Hometown Weekly Sports Reporter
Crowds filled the Medfield gymnasium on Wednesday, September 6th, as the Westwood girls volleyball team prepared to compete against the Medfield Warriors in their season-opening match. Despite the hot and humid conditions, the Westwood girls showcased their talent, engaging in a spirited match against the Warriors. In a hard-fought battle, the Westwood girls challenged the Warriors in all three sets but ultimately fell short, with final scores of (27-25), (25-17), and (25-18).
The first set proved to be phenomenal, with both teams eagerly anticipating the season opener. Medfield entered the match with determination, securing crucial points. Although each set win was not without its challenges, Westwood displayed cohesion and strength, supporting each other point after point. As the first set reached 25-25, extra points were needed to determine the winner. In the closing minutes of the set, Medfield secured the two additional points necessary to claim victory.
Head coach Jennifer Murphy observed exceptional teamwork and determination in her team's performance against Medfield. She emphasized the team's focus on communication and engagement.
"We have set a serving goal of greater than 90%, and yesterday we achieved a rate of 91.8%, which was a great start. We also demonstrated resilience by coming back from significant deficits to narrow the gap in each set. This shows that we have the right mindset for the season. We've been working diligently on refining our communication, both among the players on the court and those on the sidelines. To maintain team cohesion, full engagement from all team members is essential, and I believe we saw that last night," said Murphy.
Both teams continued to excel in the second and third sets, making it a remarkable opening night for both sides and setting the tone for a season characterized by determination and perseverance. Despite the challenges posed by the heat and humidity, the return to the court was welcomed by all. Coach Jenny Murphy acknowledged the difficulties and offered support throughout the match.
"I kept reminding them that it's mind over matter and to focus on what we can control - and to stay hydrated! The conditions were physically demanding; the court was slippery, and the ball would become wet. Hence, we prioritized safety with frequent water breaks and court drying. However, our focus remained on playing our game," said Murphy.
The Wolverines' next match will be at home against the Norwood Mustangs on Friday, September 15th, with the match scheduled to commence at 5:30 p.m.