WILMINGTON, MA — Below is the latest weekly recap from WHS Volleyball Coach Bruce Shainwald.
Wilmington had two matches this past week, both on the road against very good teams: Reading on Wednesday and Melrose on Friday.
Our match against Reading was more competitive than either of our previous matches had been.
While our serve receive was still struggling, the girls did a better job of reducing their errors. Our two middles, Savanna Andersen and Maeve Cadogan did a great job of both getting up to block both middle and outside attacks, but also contributed more on offense. Gabby Bond, Senior, co-Captain, did a great job on the outside in every aspect of the game. Brittany Cimaglia, our other Senior, co-Captain, was happy with the improved passing and was able to run a more coherent offense. Ultimately, as is often the case, the difference came down to unforced errors. Wilmington made more than Reading, which cost us the sets and the match.
This was our first match of the season against a team from the Freedom division of the Middlesex League, and it was also our best match of the season so far. Going into the match, we acknowledged that Melrose is a very good program and always fields a very strong team. We discussed how we are an improving program and a good team that has not yet hit its stride. I challenged them to use this match to work on reducing their errors and play more competitive in each set and ultimately the match.
While this was another loss, and dropped the team to a 0-4 start for the season, we all came away from this match feeling like it was a success. In the first set, the team was able to play with Melrose and keep up based on some some great spot serving, but once again our own errors cost us the set. In the second set and continuing into the third, they were able to reduce their errors. This combined with improved serve receive and continued outstanding spot serving, to keep the ball away from their Libero, helped the team to come back from five and six point deficits to come very close to taking the last set and extending the match.
Outstanding players in this important match included our two Junior, Middle Hitters, Maeve Cadogan and Savannah Andersen, who did an outstanding job of blocking and hitting around and through Melrose’s primary offensive weapon, their Senior Middle Hitter. Juniors Raegan Sweeney and Anna Rideout, and Sophomore Khrystyna Fednyak did a great job in improving both our Serve Receive and defense. Raegan also had some powerful and some very smart hits and serves.
We’re all looking forward to continuing to improve over the course of the season, and working to compete for every ball on every play.
Next week will be very busy with three matches, all at home against, Burlington on Monday, Triton on Thursday, and Wakefield on Friday. We are hoping that some of our recent Alumnae will turn out on Friday to support the team, and we invite them to join us at practice for an Alumnae/Active scrimmage.
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