Girls’ Volleyball takes 3-0 victory on Senior Night

Varshini Ramanathan, Editor-in-Chief

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The girls’ volleyball team cinched three straight sets in their game against Cambridge Rindge & Latin on Thursday, October 25, the second-to-last regular game before the team enters tournament season. After an easy first set, the girls struggled to maintain a lead for the first halves of the second and third sets, but pulled together for a 25-14, 25-18, 25-23 win.

The bleachers were packed with friends and family supporting the team on Senior Night, and Head Coach Brandon Eang noted after the game that the large audience and excitement of the game affected the girls’ performance.

“They enjoyed the big crowd coming out for them. They had that inspiration,” Eang said. “They were jittery all week, you know, they were looking forward to this night.”

After seniors Caitlin Cannuscio, Fiona Cotter, Kaitlyn Cullen, Kathleen Flanagan, Meghana Gunnamreddy, Devyn Hooper, and Elise Sepe were honored, the game launched into action. The Ghosts took the momentum, and their strong reflexes and focus brought them to a substantial lead in the first set. By the time the girls reached 20 points, they were ahead 20-11. Some back-and-forth ensued, but two outs from Cambridge led to the set closing 25-14.

Cambridge made two strong hits at the outset of the second set, but found themselves in a neck-and-neck battle after serving out-of-bounds. In the standoff that followed, the teams tied point after point until they stood 9-9. Junior Alexa Wilson managed to break the deadlock with a hit that barely made it over the net and fell in the front of the court, and the Westford crowd erupted in cheers as the score ticked up to 11-9.

The Ghosts took the momentum from there, making it to a 14-10 lead before Cambridge caught up to 15-14. Another standoff seemed like a possibility until a dig from Hooper, the team’s libero, put WA at 17-15. The girls settled into a rhythm from then on, making a 21-17 lead after Sepe’s serve took them over the 20-point mark. The set ended 25-18 after an out from Cambridge.

As in the second set, Cambridge took a 0-3 the lead at the beginning of the third set. The Ghosts caught up briefly but trailed by three points until a strong hit tied the teams 8-8. Though they fell to 8-10 soon afterwards, the girls inched their way to a 14-12 lead after a service ace from Hooper.

Eang mentioned Hooper’s serves and digs as one of the team’s stronger showings that night.

“I thought Devyn served really well. She played back row excellently,” he said.

However, the teams remained closely tied in a deadlock reminiscent of the second set until a neat hit into the corner of the court brought WA to a 19-17 lead, followed by a solid hit by Cannuscio amidst cheers from the crowd. Cambridge pulled together and overtook WA 20-22, but the Ghosts were undeterred, and a dig from Hooper coupled with a soaring spike from Sepe tied the teams for the final time at 23-23. The crowd stood in support as the girls made it to 24-23, bringing the game to a climactic 25-23 finish with screaming and cheering.

Looking to the future, Eang hopes to make it further into the tournament than last year, where their advancement until the regional finals already marked a landmark season. He expects the team will have a high seed, but the undefeated AB team will certainly pose a challenge for the girls.

“We’ll try and go deeper into the tournament and see where it takes us,” he said.

The girls’ next and final regular game is on Monday, October 29, away against Billerica.