Article by Griffin Bond, Jeremy Frankel, Jake Forbes, and Nichol-Weylman Farwell
Girls’ volleyball fell to Boston Latin 3-2 on Wednesday in the MIAA Central/East Division Semi-Final. Despite the loss, coach Richard Barton still had a lot of praise for the team. “I have seen them all year. They have been getting more and more relaxed and tonight’s performance was an aberration in my view.”
After winning the first set 25-21, the team was unable to use their momentum and they dropped the second set. However, the Tigers had a close third set and was able to convincingly win the fourth to bring the game to a pivotal final set. “Our positive takeaway was definitely our ability to come together as a team after an upsetting 2nd set,” said Gately. “Sometimes we have trouble getting out of a rut, but this time we really joined together in our huddles and our conversations.”
Communication was a problem throughout the game for the Tigers, as they did not call out for the ball and made some unforced errors. “Sometimes when you’re down on yourself it’s hard to communicate with others,” said senior Anna Gately, “I would say tonight was a strong loss if that would exist,” said senior Anna Gately, a captain with seniors Caroline Alexander, Christina Butera, Anna Gately, Liisa Halloran, and Kayla Rigoli. She added, “We kept saying that we need to talk, and when we did start talking, we could definitely see the positive effect it had on the score.”
According to Gately, assistant coach Christopher Flouton-Barnes told the team to “follow the plan and play hard” before the crucial 5th set. His advice appeared to inspire the team, as they got up to a quick 4-0 lead. However, Boston Latin surged midway through the set and jumped out to a big lead. With their backs against the wall, North attempted a comeback but ultimately dropped the last set 15-11.
According to Barton, the team deviated from their normal relaxed play and played with a lot of tension throughout the game. “It’s all the crowd at home tournament games senior year, which was just too viciously intense,” said Barton.
“We were definitely in our heads a little bit,” said Gately, “It was a high stakes game, so we came out a little nervous. We just played with too much intensity.”
Boston Latin’s senior Breann Cleary challenged North throughout the game. Cleary was the Dual County League Player of the Year, which according to Barton is the hardest league in the state. He added, “She is one of the best hitters in New England.”
The future of girls volleyball is still bright with only five seniors graduating compared to eight from last year.