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Girls' volleyball wins back-to-back state titles

(Photo by Jake Forbes)

Girls’ volleyball defeated Barnstable 3-1 last night at Worcester State University to win the MIAA Division I State Championships. “It was a terrific match that was very cool to watch as a coach,” said head coach Richard Barton.
Barnstable claimed an early lead in the first set after North made several bad plays on serves. Towards the end of the set, North gained momentum in part because of great defensive plays at the net from senior Chelsea Simmons, a captain with seniors Erin Carey, Shaelyn Fitzgerald, Lauren Gobler, Sarah Hiranandani, Hannah Kett, Cecily Powderly, and Ashley Wang and junior Liisa Halloran. They used that momentum to win the first set 25-21.
“Us pulling through in the first set showed our focus and determination to win each point,” said Simmons.
North continued their success in the second set by taking an 8-4 lead. However, after several poor serves from North and two great plays from Barnstable, the Tigers’ lead was trimmed to 10-8.
North made several diving plays on defense to regain their momentum in the second half of the set to take a commanding 19-11 lead. Even after a Barnstable timeout, North did not let up any ground and won the second set 25-17.
“The whole game we wanted to win, so we fought for each point, no matter if it was the first point or the 25th point,” said Simmons.
   The Tigers jumped out to another quick lead in the third set, but Barnstable was able to recover and tie the game at 13-13. After Barnstable scored two quick points, North called a timeout to regroup.
North briefly regained the lead after a kill from Kett, however, Barnstable made several saves to win the set 25-20. “Barnstable was fighting for their lives in that set,” said Simmons.
Barnstable maintained their momentum in the fourth set to take a quick 2-0 lead. However, North fought back to tie the game at 2-2.
“All of us were mentally and physically determined to finish the match,” said Simmons.
Several slams from Wang gave North a 9-7 lead, but Barnstable came alive in the middle of the set after having several slams of their own to take a 15-11 lead.
Two more slams from Wang sent the crowd into an “MVP” chant, and the teams went back and forth until they were tied 24-24.
After several long volleys from both teams, North came out on top in the fourth set, 27-15, to win the match.
“We didn’t do anything differently in the last point that we did in any other,” said Simmons. “Every player on the court wanted this title, and nothing was going to stop us.”

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