The Bears opened the 2013 season with a ragged, but convincing, win against the Wildcats of Westover School. With today’s match the first of the season for both squads, play was herky-jerky in set one as the squads sought to play with confidence and cohesion. In the end, Berkshire was able to adjust to a new line-up, due to the arrival of players new to the squad and new roles for some returners, and emerged with a 25-12 set win. Solid serving by Krissy Goversten ’15 and Samone DeFreese ’16 settled the Bears down, and the squad began to play with confidence and rhythm. In addition, Emily Barclay ’15 began to take control of play at the net, and Katie Stonecipher ’15 seemed to be in the right spot anytime the Wildcats sent the ball over the net. Consequently, Berkshire led 18-10 at the start of the second service rotation, and later consecutive kills by Samone and Sassy Cosman-Connery ’14 extended our lead to 22-11. Finally, Emily B. closed out the set with her fourth kill.
Building on the momentum gained during set one, the squad came out more confident and more focused in set two. Once again, solid serving by Krissy and Samone staked the Bears to an early lead (8-2). With Berkshire holding an 11-4 advantage after a kill by Emily, Katie went to the service line and provided five aces in a scoring run that ended with the score 17-5. The focus of both teams wavered at this point and a short series of sideouts occurred. Leading 21-7, the squad refocused and soon closed out the set (25-9) behind an ace from Krissy, a kill from Katie, and two service points from Samone.
With a slightly altered line-up in set three, the Bears needed a few plays to adjust to the changes. Samone stepped up to provide a kill and a string of well-placed serves that led to a ten-point scoring run. In addition to Samone’s service points, two kills by Katie highlighted the run. Although we sputtered after the run, the play of Emily B., a kill and two service points, helped the Bears extend their lead to 18-6. Down the stretch, kills by Samone and Katie bracketed a series of errors by both squads as Berkshire finally prevailed 25-12 to close out the match.
Although opportunities to run our attack were limited, our setters, Elif Kesaf ’13 and Morgan Handwerker ’15, ran the offense well when given the chance to do so. In addition, Elif was steady at the service line. Overall, the team, but especially Katie, Krissy, Livi Oliviel-Robinson ’15, and Annie Love ’16, passed well for a first match. After the match, the team chose Emily Barclay to receive Moose, our symbol for heart, determination, and spirit. Katie Stonecipher earned Bear, symbol of the player of the match, due to her hustle and overall fine play. After a week of adjustments and team bonding, the squad will take on the Wildcats of The Williston Northampton School here at Berkshire on Saturday, September 21 at 3:00 p.m. We thank our families and friends for their support and the post-match goodies.