Although the ride down Route 63 to Watertown was lovely and spirits were high, the Bears ultimately fell to the Rhinos of Taft 3-0 (20-25; 14-25; 21-25). Set one saw the teams content vigorously for each point. The net play of Samone DeFreese ’16 and Emily Barclay ’15, as well as the serving and hitting of Katie Stonecipher ’15, kept the Bears close to the Rhino through the first service rotation. Using a solid service and timely hits, the Rhinos led 15-13 as we started the second rotation. A kill by Samone and two aces from setter Elif Kesaf ’14 put the Bears ahead 16-15. The Rhinos responded with a kill and a service point to regain the lead at 17-16. Following a Taft hitting error and a block by Samone, Berkshire led 18-17. A kill by Katie gave us our last lead of the set at 19-18. A Bear hitting error and two kills put the Rhinos in front 21-20. A kill by Greta Dorsey ’14 cut Taft’s advantage to one point at 21-20. At this point, Taft used a four-point run to take set one 25-20.
Set two started well for the Bears as a Rhino hitting error, good serving from Elif (2 aces), and aggressive play at the net by Samone (a kill and a block) staked us to a 5-1 lead. Later, a kill by Samone made the score 6-2 for the Bears. The Rhinos then capitalized on good hitting and some messy passing by the Bears to tie the score at six points each and to then go in front 12-7. Momentum had shifted to the Taft side of the court, and the Rhinos steadily pulled ahead to win the set 25-14.
Following a short speech by Coach Spalding, the Bears regrouped and took to the court for set three. With the aid of kills by Greta and Emily, the Bears led 6-2 early in the set and held an 11-6 advantage as the second service rotation began. Taking advantage of a Bear hitting error, Taft regrouped and embarked on a twelve-point scoring run to forge ahead 18-11. The Bears used the blocking of Samone and the hitting of Katie to narrow the gap at 16-21. Following a Taft kill, Katie added another kill and super sophomore Annie Love ’16 chipped in with an ace. The score was 22-19 Taft after a Rhino hitting error. A Bear passing error and a kill brought the Rhinos to set, and match, point at 24-19. A Rhino hitting error and a back-row kill by Katie cut the gap to three at 24-21. Unfortunately, the next Bear serve was a little long, and Taft prevailed 25-21.
Although a tough first loss for the Bears, the team played well in spurts today and fought until the bitter end. Highlights for the Bears included the over all play of Samone and Katie, the net play of Emily, and the passing of Krissy Goversten ’15 and Livi Oliviel-Robinson ’15. The team voted for co-captain Greta Dorsey to receive Moose for the match due to her hustle and positive support on and off the court. Co-captain Elif Kesaf earned Bear due to her setting, serving, and refusal to give up on any ball today. The team will use the next two practices to prepare to meet the Hurricanes of Miss Hall’s School on the Duryee hardwood next Saturday, September 28. We are grateful for the support of family and friends, and both squads certainly enjoyed the subs provided by the Love family.