The Bears celebrated Parents’ Weekend 2013 with a thrilling four-set victory over the Tigers of Suffield Academy. Using the precise serving of Krissy Goversten ’15 and the net play of Samone DeFreese ’16, the squad opened a 10-5 lead early in set one. Samone then strung together three nice serves, including an ace, as the Tigers struggled to get off the bus. With our attack clicking down the stretch via kills by Katie Stonecipher ’15, Sassy Cosman-Connery ’14, Greta Dorsey ’14 (2), and Emily Barclay ’15, the Bears took set one 25-18.
Set two saw the duo of Goversten and DeFreese once again propel the Bears into a lead (6-2) with solid serving and net play. With Greta and Katie joining in, the Bears stretched the lead to 12-6; however, the Tigers used a seven-point run, fueled by solid serving and unforced errors by the Bears, to surge ahead 13-12. A tip by Emily stopped the bleeding and sent Katie to the service line. With Katie’s serves keeping the Tigers out of synch and Emily patrolling the net, the Bear embarked on a run that ended with Berkshire up 18-14. After an exchange of side outs, the Bears led 20-16 as the second service rotation began. A kill by Samone and tw0 Tiger hitting errors resulted in a 23-16 advantage for the Bears. Although the Tigers rallied, the home team eventually prevailed 25-20.
Down 0-2, the Tigers did not fold, and the two squads fought hard for each point during the third set. With Suffield leading 9-7, the Tigers increased their advantage to six points (13-7) with serving and hitting that put the Bears on their heels. A kill by Krissy returned the serve to the Bears, who rallied to tie the score 13-13. Although the teams traded the lead, the second service rotation began with the teams tied at 16-16 and the squads exchanging side outs. After a new spate of side-out exchanges, it was Suffield that broke the pattern by running off five straight points to take a 23-19 lead. Despite cutting the Tiger lead to two points at 23-21, the Bears made two mistakes, which resulted in Suffield winning the set 25-21.
Befitting the tenor of set three, the final set, in the end, saw the closest and most intense play of the day. Throughout the first service rotation of the fourth set, the two teams dueled fiercely for each point and ping ponged the lead back and forth across the net. Starting with a kill by Sassy, which put the Bears in front 8-7, the squad slowly increased our lead until we led 19-11. Highlights for the Bears included blocks by Samone (3) and Emily as well as a kill by Katie and an ace from Krissy. Of course, the Tigers rallied to out score the Bears 5 to 1 and cut our lead to four points at 20-16. Using a kill by Sassy and two Tiger errors, the Bears seemed to be in complete control of the set at 23-16. Suffield, however, did not accept defeat so easily and once again rallied to tie the set at 23-23. With the set up for grabs, the Bears earned their 24th point on a sharp spike by Samone and their 25th on a nice serve from Elif Kesaf ’14, who excelled as a setter and server today, to take the match 3-1.
Today’s win was truly a team affair. In addition to those mentioned above, Morgan Handwerker ’15 put up some sweet sets today, Annie Love ’16 made some crisp passes, and Michaelann Denton ’14, in her final Parents’ Weekend match, stepped in to play well in the back row. Finally, “The Bench” was vocal and supportive throughout the match. Consequently, both Bear and Moose were awarded to “The Team” today. By the way, “The Team” also includes Haleigh Sullivan ’15, who not only displays efficiency and poise at the scorer’s table but also made spirit posters for the players and the coaches. We thank our family and friends for their enthusiastic support today and for the pile of goodies provided for the post-match snack. After the break, the team will have three days to prepare to meet the Saints of Canterbury School during their Parents’ Weekend.