(25-17; 9-25; 27-29; 17-25)
This Wednesday, the JV squad faced its toughest opponent yet, the Taft Rhinos, in its first home game, and the result was some of the most exciting volleyball thus far this season.
Berkshire’s strong serving anchored them in the first set, with Annie Love ‘16, Clementina Davila Tejeida ‘14, and Indie Coard ’16 all posting serving runs of three or more points. This strong offense was supported by senior Kim Henry’s solid performance on serve-receive and junior Ali Malecka’s smart and decisive hitting. The underdog Bears worked together beautifully throughout the game, yielding a 25-17 win.
Possibly rattled by their surprise victory, the Bears’ second set was not as strong, and the Rhinos came back with some strong serving and aggressive digs. The trio of Nicky Friedman ’15, Kay Humes ’15, and Annie Love put together some excellent bump-set-hit combinations, but Berkshire ultimately yielded to Taft, 25-9.
It was the third set that truly defined this contest and illustrated the extent to which the teams were an even match. Marked by exceptionally long rallies and great teamwork on either side of the net, this 33-minute set saw both teams playing to the very best of their abilities. Berkshire’s starting lineup received crucial assistance from back-row players Alyssa Cass ’15 and Sam Reagan ’16, who provided consistent, coolheaded passing. Once Ali Malecka ’14 tied the score 21-21, the intensity never let up, on the court nor on the bench, and the two teams traded points in hotly-contested volleys until Taft finally eked out the two-point lead necessary to win. This clearly could have been anyone’s game.
After the excitement of set three’s conclusion, it took Berkshire awhile to get back in the zone for set four, and an early scoring run by the Rhinos brought the score to 8-2, making it seem as though the game might be over quickly. Excellent serving from Clementina Davila Tejeida, combined with solid passing from Savanna Fortgang ’16 and a well-placed kill from Kim Henry ’13, enabled the Bears to regroup and post a respectable 17 points.
Though Taft came away with the win, the Berkshire JV squad played a game of which they can be exceedingly proud. They are looking forward to showing that same level of skill and determination when they host Miss Hall’s this Saturday at 3:30.