(25-21; 25-16; 25-18)
In their first rematch of the season, the JV volleyball team welcomed the Williston Wildcats to Berkshire on Wednesday. Though both teams had shown significant improvement since their first encounter on September 22, the Bears’ consistent teamwork helped them prevail once again.
The Bears secured an early 6-2 lead in the first set, with Kim Henry ’13 delivering five solid serves and back row stalwart Alyssa Cass ’15 providing a few great digs. The team’s terrific cooperation on the court could not prevent a Williston scoring run, though, and the score had soon flip-flopped to 11-15. Setter Indie Coard ’16 provided a turning point in the game – despite having struggled to get her serves over the net in previous games, she managed to sustain the serve for seven points, bringing Berkshire back into the lead, 22-19. While Indie was serving, the rest of the team was working together to keep the ball off the floor, including one particularly impressive point where Ali Malecka ’14 passed the ball to setter Annie Love ’16, who set it up for Ali’s killer southpaw spike. When the Bears brought the set to a 25-21 close, it was the first time they had really come back successfully from behind – a significant milestone for the JV team.
Riding the confidence gained in their first set, the Bears went into the second set eager to maintain their lead. Third-former Amani Bethea was the standout surprise of the game, anchoring the Berkshire offense with a level of strong, accurate hitting only seen before in practice. A few great digs from Chelsea Leeds ’15 and aces from Annie Love and Alyssa Cass helped put the Wildcats on their heels, and the Bears deftly secured a 25-16 win.
Ali Malecka helped the team maintain its position of strength throughout the third set, delivering a total of five unreturnable serves, including one ace, and repeating her excellent play from the first set – this time passing the ball to setter Kay Humes ’15 before coming back at it for that left-handed hit. Kay provided a few strategic tips that kept the Wildcats diving for the ball, and Indie Coard once again sent them a string of serves that they could not return. Despite Williston’s attempts to rally, Berkshire held the lead and finished out the match with a 25-18 victory.
After a Mountain Day hike on Tuesday, the Bears will return to their home court at 2:30 on Wednesday, where Ethel Walker will represent the third set of Wildcats to challenge the Bears. We hope to see you there!