(18-25; 25-8; 15-11)
The sun was already beginning to set when the JV volleyball team arrived at Wilbraham for a 4:00 game on Saturday, the last contest of an incredibly fun and successful season. As the sky grew darker outside, the team managed to post one final victory against the Titans, in a best-of-three match that was emblematic of the team spirit and camaraderie that has marked the last two months.
The first set was a rocky one, as the Bears had a hard time hanging on to the serve. Despite some strong offense from hitters Chelsea Leeds ’15 and Amani Bethea ’16, some mistakes on serve-receive and poor communication kept the team from hitting its stride, and the Titans took the first set 18-25.
In many comeback situations, it is difficult to tell just where the turnaround happens, that exact moment when the team begins to pull itself together. Not so in the second set. To be sure, the Bears were off to a stronger start than in the previous one, but their 8-4 lead was by no means a lock, when it was Chelsea Leeds’s turn to serve. Now, Chelsea is a great team player, who detests being the center of attention, and serving the ball is an unavoidable moment in the spotlight. As luck would have it, the Wilbraham team found it absolutely impossible to return Chelsea’s strong underhand serve, and she remained in the service position for an incredible eleven-point run. All the while, her teammates laughed and cheered from the bench, knowing just how their teammate was feeling as she led them to a 19-5 lead, and ultimately a 25-8 victory.
With the tension broken and the game tied, the Bears went into the tiebreaker set in great spirits. The team was glad to welcome back Clementina Davila Tejeida ’15, whose hand injury kept her off the court the last several games – she posted five great serves and at least one of her trademark kills in this final set. Annie Love ’16, playing on a twisted ankle, set up some great hits for the likes of Kim Henry ’13, who smashed a fantastic hit from the back row that eluded the Titans’ blockers.
The JV volleyball team would like to extend a special thank you to parent Brooke Humes, who came out to support (and feed!) the team at practically every game. The coaches will be sad but so proud to see some of these great players move up to varsity, and are looking forward to another amazing season next year.