The JV volleyball team traveled to Taft on a beautiful Wednesday afternoon for the first away match of the season. Spirits were high, as the squad set out to defeat one of only three teams to beat last year’s JV team.
The Bears were off to a terrific start in the first set, with co-captain Indie Coard ’16 delivering a streak of powerful serves that put the team ahead 5-2. By the time her fellow captain Sophie Needles ’16 was finished in the service position, Berkshire had secured a 9-3 lead, and the Rhinos’ coach had called a timeout to strategize against the Bears’ strong offense. Once Berkshire was in the serve-receive position, though, the team’s weaknesses on defense were exposed. Taft’s #12 went on an incredible 17-point serving run, and the Bears simply could not get behind the ball when it came over the net. Kay Humes ’15 helped rally the team’s spirits with her four unreturnable serves that brought the score to 19-24, but ultimately, Berkshire was unable to reclaim the lead and lost the set 20-25.
The Berkshire squad regrouped admirably after that initial defeat, and the second set saw them working together effectively to improve their defense on serve-receive. The score stayed close throughout the set, inching up a point or two at a time, trading off the lead with the Rhinos. Setter Silvana Gomez ’17 showed tremendous hustle, at one point chasing a passed ball all the way into the next (empty) court, and Julie Kokot ’17 proved a steady back row presence. With the score at 19-18, this time it was Taft’s #11 whose strong serving ended the set, with the Bears trailing again, 19-25.
The team went into the third set feeling flustered by these two hard-fought losses, and it showed in every aspect of their playing. Most balls went over the net on the first or second hit, and a number of serves went out of bounds as the rattled Bears tried to regain control of the game. A notable exception was the confident back-row playing of Colleen Devanney ’15, who delivered three effective serves at the end of the match that brought the Bears’ score into the double-digits before the third set finished out, 13-25.