Mount Greylock's Experience Is Key in Three-Set Win at Wahconah

By Stephen Sports
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DALTON, Mass. -- First-year Mount Greylock volleyball coach Greg Geyer picked the right time to lean on his senior class.
Late in the third set of Wednesday’s match at Wahconah, the Mounties appeared to get a Maddie Albert ace for a 19-12 lead. But after celebrating what they thought was a point, the Mounties learned that the officials had awarded the point and sideout to Wahconah.
Geyer, who chose to use only seniors in the third set, chose not to call a timeout to settle his team after the unsettling moment, and those veterans did just fine, holding on for a 25-23, 25-10, 25-22 win in Ed Ladley Gymnasium.
“That’s the way we practice,” Geyer said. “Our big thing in practice is playing every point in the moment. In fact, when I did call a timeout [at another juncture], that’s the one thing I talked about. … We need to go to the next point and stay in that point. And the whole team did a great job, all three sets.”
Albert finished with 14 assists and five kills. Marley Buffis recorded seven aces. And Caroline Hadley led the way with 10 kills.
Junior Lucy Shepard, who watched the third set with the rest of the underclassmen, had seven kills in just two sets.
The first set was easily the closest as Wahconah rallied back from a seven-point deficit to tie the game late before Mount Greylock scored the last two.
A couple of aces from Hadley early in the set helped Mount Greylock take control, and it got its lead up to 22-16 on an Albert kill for a sideout.
The Mounties then went ahead, 23-16 with a point on Kat Hoffstedt’s serve before the hosts regained the serve and gave the ball to senior Nicole Trova.
Trova then had the best service run of the night for Wahconah, serving six straight points to make it 23-23.
Alyssa Phelps recorded a kill to get the serve back to the Mounties’ side, and Hadley’s dink on Buffis’ serve cashed in Mount Greylock’s first set point.
The second set turned on a seven-point service run by Buffis that got the lead to 19-6.
“She was basically spot-serving,” Geyer said. “She was picking a spot and hitting it, picking a spot and hitting it. And, with her, she’s so experienced that sometimes we’ll give her a spot and sometimes we’ll let her pick it.”
After Wahconah led by a couple of points early in the third set, Hadley served four straight points to get Mount Greylock an 11-7 margin. It was as many as eight points later in the set when another Buffis service run -- four points this time -- made it 23-15.
But Wahconah senior captain Hannah Fletcher served four straight points of her own to get her team within three at 24-21 before the Mounties got the ball back and closed the match.
“We showed some heart in bringing some balls up on second effort and keeping ourselves in the match,” Wahconah coach Dave Lussier said. “The second set, it was just that Mount Greylock had a great serve going on, and we may have to adjust to that serve receive.”
T. Warren had 13 digs and a couple of kills for Wahconah, which got four blocks from Kassidy Krejmas and three assists from Hannah Fletcher.
“All in all, with a whole new roster this year, we’re moving in the right direction, and we got a lot of positives out of that,” Lussier said.
Geyer, who knows a lot of the players around the county from his experience as a club coach, agreed that Wahconah is likely to move quickly in the right direction.
“These are some great coaches we just won against with a great team, really great athletes,” Geyer said. “They lost a lot of seniors last year, including Emma Parkington. Their school, of the seniors they lost, maybe five of them are playing in college.
“It’s a really competitive program.”
Wahconah goes to Pittsfield on Friday while Mount Greylock travels to West Springfield.
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