Mount Greylock Survives Against Upset-Minded Ware

By Kevin Sports
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Mount Greylock volleyball team Monday advanced to the semi-finals of the Western Massachusetts Division 3 tournament with an impressive three-set sweep over Ware, 25-20, 25-23, 25-17.
This was not your average No. 13 seeded team, and at the start of the first set it showed why. Ware, who defeated the No. 4-seeded Paulo Freire Social Justice Charter to get to this position, took an early 8-2 lead over Mount Greylock, forcing them into a timeout. The timeout seemed to do the trick as Mount Greylock would storm back on a 10-3 run to give them the lead. Gabriella Alvarez would finish this comeback with a 4-0 service run including two aces. Contrary to their last playoff game the Mounties had to dig deep and see what they were really made of.
“I’m really happy with the way we responded in the first set,” coach Greg Geyer said. "Ware has an incredibly strong front row, we could not stop them in the middle so hats off to them, but the way we responded to play a full game of volleyball all the way around that set that set the tone for the match.”
It was a difficult first set for Mount Greylock with the big front row of Ware causing trouble throughout the match but they were able to hang tough and rest on the shoulders of Lucy Shepard, who had 11 kills, four digs, and four aces, including some very timely ones in the first set. Mount Greylock stretched the lead towards the end of the game and then a big block by Takiera Darrow finished the set off.
The second set was once again a tight battle right from the start with both teams going back and forth. It wasn’t until Lucy Shepard went on a nice 6-0 service run to give them a 20-13 lead.
“Lucy had 11 kills and was our go to hitter during the game,” Geyer added. "We thought we spotted a weakness that she could hit and she did a great job with that, very reliable she did a great job."
It was a moment in the game where it looked like Mount Greylock was finally going to take over and run away with the game, but Ware countered with a 6-0 run of their own, putting the pressure back on the home side. When things started to get tight, it was Darrow with the big block and shot down the line to finish Ware off in the second set. She finished the match with eight blocks, seven kills, four digs, and an ace.
At that moment it felt like no matter what Ware was doing Mount Greylock always had an answer and going into the third set it looked the Cinderella story was finally going to come to an end. Mount Greylock came out roaring with a quick 6-0 start ending any hope of Ware coming back. With the strong start Mount Greylock was able to coast in the third set and clinch their birth in the semi-finals Wednesday against top-seeded Lee, a three-set winner over South Hadley on Monday.
“By the third set we had a lot of momentum which is huge,” Geyer said. “We didn’t let up and we kept attacking.”
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