Frontier a Tall Order for Mounties in State Title Match
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. – When it won a Western Massachusetts championship last month, the Mount Greylock Regional School volleyball team was excited to be able to hang the program’s first title banner on the gymnasium wall.
On Saturday, it goes for an even bigger title. And it faces its biggest challenge of the post-season.
The third-seeded Mounties travel to Worcester State to take on No. 1 Frontier for the Division 5 State Championship at 5:30 on Saturday evening.
Mount Greylock (20-3) enters the match on a nine-game winning streak. Frontier is 24-1 with a 3-2 loss to D2 finalist Westborough standing as the only blemish on the Redhawks’ record.
Frontier is returning to the state finals for the second straight year and has won 10 state titles since 2005. On Tuesday, it battled back from a two-set deficit to earn a 3-2 win over Paulo Freire in the state semi-finals.
Most of the Redhawks’ matches in the regular season came against Division 2 opponents. An exception: a 3-0 win over Mount Greylock on Oct. 17 that marked the last time the Mounties lost a match and the only time this year they have failed to take at least two sets from an opponent.
The last time the teams met in the post-season (Frontier and Mount Greylock played in different classes in this year’s PVIAC Western Mass tourneys) was in 2017, a 3-0 Frontier win in the quarter-finals of the Western Mass D3 tourney back when the sectional was part of the state tournament.
No matter how you cut it, the Redhawks are the team to beat in the bracket.
And the Mounties are thrilled to have their shot on the tournament’s biggest stage.
“I feel like we’ve played them so many times before, and we love playing them,” Mount Greylock’s Celina Savage said. “They always give us something new. They always give us something to look forward to.
“I feel like playing them really reminds us why we love volleyball so much and what real volleyball can look like.”
Charlotte Coody, Mount Greylock’s “quarterback” at the setter position, said one of the keys on Saturday will be not thinking about the Redhawks’ pedigree.
“It’s very much a mental game,” Coody said. “The times we’ve played them, we’ve walked in with not a great mindset. Hopefully this time, we’ll walk in like we did in [the semi-finals] and just play. Not think about who they are but just who we are.”
“We want to put it all out there and just appreciate what we can do,” she said after the Mounties’ 3-1 win over Hopedale in the Final Four. “Because we are a good team, and we can play even better than we did tonight.”