Pittsfield Volleyball Sweeps Central in Western Mass Tourney

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires.com Sports
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- The Pittsfield volleyball team Thursday cruised into the Western Massachusetts Division 2 quarterfinals with a three-set win over Springfield Central.
Kamea Quetti had five kills, and Anna Quinto had four as the Generals prevailed, 25-12, 25-11, 25-13, in Moynihan Field House.
One big difference in the match: service game.
Pittsfield had a big one, and 10th-seeded Central (16-5) struggled at key moments to stem the Generals’ momentum.
“We’ve got some really strong servers on this team, so we’ve really relied on that a lot this year,” Pittsfield coach Brian Lawton said. “You get a couple of servers who get on a run … [Danielle LeBlanc and Katara Mullett], when they get on a run, sometimes there is no way to stop them.
“We had some really good runs from them tonight.”
A long run by Mullett helped put away the first set.
She took the ball with Pittsfield already comfortably ahead, 17-11.
Mullett then served the next six points to get the Generals within two of set point. The run started with a Nichole LaPierre kill, included a couple of aces from Mullett and was finished by a Quetti kill to make it 23-11.
In the second set, four-point runs on consecutive serves by Lauren Mazzeo and Riley Nichols pushed the lead to 16-6, and Central never got any closer.
At times it seemed like every Pittsfield server got at least one point on her serve, and the Golden Eagles had trouble putting their initial serve in play after a sideout.
“They had a lot of service errors, so that made it easier for us,” Lawton said. “But we did a good job of staying focused on the game. Sometimes when that happens, you can kind of lose your serve receive rhythm, but I thought we did a good job all night of keeping good passes going all night so we could keep our offense going.”
Riley Nichols quarterbacked the PHS offense with 18 assists -- nine in the first set alone.
The Generals (15-6) set the tone for the match early and never trailed in the second and third sets.
LeBlanc served four straight points to open the third -- the last two on aces. And Gabby DiMassimo extended the lead two rotations later with six straight points to get the margin to 13-2.
Central never got closer than nine points the rest of the way as Pittsfield put the Eagles away and moved on to Monday’s quarter-final at second-seeded Agawam (13-5), which had a bye into the quarters.
“You don’t know how you’re going to play on any given night,” Lawton said. “They might have an off night. It’s hard to say.
“Our serving was great. Our offense was really good. It was really clicking tonight. I was really happy with the way we played overall.”
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