Darrow Powers Mount Greylock to Win over Lenox
LENOX, Mass. -- Less than five short months ago, the Lenox volleyball team upset top-seeded Mount Greylock in the semi-finals of the Berkshire County tournament.
The Mounties did not need very long memories to carry that moment into Saturday’s rematch.
Mount Greylock senior Takiera Darrow recorded a team-best 10 kills and seven aces, including one on match point, as the Mounties came from behind for a 25-23, 21-25, 13-25, 15-25 victory.
“We wanted it really bad,” Darrow said after serving out the match with three straight points. “We thought about it, and we knew coming into this that they were a tough team.
“But in the end, we wanted it more. We just wanted to prove ourselves as a team and how well we can work together.”
Darrow was a force early in the deciding set, putting away kills on three out of four points to get the Mounties a comfortable 10-3 lead.
“She is coming along,” Mount Greylock coach Greg Geyer said. “When she is on, she’s unstoppable. This was a really great game for her, and there’s more to come.”
Lenox pulled to within four on Mia Giardina’s serve at 13-9. But after a Celina Savage kill got Mount Greylock a side out, Charlotte Coody served three straight to build the margin back to eight -- twice serving the ball just inside the end line for two of her five aces.
The Millionaires never got closer than eight the rest of the set, and a Darrow kill at 21-15 gave the Mounties a side out and sent herself to the service line.
Jacqueline Brannan’s block got the Mounties within two points of the win, and Darrow served up a pair of aces to put the match into the win column.
“I loved that,” Darrow said of finishing the match on an ace. “It’s probably my favorite feeling in the world, because it’s really just up to you. And being able to put the ball where you want it is something that I’ve been working on.
“To end the game like that really feels good.”
The Millionaires were feeling good early on, especially when Kailyn Sorrentino was serving the ball.
She served eight straight points to turn a 10-6 first-set deficit into a 14-11 Lenox lead.
After the Mounties chipped away and took a 21-20 lead late in the set, Sorrentino’s turn at the line came around again, and she served three straight points -- a pair of aces and a Giardina kill to give Lenox a 23-21. Two rotations later, a Mount Greylock attack went into the net on match point, and the Millionaires led the match, 1-0.
“We made more serving errors than we normally do in the first and second set,” Geyer said. “We quieted that down [in the final two sets]. We want people going for it, but we don’t want to miss that many.
“Basically, in the end, our passing came together. First set, we had some runs where our passing was hurting us. When we get a good pass, we run a great offense. I’m really happy with the setters, really happy with the hitters. And we’ll be practicing passing every moment of the next practice.
“But I’m really happy. Lenox is a very tough team.”
Lenox hung tough in the second set despite going down 21-14 on three straight points off the serve of Mount Greylock’s Kylie Sweren (seven aces).
The Millionaires got back to within three at 23-20, but a service error stemmed a two-point rally on serve, and Mount Greylock closed out the set moments later to level the match at 1-1.
The Mounties (3-0) took the lead in a third set that featured a five-point service run by Darrow to make it 15-8. The Millionaires (2-1) never got closer than seven points again. A three-point run by Coody that included two of her five aces got the lead to 23-11. A kill by Savage ended the set.
Savage finished with seven kills and three blocks, and Emma Sandstrom had five kills. Madison MacHaffie and Lainey Gill finished with five and four aces, respectively, in the win.
Giardina led Lenox with seven kills and 12 digs.
Lenox coach Noelle Skowron was disappointed with the result but not displeased with her team’s effort.
“I think the momentum just swung in their favor, and we were playing catchup in those last two sets,” Skowron said. “I don’t have any regrets about how they played tonight. It’s a new year, new setter, new group of kids. We’re all learning. And I’m really proud of them.
“I’m really excited about the squad I have. We can only go up from here.”