Westfield Tops MCLA in Volleyball Playoffs

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WESTFIELD, Mass. – Senior hitter Brianna Starkey pounded 12 kills to lead Westfield State, as the top-seeded Owls steamrolled No. 4 MCLA 25-14, 25-13, 25-14 in the semifinals of the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference volleyball semifinals at the Woodward Center on Thursday night.
 
With the win, the Owls will host Saturday’s championship match at 5:00 p.m.
 
The Owls seized control from the opening point, sprinting out of the blocks to a 10-3 lead in the first game on a Starkey kill.
 
The Blazers offered more resistance in the second game.  After Westfield jumped to a 5-1 lead behind three kills from the Crowley sisters, MCLA answered with seven straight points of their own being a pair of kills apiece for Kelly Moczulski and Regan Scattergood.
 
Westfield tied the set at 10-10 on a Starkey kill, and used a 10-0 run in the middle of the set to build a decisive 18-10 lead.
 
In the third set, the teams were tied 4-4 early, but the Owls gradually pulled away with a balanced team effort, capping the match with a service ace from senior Lizzie Taylor.
 
Sophomore Shawna Crowley added nine kills for the Owls, wih sister Ashley Crowley and Hanna Simpkins each adding six kills.
 
Senior setter Ally Rega finished with 29 assists and seven digs, while senior libero Taylor led the Owls with 22 digs.
 
Westfield hit .233 for the match with 41 kills, while MCLA hit .000 leveling 21 kills with 21 attack errors.
 
Westfield is now 13-16 overall on the season, but the Owls ran the table against the MASCAC with a 7-0 record in league play in the regular season.  
 
Freshman Moczulski led MCLA with eight kills, while Scattergood added seven.  Houa Xiong led the back row with 14 digs. The Trailblazers season ends with a 19-11 overall record and a 4-3 mark in the MASCAC.
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North Adams Gets $600K Grant to Make Brayton Access Safer

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A nearly $600,000 state grant is going to make it safer for children to cross from Brayton Hill Apartments to Brayton School. 
 
The city was recently awarded $598,255 through the Massachusetts Safe Routes to School program to make infrastructure improvements at the entrance to the Northern Berkshire Family YMCA and install sidewalks in the area of the school. The City Council accepted the grant on Tuesday. 
 
"This grant is an incredible opportunity for the Brayton Elementary School neighborhood and will help support pedestrian and bike safety," said Barbara Malkas, superintendent of North Adams Public Schools. "The end result of the project will facilitate behaviors that promote health and wellness in a world that can be focused on our electronic devices. We're thrilled to be a recipient of this grant and the positive effects it will have on the children and families in our community."
 
The steep driveway into the parking lot of the YMCA, which is attached to the school, and a problematic crosswalk were a focus of the City Council earlier this year. No one is sure when the crosswalk was first painted but it's never been in compliance because it doesn't run between sidewalks but rather cuts across Brickyard Court between a dirt pathway through private land and the corner of the driveway. There is also a visibility factor because of the incline of both the road and the driveway.
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