(West Newbury MA) Pentucket, the new team, took on the team they played for last year.
“This was a very special game for us,” said Pentucket’s Macy Rodrigues-Cowl afterwards. “All of us used to play for Georgetown.”
That familiarity generated plenty of excitement.
But in the end, the team with the experience together (Georgetown) prevailed.
The Royals (3-7) swept the sets, 25-6, 25-15, and 25-19 to notch their first Cape Ann League victory of this season.
The winless Sachems (0-7) got better as the match went on and that is something for them to build on.
“The team is working on controlling the ball and just getting their bodies in the right spots,” explained Pentucket coach Lauren Bennett. “I know that skill will come with time and reps.”
The experienced Royals felt pressure playing a new, excited team in their own gymnasium. “This was intense,” said Royals coach Alexis Bedard. “I coached most of the players from both sides.”
Now that Georgetown has its first CAL win, they hope that more W’s will come the rest of the way. “We’ve been playing up with all these teams, but we keep giving it away at the end,” said Coach Bedard. “We hope that his victory will push us to wins in other matches in this league.”
The Royals have size and their serving was fast and deep. Freshman Grace Sorenson sent the visitors off to an 11-0 start in the first game with a nice collection of serves and sets.
“Grace is an amazing setter,” said Coach Bedard. “She had about ten assists in the first set alone before she was injured.”
Senior Emerson Nicholas was also impressive. Emerson served the Royals to 9-2 start in the second set and was deadly around the net. “Emerson is always consistent,” explained Coach Bedard. “She’s active at the net. Blocking those balls and killing them straight down.”
“The other team was serving really well,” admitted Coach Bennett, “and it challenged us. They also had a good setter.”
The approach for the Sachems is to get better and to have some fun along the way.
“Tonight was a fun environment,” recalled Macey. “We did a good job of communicating and diving for balls. We had a good crowd here. In the last set, we were really catching up to them.”
Still looking to win their first set, the Sachems made a strong move in that direction in the third set. The final score was 25-19 with freshman Ava Hughes serving matchpoint.
But the takeaway positive for the home team was that twice during that final set the Royals called a timeout. The hometown crowd started to get a little excited after first Arielle Cleveland and then Macey made serves that Georgetown couldn’t handle.
But experience prevailed at the end.
Unforced errors plagued the Sachems. “I think that we would be neck-and-neck with teams if we didn’t make the errors,” said Coach Bennett, “but we will get better with experience.”
Coach Bedard agreed: “Once they get a little more playing time, they’ll be better. Then they’ll be able to work as a team.”
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