(Byfield MA) I tell you, it’s that senior night thing!
Once again, the celebrating team (Triton in this case) falls short and the visitor (Wilmington) is celebrating when the match ends.
In a rematch, Wilmington escaped with a 3-2 win on Wednesday night in non-league play.
The Vikings (4-14) had been shut down 3-0 in the previous meeting with the Wildcats (7-12).
This time around Triton was more of a challenge to Wilmington, although it didn’t start out that way.
The team from the Middlesex League rallied late to sweep the first two sets, 25-22 and 25-20. Looked like a short night for the Cape Ann League entry.
But not this time. The Vikings pulled away from an 18-18 tie to take the third set and then dominated the 4th set 25-16.
That momentum continued into the last set for Triton. They started out 9-6 and looked to be heading for a very happy ending.
But the Wildcats had other plans. “We were playing not to lose,” recalled Wilmington coach Bruce Shainwald. “We needed to attack and that’s what we did.”
Led by server Anna Rideout, the Wildcats rolled off seven unanswered points to go up 13-9. Triton put a stop to the run briefly, but the Wildcats finished strong to win 15-11.
“It was a good match,” said Triton coach Bob Van Etten afterwards. “We showed good fight coming back after being down two games and we had the lead in the final set.”
“We were determined not to lose that last game,” Wildcats Gabby Bond told me after the match. The Wilmington senior is hoping to go to UConn next year and train to be a physician’s assistant.
Triton honored four seniors before the game; Colleen McCarthy, Caitie Rooney, Savannah Nolan, and Molly McInnis.
Savannah had a strong game for the Vikings on the front line.
“I am looking forward to next year,” said Coach Van Etten. “We had a very successful JV team, so we’ll be adding some good girls to the varsity next year.”
The hardest replacement? “Caitie Rooney, she’s an awesome setter.” Caitie was a Cape Ann League All-Star last year.
I was impressed with Wilmington’s setter, Britt Cimaglia. “She is very good but she was getting tired at the end,” said Coach Shainwald, “and she was having trouble setting the ball up high enough.”
Both Britt and teammate Maeve Cadogan were excellent at serving.
This is only Triton’s fifth season having volleyball. Their best season so far was 2015 when they went 5-11.
Neither team tonight had devastating hitters. That forced longer volleys and more excitement in my opinion.
The Wildcats were 9-11 last season. 2004 was the most recent season that they qualified for the post season.
I will not attempt to dazzle you with any stats since I didn’t pick any up after the game.
Congratulations to the Red Sox for the Game 2 win. I will never learn that watching a game on TV and writing up a game at the same time, limits both activities!
(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)