WILLIAMSTOWN -- Mount Greylock has grown accustomed to a Picard grabbing headlines. The problem is, Tyler Picard is gone. Now they're having to contain one.
Lee's Courtney Picard led the Wildcat volleyball team to an impressive three-set win over the Mounties on Monday evening. Lee prevailed 25-12, 25-9, 25-21.
"Our team at the beginning of the season wasn't gelling very well," Picard said. "But as the season's been progressing, we've been gelling more and our offensive pressure has been harder and easier to get it in."
Lee showed consistency in all facets. The Wildcats' serves gave Greylock trouble on defense, and when given the opportunity, Lee's hitters converted.
Picard led Lee's offense with 14 kills, many of which were set up by one of Kendra Williams' game-high 11 assists.
The sophomore found comfort on the outside and found holes in the Greylock defense.
"We made a lot of unforced errors tonight," Greylock coach John Albano said. "We just gave the ball back to them way too many times for them to attack us."
She came up with several timely kills, including two in the middle of the second set.
As Lee was trying to pull away, Picard hit into the net, giving the Mounties a sideout and closing the gap to 14-5. The Mounties followed it up with another point before Picard made good on her mistake with a nicely-placed shot, nipping any momentum for Greylock.
She did the same thing with a sound kill two points later, this time spurring Lee to another four points on her serve for a commanding 20-7 lead.
"Courtney is a beast," Lee coach John Warner said. "She brings so much pace with the ball that when she gets her timing down, she's going to really bring a lot of pace. She's going to be a tough kid to mark at that point."
With the exception of a neat five-point run late in the third set to keep hope alive, the Mounties struggled on defense. And the offensive numbers show it.
Hope Willis' four kills were tops for Greylock, who had only eight as a team. She also paced the defense with five blocks, four of which were solo.
Jenna Markland's two digs were a team-high. Many of Greylock's attempted digs resulted in errors, and that stunted the offense. Time and again, Lee shouted "Free!" signaling a free ball coming. Tough as it is to score with a free pass, it's much more difficult when they aren't placed well.
"I think it all starts with the initial pass that we get. ... I think that helps in the long run," Willis said. "But we have been getting more aggressive with our free passes because sometimes we can't [help it]."