By Dick Lindsay, Berkshire Eagle Staff
LEE - The Lee High Wildcats Saturday night swept the Southwick-Tolland Rams to advance to Monday’s Division 3 quarterfinal match with Turners Falls.
While No. 5 seed Lee won 25-15, 25-21, 25-18, the Wildcats didn’t find their scoring rhythm against 12th seed Southwick until halfway through the second and third sets.
"Our Achilles heel is my players assess the other teams strengths and then turn up the intensity just enough to beat them," said Lee coach John Warner.
After going on a 14-5 run to close out the first set, the Wildcats fell behind 10-6 in the second set. Following a timeout the Berkshire County champions relied on the depth of their service game and key kills by senior Katie Morin to hold off a scrappy Rams squad.
"I changed my approach and realized placement was the name of the game - put the ball where they ain’t," said Morin, who finished with 11 kills, five blocks and five digs.
"We had trouble with [Morin] all night and Lee served well," said Southwick coach Kevin Pender.
The third set also saw Southwick break out to an early 10-7 lead, but once again the Wildcats turned to Morin, along sophomore Courtney Picard and junior Alyssa Kelly, to finally put away the Rams.
Kelly had four of her seven digs, setting up several points during Lee’s 14-7 run to close out the set and match.
Picard had a pair of crucial kills to keep Southwick at bay, finishing with nine on the night.
Freshman Kendra Williams had five service aces and 20 assists.
Southwick was led by junior Hannah Sitler’s 10 kills and five digs, with senior captain Jess Martin contributing 10 assists and five digs and sophomore Briana Bourassa strong in the middle with 20 digs.