WARE — For the second time in as many seasons, the Wahconah volleyball team dropped its Western Massachusetts Division III tournament opener. The Warriors would not go down without a battle.
The fifth-seeded Warriors held a 2 sets to 1 lead against the No. 4 Indians, but Ware came roaring back to score a five-set win and advance to the semifinal round on Thursday. The set scores were 26-24, 20-25, 15-25, 27-25, 15-12.
"We had the opportunity in one and four to win both sets," Wahconah coach Dave Lussier said. "We were at set point both times."
While Wahconah's season comes to an end, Ware jumps into the fire against five-time state champion Frontier. The top-seeded Red Hawks advanced to the semifinals with a 3-0 win over Sabis.
It was a huge night for Wahconah senior Sara LaFreniere, who recorded 19 kills, 11 aces and four blocks.
"Sara LaFreniere had an outstanding night," said Lussier. "It was by far her best performance of the year. She carried our team tonight."
After losing the opening set, Wahconah bounced back with wins in the second and third. The Warriors had set point in the fourth, but Ware came back and won 27-25.
"I think there was a little let down after the fourth set," said Lussier.
But the Warriors didn't fold and bounced back to trail by only 13-11 in the fifth set. They got no closer.
"The home-court advantage actually helped them out," Lussier said of Ware. "After the third set, they could have packed it in."
Hailey Parker had 25 assists, four kills and five digs for Wahconah while Juli McBain had 25 digs.