Tuesday November 6, 2012

LENOX -- Rachel Cogswell had 30 assists and Liz Mitts added 15 kills as the Lenox High School volleyball team edged county rival Wahconah in four sets in a Western Mass. Division III quarterfinal matchup.

The scores were 23-25, 25-17, 25-20 and 25-9 as the Millionaires took the rubber match in this season-long rivalry. The Warriors' cause was not helped by the loss of sophomore starter Emily Jordan, who hyperextended her elbow diving for a ball in the second set.

"It caused a whole sea of problems," said Warrior coach Dave Lussier of Jordan's injury. "Our passes weren't as crisp after that, and everyone seemed a little more tentative. Our service game wasn't very good today, either."

Lenox coach Ed Paquette praised his Millionaires' passing, but said they were afraid to make mistakes in the match's first set.

"We play much better when we're aggressive, but sometimes it's hard to get girls to be aggressive," he said. "But after that first game, we got better. We forced them to make mistakes."

"We passed very well tonight," said Mitts. "This is a game of momentum, and our passing game enabled us to keep our momentum in those last three games."

The first three sets were all close. The Millionaires took a 13-8 lead in the first, but Wahconah's Bizzy King served 10 consecutive points, including an ace, to turn the game around. Ericka Unwin and Becca Grunow set up both Bethany McBain and Mikayla Weigel on a pretty consistent basis to give the Warriors the eventual win.

In the second set, the home team took an early lead when Jordan went down. Wahconah was never closer than five points after Lenox took a 14-8 advantage on a Mitts ace.

Set three was a battle. A service ace by King brought Wahconah to within 23-20, but Cogswell set up Mitts for a kill and then scored the winner on a block to hold off Wahconah.

The turning point in the fourth set came early. Cogswell, who had been setting up Mitts, Suzanne Woller and Sophie Silverstein all evening, made as though she was going to feed Mitts. Instead, she unexpectedly dinked the ball over the net for a quick point to push the Millionaires' advantage to 12-5.

McBain had 13 kills, five blocks and eight digs to lead Wahconah. Unwin chipped in with 12 assists, five kills and five digs and Grunow added 10 assists a kill and five digs.

In addition to her passel of assists, Cogswell added three kills, two aces, six digs and a block. Mills had the 15 kills, two aces and 11 digs, while Kristin Read had a tremendous game on the back line with 19 digs and five aces. Teammate Makayla White added 12 digs.

To reach Derek Gentile:
dgentile@berkshireeagle.com,
(413) 496-6251.
On Twitter: @DerekGentile.