PITTSFIELD -- Despite the cheers from the home crowd and the freshly refurbished home floor, Springfield Central left the Moynihan Fieldhouse with a win over Pittsfield Saturday.
In this first round Western Massachusetts Division II tournament matchup 10th seeded Central won in four sets: 27-25, 25-22, 17-25, 25-20.
Pittsfield coach Brian Lawton said Central and middle hitter Janae Bunn had success playing the ball in the middle of the net.
"When it was an over pass from our side, usually you can defend that play," Lawton said. "But [Bunn] was hitting the ball straight down with so much pace. Every over pass we had was a point for them." Lawton said.
Bunn led all players with 13 kills, she also had four aces, and five blocks.
Bunn is 6-foot-2, and her height in the middle caused problems for Pittsfield, but the Generals fought hard in every set.
Pittsfield opened the first set on a 9-1 run capped off by a kill from Emily Koldys. Central rallied to make it 14-12 before tying the set at 21. The set saw three more ties before Central won 27-25.
Central coach Kathy McBride said her team played together against Pittsfield.
"We played point by point, they didn't play set by set," McBride said. "It's not just a one-person team. Everyone has their abilities and we all worked together today."
The over ball gave the Generals problems throughout the game. Senior captain Sienna Carpenter along with junior captain Sam DeCarlo said it was hard for the team to adjust to the Golden Eagles.
"Those dumps in the middle were really hard. We started to pick up on it but it was a little too late," DeCarlo said. "We're used to bump-set-spike and they did a bump and over. We're not used to that. No one around here does that."
Despite the loss Carpenter said she enjoyed playing in front of her home crowd in the final game of her career.
"I think every one played really well. This was a good game to go out on," Carpenter said. "Our team this year was wicked good. Everyone got along really well, there was never any problems, and everyone always tried their hardest."
Carpenter had 20 digs and six kills, Paige Hamilton had 10 kills and 11 digs, Emma Burnick had eight digs and five kills, DeCarlo had 29 assists and nine digs and Emily Koldys added eight kills and 14 digs.
Lawton said he was proud of the way his team handled adversity all season battling to a seven seed in the tournament.
"It was great. The kids stayed together all year long. The challenges of losing the entire starting lineup, playing at BCC ... I thought they did a good job the entire year," Lawton.
Central advances to play No. 2 Amherst-Pelham in the quarterfinals.
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