Lenox volleyball gets five-set win over Wahconah
LENOX -- The last time Lenox and Wahconah Regional hooked up in volleyball, the Warriors squeaked out a thrilling 3-2 victory about a month ago.
This time around, the score and intensity level were the same, but the result was reversed.
After the home team opened up a 2-0 lead, the visiting Warriors bounced back with a pair of wins to tie it, only to see momentum swing back in the Millionaires' favor in a 25-18, 25-17, 20-25, 24-26, 15-8 victory Monday night.
"We tried to keep our momentum going in that third game," said Lenox captain Rachel Cogswell, who had a superb night, with 28 assists, 11 digs, four kills and three aces. "But we didn't sustain it. In that final game, we got it back. It's really all about momentum in this game."
The Millionaires improved to 6-2, winning their sixth consecutive match after two season-opening losses. Wahconah is now 7-3.
"We struggled with our service in the early going," said Wahconah coach Dave Lussier, "and we weren't passing well either. We finally started passing better in the third and fourth games. The fifth game, we got down, and it's such a short game, a couple points make the difference."
"I thought we played very aggressively early, and then we stopped doing that," said Lenox coach Ed Paquette. "We got sloppy and they took advantage. Wahconah is a very good team, and you can't let up against them. You saw what happened when we did."
The Warriors started off very well, jumping out to an 8-1 lead in the first set. But the Millionaires began slowly but surely battling back. Cogswell provided the turning point in this contest, hitting a pair of aces at 17-17 that fueled a 6-0 run to push Lenox up, 23-17.
In the second set, Lenox took a 9-2 advantage, capped by Liz Mitts' ace and some gutty digs by Makayla White. Wahconah never got any closer than four points in that contest.
But just as it seemed the visitors would be swept, Wahconah rallied. Bizzy King's two kills fueled a 5-0 opening margin and the Warriors stayed in the lead throughout, albeit by only a point or two at times. Several times Lenox would rally, and then generate an unforced error to remain behind. At 22-20, Mikayla Weigel served three consecutive service points, including an ace, to close out Lenox.
The two teams were within a handful of points of each other throughout the fourth set. The turning points were a well-placed kill by Bethany McBain to tie the game at 23; another ace by Weigel at 24-24 and a huge block of Cogswell by McBain to give the Warriors the win, 26-24.
The finale was almost anticlimactic. A big block by Emma Jackson gave Lenox an 8-4 lead. Moments later, Kristin Read's two service points pushed the margin to 10-4. Wahconah rallied briefly on a kill by Becca Grunow and another deft shot by McBain, but Lenox got a nice kills from Suzanne Woller and Cogswell to apply the capper.
The Warriors were led by McBain's 19 kills, 13 digs and four aces; Grunow's 17 assists and four aces and Weigel's 16 digs -- some of them outstanding -- 14 service points and four aces.
In addition to Cogswell, the statistical leaders for Lenox were White's 30 digs, 18 service points and two aces and Mitts' 20 service points, 11 digs, four aces and six kills.
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