Volleyball teams get in solid action with county jamborees

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Friday's volleyball tri-scrimmage at Lenox did not have the feel of your average jamboree.

Lenox, Monument Mountain and Lee held an intense session, with teams competing in 30 minute matches before switching to a new opponent. The scrimmage was one of two in the county, as Pittsfield, Mount Anthony, Taconic and Mount Greylock also held a jamboree at Pittsfield.

For the South County teams, the scrimmage served as a measuring stick of sorts. The Spartans and the Millionaires were eager to gauge their progress against the perennial powerhouse Wildcats.

Lenox coach Bessena Cabe roamed the sideline with his usual passionate and energetic style. Each long volley felt like a deciding point in a fifth set. Cabe said he wanted his team to play with a similar enthusiasm, even in a scrimmage setting.

"It feels great," he said. "We wanted to come out, we wanted to come really strong. I think this game is a test of where we're at right now and where we want to be."

The Millionaires have a veteran team with their eyes on repeating as South Division champs. Monument is fielding a younger team, so Friday's scrimmage was a teachable experience for fourth-year coach Kyle Henry.

"With a short time to get ready for the season, this is a great gauge to tell where you're at and what things you need to improve on based on your competition," Henry said. "Fortunately we get to see Lee and Lenox, both really really good teams. So we know what we need to work on and hopefully improve on those things moving forward so we can come out and be competitive against those teams."

Down the road at Pittsfield, teams played in two simultaneous games, switching opponents every 15 minutes. The atmosphere in the gym was a little more laid back, when compared to their comrades down south. The squads were still jumping high for a spike and diving on the floor to dig out balls, but post-kill celebrations were a little more exuberant.

Pittsfield coach Brian Lawton said facing off against three separate teams in one evening is great preparation for a fast-approaching season.

"The biggest thing is just to be able to settle in," Lawton said. "A [team] scrimmage is not really a game situation. You're playing against your friends, it's not really the same kind of atmosphere.

"So I think it's good to get them in a — even though it doesn't count — it's a good game situation. You see different people on different sides with different strength and weaknesses. ... It's good stuff to work on."

Reach sports writer Akeem Glaspie at 413-496-6252 or @TheAkeemGlaspie.


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