MIDDLETOWN >> Before the season began, Mercy girls volleyball coach Sarah Kelley wondered what kind of team she would have this fall. So far, it’s beginning to look like she need not have worried.
Mercy won its second match in a row, defeating Cheshire, 3-1, at Mercy High Wednesday afternoon.
“So far I’m very happy,” Kelley said. “We’re starting to get much more consistent. We’re not allowing teams to run off seven or eight points in a row. Three or four, fine, that we can handle. I think we fought with just about everything we had. We were scrappy, we went after everything and each time we were down, we fought back.”
Mercy won the first game, coming back from 19-13 down to win 26-24. That game turned when, with Mercy leading 20-19, Amy Boyle served three aces in a row and while Cheshire came back to tie the game at 22-22, that Boyle Bump made all the difference.
“Amy practiced with the varsity her freshman year and has been on the varsity ever since,” said Kelley. “She has grown and grown and grown. She is such a fierce competitor.”
Boyle, who had 14 kills and seven aces, was decisive in the fourth and final game, too. Mercy was clinging to a 19-16 lead when Boyle had three aces in a row and just like that Mercy led 22-16. The Tigers won the game 25-21 to win the match.
“Aces don’t hurt,” Kelley said. “They can turn a game really quickly.”
Cheshire won the second game, 25-17, but Mercy won the critical third game 25-21.
“We didn’t play very well, obviously,” Cheshire coach Sue Bavone said. “Our hitters were not hitting the floor and our offense was sluggish. I thought our defense was good, but we need to do a better job on offense. We just have to get more pop on offense.”
Kelley said that Alexa Sweeney played “excellent” defense and that her libero, Meghan Fusco, also played very well.
“Both of them have come a long way,” Kelley added. “I also thought my outside hitter, Demery Coppola, did a very good job. She is continually improving.”
Coppola had seven kills, Sweeney finished with 12 assists and Fusco added 13 digs.
For Cheshire (1-1), Mallory Groom had six kills and an ace, and Karly Pedbernzak had 14 assists and four aces.