BURLINGTON >> Nonnewaug’s girls volleyball team won its first Berkshire League volleyball team in a gutsy come-from behind win over No. 1 seed Terryville, 2-1, Thursday evening at Lewis Mills High School.
“Every other sport has a banner in the gym except volleyball,” said junior Caroline Losure (19 kills, 16 digs). “This is the first one for volleyball.”
The Kangaroos, on the other hand, have a wall full of them. Mills won last year; Terryville kept the title for four years before that.
The teams split during the regular season, giving each other their only league losses. Terryville, with a better overall record (16-5), took the top seed. Nonnewaug (12-6) settled for No. 2.
The Chiefs turned in their first title bid in the semifinals just before the championship, beating No. 3 Mills convincingly in straight sets (25-20, 25-11) in the best-of-three match.
The Kangaroos lost the first set to No. 4 Northwestern, then rallied for the next two (20-25, 25-20, 25-19).
“We always play well against Terryville,” said Highlander coach Jon Hurlock.
Hindsight says Terryville’s semifinal struggle might have helped the Chiefs in the finals.
If so, Game One didn’t show it. Both teams showed plenty of weapons, but Terryville senior McKenzie Witham (8 kills, 3 blocks, 8 digs, 2 aces) looked huge.
With a good set, her early slams were unstoppable, pulling the Kangaroos out of a 6-6 tie, then pushing them into the final lead out of a 14-14 deadlock.
Witham had two huge kills, a block and a placement to an empty spot on the way to a 19-15 lead that carried into a 25-20 win.
“We never stayed down,” said Nonnewaug senior captain Stephanie Petraitis (6 kills, 2 aces, 5 digs).
Losure found her stride in Game Two, with four kills to a 7-6 lead, then two more on a climb to 11-6.
A Losure kill on the back line took the Nonnewaug lead to 21-16.
The Kangaroos weren’t going away. Witham served six points finishing the comeback with an ace 21-21.
“We had great all-around team effort and great all-around play,” said Terryville coach Damian Coggshall. “At the end, we just couldn’t get the extra point.”
It happened twice. Tied at 24-24 in a game in which a win must be by two points, each side traded advantages through 27-27.
Losure had a kill for the final Nonnewaug advantage. Jenna Rinaldi served an ace for the win.
The final game surged to the same point, 24-24.
A Terryville error gave the Chiefs the advantage.
Losure served an ace for the win.
Marty Malaspina guided the Chiefs to the title in his first year as coach.
“If I did one thing, I think I brought the girls together,” he said.
Together, they’re adding a key decoration to the Nonnewaug gym wall.
Berkshire League Girls volleyball Tournament
No. 2 Nonnewaug 2, No. 1 Terryville 1
(20-25, 29-27, 26-24)
Highlights: N – Caroline Losure 19 kills, 16 digs; Krista Misenis 1 kill, 2 aces; Olvia Green 2 kills, 2 aces, 4 digs, 31 assists; Stephanie Petraitis 6 kills, 2 aces, 5 digs; Jenna Rinaldi 5 kills, 5 aces, 3 digs. T – Makenzie Witham 8 kills, 3 blocks, 8 digs, 2 aces; Leah Switser 7 kills, 1 dig, 4 aces; Libby Rahimi 6 kills, 9 digs, 4 aces.
Records: Nonnewaug 12-6 overall, 11-1 BL; Terryville 16-5 overall, 10-2 BL.
No. 2 Nonnewaug 2, No. 3 Lewis Mills 0
Highlights: LM – Mika Martin 3 aces, 5 kills, 10 digs; Raechel Ashburn 2 aces, 3 kills, 6 digs. N – Caroline Losure 13 kills; Stephanie Petraitis 5 kills, 3 aces, 9 digs.
Records: Lewis Mills 7-13 overall, 5-6 BL; Nonnewaug 11-6 overall, 10-1 BL.
No. 1 Terryville 2, No. 4 Northwestern 1
(20-25; 25-20; 25-19)
Highlights: NW – Molly Clarke 6 ikills, 1 dig, 2 aces; Molly Porch 3 kills, 1 dig, 1 ace; Morgan Reola 2 kills, 2 aces; Gina Folino 3 kills, 7 assists, 2 digs. T – Libby Rahimi 8 kills, 1 dig, 2 aces; Makenzie Witham 5 kills, 5 blocks, 7 digs, 3 aces; Leah Switser 4 kills, 4 digs, 2 aces.
Records: Northwestern 8-11 overall, 5-6 BL; Terryville 16-4 overall, 10-1 BL.