MILFORD — Swings in volleyball are expected. That includes hitters up front and servers from the stripe. More in tune with scholastic volleyball, however, are the mini-runs that shift momentum not only during a set, but game to game.
“Volleyball is very much a mental game,” said Lauralton Hall coach Laura Discenza after her Crusaders defeated Foran 3-2 at the Lions’ Edna Fraser Gymnasium on Monday night. “There is nothing guaranteed. The hit that fell in the first set doesn’t mean the same will happen the next point or the next set. Tonight, the players adjusted and made me very proud.”
Foran dropped the first two sets (25-17, 25-22) then forced a fifth game with 28-26, 25-16 wins.
Lauralton won game five, 15-8.
Tied at 3-all, Crusaders’ co-captain Abby Paine served a pair of winners, including an ace. Five side outs later, Elisabeth D’Albero made her first appearance and served an ace for an 11-7 advantage. Paine had one of her seven kills to get to match point, and a Lion hitting error emptied the Lauralton bench.
“The hardest thing to do is come back from two down,” Foran coach Julie Johnson said. “Our team battled to do that.”
The Lions twice came back from four-point deficits in the third set. Multiple-points serving from Mary Grace Weissauer, Isabel Messore and Alexa Mendillo tied things at 15.
Lauralton’s Caoline Boynton was at her best here, as the middle hitter off-set three Crusader service errors by winning side outs with a bump to the middle and consecutive blocks.
Tori Lanese served Foran to a 22-19 lead, and then the rivals traded game point on three occasions before Weissauer netted the game winner.
Game four saw Foran take a 12-4 lead. Julia Lee served Lauralton back in it, but Lanese settled things down and Paige Carlson finished off the 25-16 win with a pair of aces.
Skylar Wingate was the trend setter in the first set with nine servive winners, two coming on aces. She added additional points to the 25-17 triumph with a tip and a kill. Lanese had three service winners and three point-winning spikes.
Lauralton was led to its 25-22 game two win by Wingate (5 service points, ace), Mia Hanrahan and Paine.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH
Lauralton’s Skylar Wingate finished the match with 9 kills, 4 aces and 3 assists. She had an impact during each one of the Crusader wins.
“We talk a lot about everyone doing their role. We tell them when everyone does their part, that is when we will win. Tonight they can see that. I’m very proud of my team.” — Lauralton coach Laura Discenza