BELMONT – After suffering their first loss of the season on Wednesday, the members of the Belmont High School varsity volleyball team redeemed themselves with a win against Pittsfield High School during the Red Raiders' homecoming game Saturday evening. The final score was 3-1 Belmont.
Belmont struggled on the court during the first set, and their lack of coordination and communication resulted in an uphill climb for the rest of the match. With a score of 18-16 Pittsfield, the Belmont girls worked to close the two point lead but were unsuccessful. Pittsfield continued to outplay Belmont, winning the first set with a score of 25-21.
Feeling the sting of the loss, Belmont coach Melissa Miner shared her disappointment in the team and encouraged them to show Pittsfield how they really play. Heeding this advice, the girls stepped up their game during the second set. The Red Raiders hit their stride early in the set as they advanced 12-6. Belmont's significant lead began to be chipped away by Pittsfield however, as they closed the lead to 13-11. The attempt to take over the lead fell short for the Pittsfield girls, as Belmont again widened their lead and finishes up set two with a score of 25-16.
Entering the third set the Belmont girls started off strong, winning the first nine volleys. Pittsfield began to advance as the set continued, winning nine of the next thirteen volleys. Although the girls on each side of the court were working hard to put points on the board, Pittsfield's attempt to come back fell short again as Belmont racked up a 10 point lead, winning the third set with a score of 25-15.
Belmont entered the fourth set poised to claim the overall win. After various carefully executed digs and a long volley won, the Belmont girls had a lead of six points with a score of 8-2. Following the trend set during earlier sets in the game, Pittsfield started to pull close, shorting Belmont's lead to one point on two different occasions. Eager to regain their lead Belmont girls worked as a team to put the final points on the board, winning the fourth set with a score of 25-16.
Commenting on the win, Melissa Miner said, "We've had a really good year, with a 9-1 record. Recently our setter Megan Bailey got her 1,000th assist and our libero Jessie Bergeron got her 500th dig." Miner credits much of the team's success this year to the strong defense, which has helped them greatly during games throughout the season. The team's 90 percent serving accuracy has also been an important asset while on the court. Although the offense isn't as strong as Miner would like, she said her players are working on their skills every day.
For the Red Raiders, Bailey recorded 8 aces, 5 digs and 36 assists. Bergeron added 3 aces, 3 kills and 23 digs. Jackelyn Robarge had 4 aces and 3 digs, Bridget Annis had five kills and a pair of blocks, and Alyssa Woods had 14 kills.
Said Miner, "The team is working well overall this year, but must be ready for the tough games coming up. After defeating Inter-Lakes and Moultonborough they will be coming back wanting revenge, and after our recent loss to Winnisquam the girls are already anticipating another challenging game when we play them again."
The Belmont girls will be taking on Franklin on Wednesday, October 9 at home.