WORCESTER — Volleyball followers had a sense Saturday’s championship match between Newton North and Barnstable would go proper all the way down to the wire.
They had been confirmed proper.
Propelled by junior exterior hitter Devon Burke and rising freshman Sasha Selivan, the Tigers had been capable of resume their dynasty. The duo had been catalysts all evening, as Newton North received its second straight Div. 1 women volleyball title with an unforgettable 3-2 heartstopper over the Red Hawks at Worcester State.
“That energy was the most energy I’ve felt in a long time,” mentioned Newton North coach Nile Fox. “Just being in an atmosphere like this, and to win another one is a blessing. Just having these girls that worked hard all year play like this in this game was really big.”
It was the fifth championship for Newton North (25-1) for the reason that 2014 season, however attaining it proved something however simple. Most had been anticipating a basic between the 2 vaunted packages, with each having adorned teaching staffs coupled with limitless expertise. The matchup delivered because the Tigers jumped out to an early 1-0 lead after profitable the preliminary set off a spike by Burke, 25-20.
However, Barnstable (21-4) didn’t fade into the evening. The Red Hawks countered with a 5-1 run to open the second body. While Newton North challenged because it progressed, Barnstable held on to win the set, tying issues at 1-all. From then on, the groups continued to alternate punches till late within the fourth set, when Newton North jumped forward, 10-5. Then Red Hawks coach Tom Turco burned a timeout, searching for one last cost.
Whatever he mentioned in his huddle clearly labored, because the Red Hawks stormed again to win the set in dramatic style, 25-23, forcing a do-or-die fifth spherical with the rating deadlocked at 2-2.
Suddenly, Newton North was in very unfamiliar territory – on the verge of a collapse.
“It’s definitely mentally exhausting,” mentioned Selivan. “Because this could go 50-50. You’re not confident about the win. You can’t assume anything. So we just have to play our hardest, can’t let up. But it is definitely exciting.”
With his crew nonetheless nursing a 10-8 lead within the fifth set, Fox referred to as his group over throughout a timeout.
“This is a high-intensity game,” mentioned Fox. “There’s a lot of nerves in it, so during those timeouts, we just want to make sure we’re regrouping. Just going, trying to be ready to get back out on the floor.”
With match level on the road, the jam-packed crowd started to buzz with anticipation because the ball volleyed from one aspect of the court docket to the subsequent. Senior center hitter JoJo Wang jumped to try to spike it, and was met on the internet. Her try ricocheted off a defender and into the sidelines, clinching the title for Newton North.
Barnstable was carried all evening by Charlotte Sullivan (17 kills, 5 aces), Sadie Wellbeloved (36 assists) and Logan Hurwitz (21 digs).
Newton North will graduate 5 gamers from its roster, every with a pair of Div. 1 rings to their credit score.
“I’ll remember this game,” Fox mentioned. “I’ll remember this game, their courageousness, and all the hard work they put in during the offseason, and for this season this year. We are going to miss these five seniors who are going to be leaving.”