Andover Golden Warriors Girls Volleyball '10

Wed, Nov 17, 2010 07:00 PM @ Andover
Team 1 2 3 4 5 Final
Barnstable 15 23 25 29 15 3
Andover 25 25 20 27 9 2
CARL RUSSO/Staff photo. The Andover Warriors  were defeated by Barnstable three games to two in Division I State Semi-Final volleyball action Wednesday night. Andover fans cheer for their team.  11/17/2010.     » Staff PhotographerMore photos

Heartbreak for Andover, which falls in state semis

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BRIDGEWATER — Andover coach George Sullivan’s worst fears were realized last night against South power Barnstable  in the Division 1 state volleyball semifinals at Bridgewater-Raynham.

His unbeaten team had been so dominant during the regular season that he wasn’t sure how it would respond if things didn’t go its way.

Last night, he found out as the Golden Warriors dropped an exciting five-game match to Barnstable, which will seek its seventh state title in the last nine years at 3 p.m. Saturday at Algonquin High School against Lincoln-Sudbury.

Andover stormed out of the gates, blowing Barnstable away, 25-15 in the first game, and kept up the pressure in the second game, winning 25-23.

But, behind super junior Kaylee Deluga, Barnstable regrouped in the third game, winning  25-20. It then survived a 29-27 barnburner in the fourth game before winning the clincher, 15-9.

“They’ve been here before and we started to panic when things weren’t going as well,” said Sullivan. “This is one of the things I worried about coming here undefeated. We didn’t have the experience playing a match like this.

“We were controlling the match, playing with no fear, but you have to stay aggressive and we didn’t do that.”

The 6-foot Deluga played a big role in the turnaround. After limping off the court in the first game with a turned ankle, she was back strong by the second game and became more and more effective as the match progressed. She finished the night with 21 kills that included three in the decisive fifth game.

“I knew I wouldn’t be out long,” said Deluga. “We wanted this (win) so bad and we found out that they’re a really good team. Once we get going, we play well against good teams.”

Barnstable certainly had other contributors, including co-captain Sarah Colby with her serves and Aine Cole (13 kills) as a complement at the net, but there was no doubt about the key player for Barnstable.

“There are quick running backs and power fullbacks, but she’s a power fullback who plays like a quick running back,” said veteran Barnstable coach Tom Turco, who now has won 503 games.

Early on, Deluga was neutralized at the net by the Warriors as Moira Cronin, Elise Brogan, Ava Bakhtari and Sarah Arvidson formed a strong blocking line and took turns scoring points from close to the net.

But, after the first game, Barnstable was able to progressively push the Warriors away from the net and set up Deluga for more and more kills.

Trailing 15-9 in the fourth game, Andover rallied to take a 24-23 lead on a patented kill from mid court by Arvidson, but two chances to close out the Raiders fell short, allowing Barnstable to hang on and tie the match.

The Warriors scored the first two points in the fifth game, but then seemed to get nervous, allowing Barnstable to surge to victory.

“That’s as good a team as I’ve seen and we couldn’t get the ball down on them for a long time,” said Turco. “But once we got that first game, I thought we got the momentum we needed.”

Which, again, was what worried Sullivan.

“That girl (Deluga) is very, very good, they played great defense and they gained the momentum,” said Sullivan. “We had our chances in that fourth game, but just couldn’t get that last point.

“But I’m so proud of these girls. Just look at that record, 24-1, and how far we’ve come. I think this game tonight was for the championship.”

Game Statistics:

Kills: B — Kaylee Deluga 21, Aine Cole 13; A — Sarah Arvidson 14, Ava Bakhtari 10

Assists: B — Kayla Crook 46; A — Annie Ye 38

Service points (aces): B  — Sarah Colby 16 (5); A — Marcela Famiiiar-Bolanos 18 (3)

Digs: A — Ye 17 

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