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Girls Volleyball Falls to Newton in State Tournament Semi-Finals

Robert Shapiro, Contributing Writer

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Being a team in the playoffs is like being a part of a senior class during application season; everyone is beyond stressed and everyone desperately wants to move on.

CRLS girls volleyball played well enough to be one of those teams, finishing the regular season with a 15-4 record and the fifth seed in the Central East Division of the Division 1 tournament.

On November 3rd, the team took on the 12th-seeded Belmont Marauders. The Falcons’ home court advantage was strong as they had only lost one match all year in the Al Coccoluto Gymnasium. Cambridge jumped out to an early lead that they didn’t give up, winning the first set 25-16—in part due to two back-to-back aces by junior Janijah Allen.

The Falcons were just as dominant in the following set, winning 25-17 and putting themselves on the brink of winning the match. The Marauders played their best in the final set, leading temporarily by six.

One of the easiest and most embarrassing mistakes in sports is being in control and letting your opponent come back. Luckily, the veteran leadership of senior captain Lorra Marseille ensured that didn’t happen.

Cambridge was able to come back behind Marseille’s two straight kills to win the set 26-24 and the match 3-0. As Marseille explained, “It wasn’t our best game, honestly, but I think everybody came to play and we all helped each other out.”

On Tuesday, November 6th, the team took on the 11th-seeded Quincy Patriots. The Patriots vs. Falcons matchup was reminiscent of Super Bowl 51, with the only exception being that the Falcons were dominant until the final buzzer. Cambridge started the first set on a four-point run that included two aces from Marseille. In the second set, a new team member, senior Abby Reynolds, was a blocking machine that protected the lead throughout.

By the third set, Quincy was playing like it had already lost the match. Not only did the Patriots lack energy, but according to senior captain Katie Melendez,  “They were lacking communication, and communication is key in volleyball.” Cambridge made sure not to let up, winning the final set 25-13 and advancing to the third round of the playoffs.

The following Thursday, November 9th, the team took to the road to take on the first-seeded Newton North Tigers in the Reggie Gymnasium. The Falcons brought a solid fan section that included students and staff members eager to watch their team play. Cambridge served first and led briefly during the first set, but the lead didn’t hold for long.

Newton quickly responded, and when given the chance to serve, rocketed ball after ball over the net, winning the first set 25-15. In the second set, the Falcons never led, though they were close, tying the score at 6-6 early on. It was clear by the third set that it would be the last and that Cambridge was not going to emerge victorious. This didn’t stop the Falcons from battling, because as Reynolds said afterward, “Being a Falcon is trying hard no matter what.”

The team never accepted defeat for a second. They played the game as hard as they could and they played it together. Regardless of winning or losing, they did what a great team does. They competed.

The Falcons didn’t advance past the semi-finals. They didn’t win the division title, and they didn’t win the state title. But they competed, and for that the team and the city of Cambridge is proud.

This piece also appears in our November print edition.

 

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Girls Volleyball Falls to Newton in State Tournament Semi-Finals