May 15—ENFIELD — The Enfield High boys volleyball team had to do something Friday it hadn’t done in three matches: bounce-back after losing a set.
But the Eagles showed that they still have their mettle.
Andrew Herron had 10 kills and seven blocks as Enfield topped South Windsor 3-1 in a battle of the top two teams in the CCC East Division. The game scores were 25-15, 25-22, 23-25, and 25-20.
The Eagles (9-0) now lead the Bobcats (9-2) by two games in the division. The loss snaps South Windsor’s eight-match winning streak.
“We spent a lot of hard time working on this,” Herron said. “And everything we’ve worked for, it’s coming to us. We’re hoping that we have even more success in the coming future.”
After Enfield took the first two sets, the teams traded points through much of the third set. The Bobcats were able to take a 21-17 lead, and after Enfield trimmed the score to 24-23, Nolan Goodale’s one-hander gave his team the win.
“We found our way to get back on to what we do,” South Windsor coach Ryan Mintzer-Woodcock said. “Quicker tempo, better defensive play. That’s really all it was. Reminding them that we’re still us regardless of the other side of the court.”
Prior to that set, the Eagles had won 12 in a row. Their last loss had come in the fourth set of a 3-2 win over Glastonbury May 7. During the break between the third and fourth sets Friday, head coach Judy Joslin didn’t need to do much motivating.
“I just said ‘This is what we like to do,’ ” Joslin said. “This is what volleyball is all about. We just have to come back. They knew it. They made a couple of unforced errors. But they were also very strong. So, we just move on to the next point.”
The Eagles stormed back in the fourth set, taking an early 9-2 lead. South Windsor continued to battle, but never got closer than three. Tyler Simmons ended the match with a block.
Simmons finished with 16 kills and nine digs. Teammate Drew Rancourt added 14 kills, nine digs and four aces while Hery Chavez had 19 digs, a kill and an ace.
With the exception of one tie at 5-5, Enfield led the entire first set. Up 7-6, the Eagles went on a 16-5 run to pull away, winning the set 25-15. The second set was a back and forth affair until the Bobcats built a 21-18 lead. But Enfield closed the set on a 7-1 run to win 25-22. The run was highlighted by a serve by Rancourt that had a friendly roll over the net to tie it at 21-21.
“That was ‘The net is my friend’ play,” Joslin said with a chuckle. “That was just a lucky break. And then we took advantage of it.”
Goodale finished with 32 assists for the Bobcats. Charlie Bemis added 12 kills and Andrew Bell chipped-in 10 digs.
Prior to Friday’s match, Enfield held a senior day ceremony to honor Herron, Simmons, Ryan Miller, Harrison Youngberg, Chase Ouelette, Alvey Blier and James Tyler. The event was particularly meaningful to Herron since the class’ junior season was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It made it really special,” he said. “Last year, we had a really good team, had really good chances, and we lost it all. But we worked even harder and came back this year, and we came back strong. It meant a lot.”
The Eagles and Bobcats will see each other again soon — the teams play again Wednesday, this time in South Windsor.
But before that, both teams have a match with Wethersfield on the schedule. Enfield hosts Wethersfield today while South Windsor is on the road at Wethersfield Monday.
ROCKVILLE 3, NORWICH TECH 0. In Norwich, Jacob Bundy had seven kills to lead the Rams to a non-conference victory over Norwich Tech. Game scores were 25-5, 25-7, 25-8.
Eric Bassick added six kills for the Rams (7-6), who visit Enfield on Monday.
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