Sports

Lynnfield volleyball thumps Peabody, remains undefeated

Peabody's Ava LaValle (7) goes up to attempt a kill over Lynnfield's Kayla Mortellite (10) . (Item Photo by Anne Marie Tobin )

PEABODY — The Lynnfield girls volleyball team extended its season-long win streak to seven Monday night, defeating host Peabody 3-0 (25-11, 26-24, 25-22) to improve to 7-0.

The match was closer than the score suggests as the Tanners (4-3) pushed the Pioneers to the limit in the last two sets, particularly in the third when Lynnfield trailed for nearly the entire set until taking the lead for good at 22-21 on a kill down the left sideline by Sam Lebruska (12 digs, 8 kills). Lebruska came up big a couple of points later with a cross-court kill to set up match point at 24-22. Sam DeGeorge and Sophia Wilkinson (11 assists, 2 kills, 3 aces) secured the set and match with a double-block at the net.

“Our energy was there in the first set and we celebrated a lot of big moments and shots, but I think we just got a little too comfortable in the second set, but I have to give credit to Peabody coach Lisa Keene for making the defensive adjustments,” said Lynnfield coach Brent Ashley.

Despite the loss, which snapped the Tanners’ four-game win streak, Keene took away many positives.

“What I saw tonight is such great improvement, both individually and as a team, from those first two tough matches against North Andover and Danvers,” Keene said. “Honestly, what hurt us tonight was we had too many service errors. When you have four, five, six errors in a set, you aren’t going to win that set, and had we cut down those errors we could’ve won those two sets.  Overall, it was a learning experience and I like that the girls played hard and they, not I, were the ones who figured out the adjustments we needed to make after that first set that allowed us to play our defense.”

Lynnfield jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first set on the serve of Mac Schena, then stretched the lead to as many as 14 at 21-7 on an ace by Schena. The teams traded points until Lebruska put the set away with a crosscourt kill from the left side to put the Pioneers on top, 1-0.

The second set was a different story. Neither team could seize any momentum or put any runs together. Lynnfield took its largest lead at 13-9 on an ace by Wilkinson, but Peabody fought back to level the match at 22 all. Trailing 22-19, Ava LaValle (seven kills) sandwiched two kills around an ace by Rachel Coleman (17 assists, three aces) and the Tanners were back in business.The Tanners took their first lead of the night  23-22, on a Lynnfield hitting error then the teams traded winners by Lebruska and Peabody’s Alexa Flewelling (4 kills) to set up match point at 24-23 for the Tanners, but the Pioneers rallied to take the final three points to win the set. The final point was a monster kill from Sam DeGeorge after a perfect set from Melissa Morelli (10 kills, nine assists, six digs).

The Tanners got off to solid start in the final set. Behind Rachel Coleman’s serve, the Tanners ran off the first three points of the match before a serving error closed out the run. Peabody led by as many as five, 12-7, before Lynnfield battled back to tie the match, 14-14. Peabody responded with a 4-1 run, the big shots being an ace by Tatiana Correia (24 digs) and a winner by Martyna Kot (14 digs, four kills) to regain the lead at 18-15 and still led 19-16 before Lynnfield found its rhythm and clawed back to tie the match at 21 all. Lebruska gave Lynnfield its first lead of the set, 22-21 with a kill to set the stage for the final three points.

Ashley singled out the play of Sofia Ciriello, who had 16 digs and and a strong service game with five aces.
Peabody’s next match is at Everett Thursday, while Lynnfield’s back in action Wednesday at Masconomet.

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