Sports

Swampscott volleyball takes down English

Swampscott's Cassidy Ryan helped lead the Big Blue to Tuesday's win. (Spenser R. Hasak)

SWAMPSCOTT — It may have taken some time for things to gel this season, but the Swampscott volleyball team was finally able to put everything together Tuesday evening in a 3-0 win over English in a Northeastern Conference matchup.

“I was very impressed with how the girls played out there,” said Swampscott coach Emily Hollingsworth. “It’s been building for awhile now, but they really came out and put everything together to get this win. It took a little bit longer than I had hoped, but things are coming together nicely now.”

The Big Blue got solid performances from Cassidy Ryan, Annika Laudemann and Isabel Potts in the win. Hollingsworth noted that it was a great combination of energy and execution that made the difference for Swampscott in the win.

“The key for us was just never getting comfortable and being ready for anything, because you never know when the momentum is going to shift,” Hollingsworth said. “The girls did a great job of staying focused and they were able to make plays from start to finish.”

On the other side, English got great outputs from Merily Folestal, Angel Batista and Julissa Romero in the loss.

“The first two sets for us were really great and I really liked how we played,” said English coach Mike Haddad. “I really don’t think the score shows how close every point was. I thought both teams played really high-quality volleyball and it was a very impressive game.”

The match started off as a true back-and-forth battle. The NEC foes battled to a 3-3 tie early, then continued scrapping to 7-7 and 8-8 ties. But things turned once Swampscott earned the point that gave it a 9-8 lead, as the Big Blue were able to string together some great volleys to eventually stretch the lead to 18-12. English made a small rally at the end of the set, but a service point from Ryan ended the set with a 25-18 Swampscott win.

The second set is where the Big Blue started to gain some footing. Swampscott took an early 5-0 lead to grab momentum, but English fought right back to make it 6-4. The Bulldogs were able to pull as close as 11-10, but then Swampscott turned on the jets. The Big Blue went off for 12 straight points before English could register a score, and after a kill from Potts Swampscott ran away with the second set, 25-12.

The Big Blue took that momentum right into the third set. Swampscott grabbed another 5-0 lead out of the gate to put the pressure on English, then the Big Blue stretched that lead to as high as 14-6 before the Bulldogs called a timeout to regroup. It was too little, too late however, as Swampscott was able to coast through the rest of the set. After a service point for Laudemann ended the set at 25-7, the Big Blue took the match.

Haddad knows that there are plenty of positives to build on from Tuesday’s match, and he’ll look to emphasize those positives in practice. Next up for English (2-7) is a home game against Salem Thursday (5:30).

“We have to have a talk about that third set, because I really saw our energy leave us there, but overall there were a lot of positives to take away,” Haddad said. “We’ve really been playing strong volleyball over our past few games and we’re trending upward, but we’re going to have to keep working out there.”

Swampscott (4-6) is back in action Thursday (5:30) against Marblehead. The Big Blue dropped their season opener to the Magicians, but Hollingsworth knows it’s a different ballgame this time around.

“We were a much, much different team back then,” said Hollingsworth. “So really, we’re just trying to take what we’ve been doing over the past few games and bring that kind of energy to the Marblehead game. It’ll be exciting to see how we stack up this time around.”

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