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South Hadley girls volleyball sweeps Belchertown for share of Southern League title

  • Madelynne Mathers, of South Hadley, sets the ball during a game against Belchertown, Monday in South Hadley. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Kiana Turner, of South Hadley, digs the ball during a game against Belchertown, Monday in South Hadley. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Jaiden Plamondon, of South Hadley, shoots against Belchertown, Monday in South Hadley. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Quinn Roche, of Belchertown, digs the ball during a game against South Hadley, Monday in South Hadley. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Madison Mallalieu, of Belchertown, digs the ball during a game against South Hadley, Monday in South Hadley. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Nicole Niemiec, of South Hadley, sets the ball during a game against Belchertown, Monday in South Hadley. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Kiana Turner, of South Hadley, shoots against Belchertown, Monday in South Hadley. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • The South Hadley team celebrates after winning three straight games against Belchertown, Monday in South Hadley. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • South Hadley coach Corey Koske talks to his team during a game against Belchertown, Monday in South Hadley. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Kiana Turner, right, of South Hadley, shoots against Madison Sefton, of Belchertown, Monday in South Hadley. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Cassidy Genereux, of Belchertown, sets the ball during a game against South Hadley, Monday in South Hadley. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Kiana Turner, center, of South Hadley, shoots against Belchertown defenders Marissa Courchesne, left, and Eliza Smith, Monday in South Hadley. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Cassidy Genereux, of Belchertown, digs the ball during a game against South Hadley, Monday in South Hadley. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Kayla Simon, left, of South Hadley, defends a shot from Marissa Courchesne, of Belchertown, Monday in South Hadley. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Kayla Simon, left, of South Hadley, shoots against Marissa Courchesne, of Belchertown, Monday in South Hadley. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Jaiden Plamondon, right, of South Hadley, defends a shot from Quinn Roche, of Belchertown, Monday in South Hadley. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS



For the Gazette
Monday, October 30, 2017

SOUTH HADLEY — The South Hadley girls volleyball team celebrated a share of the Southern League championship after defeating Belchertown in straight sets Monday.

The Tigers won 25-16, 25-23, 25-17 and capped it off with their first league title since 2010.

South Hadley (14-4, 7-1) showed its dominance about midway through the first set when the Tigers went on an 8-1 run on the final nine serves. Kaylyn Labrecque served the final four points of the set, earning two kills and one ace. Labrecque finished the game with 10 digs, five kills and two aces.

“I just wanted to have the best game we’ve had all season and have fun because it’s our last regular season game,” Labrecque said.

The second set was a back-and-forth battle, but with Nicole Niemiec serving the Tigers took an 18-12.

The Orioles (10-10, 4-4) battled back, winning six straight points to even the score at 19.

With South Hadley up 24-23, Kayla Simon blocked a Belchertown spike that ricocheted back over the net to win the set. Simon had five kills and three aces.

The final set was the toughest for the Tigers. Down 12-6, South Hadley rallied to tie the set at 16 after a Kiana Turner play that required her to run toward the bench and direct the ball just to the right of out of bounds. With momentum on their side, the Tigers allowed one point the rest of the way to win.

Turner had six kills in the third set alone. She finished the game with 13 kills, 11 aces and 11 digs.

Last season, the Tigers qualified for the Western Massachusetts Division 2 playoffs but were eliminated in the first round by Lenox. This season they are hoping to go much further.

“There are six girls on the court at all times, and they have to do their job to make it happen,” Tigers coach Corey Koske said. “We want to use the emotion to keep the momentum going and look for our first playoff win in a long time.”

This was the last home game of the regular season for South Hadley seniors Labrecque, Niemiec, Turner, Natalie Patruno, Sophia Papulis and Jaiden Plamondon.

Marissa Courchesne had three kills, while Juliana Tronsky and Cassidy Genereux (four assists) each had three aces for Belchertown.