Belchertown boys volleyball sweeps Chicopee to reach .500

For the Gazette
Published: 4/7/2017 9:33:26 PM

The Belchertown boys volleyball team swept Chicopee 3-0 at home on Friday to get back to .500 on the season.

The Orioles (2-2, 1-2 East) cruised past the Pacers in the first set, winning 14 of the final 17 points to end the set 25-6.

The second set did not go as smoothly for Belchertown. After taking a 16-10 lead, the Pacers won six straight points to force a tie and an Orioles timeout.

Chicopee won the point following the timeout to take its first lead of the night before Belchertown edged the Pacers 25-21 for a two-set lead.

Orioles coach Scott Poulin said it was good to see the team play so well in the first set, but he knew it would set them up for a letdown.

“It was good, but I could see that second set coming when we cruise like that,” Poulin said. “We just played at their level, started making errors all over the place, and we’ve just got to keep playing our game and not let anyone influence it no matter the score.”

Belchertown won the third set 25-10 to cap the sweep.

Drew Duquette led the Orioles, tallying seven of the team’s 15 kills. Poulin praised Duquette’s play as well as his ability to motivate his teammates.

“Drew Duquette is the heart and soul of our team right now,” Poulin said. “He did a good job actually getting everyone to step up when we needed to and we actually started running some plays and putting some balls down, so he did a really good job.”

Poulin also complemented the play of Hichul Chung and Mitchell Bolton filling in for Christopher Lapointe at libero.

“Hichul and Mitchell both did really good filling in for libero,” Poulin said. “Our other libero was out of school today, so they did a good job filling in. It was the first time they had played all season.”

Jacob Woodcock was the Orioles’ top server, securing a team-high six aces. The setter also secured 12 of Belchertown’s 15 assists.

Poulin said getting back to .500 was important.

“We were never able to do it last year. Once we started in a hole we could never dig ourselves out,” Poulin said. “So we’re trying to avoid doing that same thing and stay positive going here on out.”

The Orioles opened the season with a 3-0 win over Ware before falling to East Longmeadow and Athol.

“We underestimated Athol and they took it to us pretty good,” Poulin said. “We needed this to get back rolling and it was good to see everyone make some strides and we took what we did in practice yesterday and actually implemented it today, so that was nice.”

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