Division 2 girls volleyball: Longmeadow edges Amherst Regional in semifinal rubber match

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  • Nicole Lambert, right, of Amherst Regional, celebrates a point against Longmeadow with teammate Delaney Macphetres during the Western Massachusetts Division 2 semifinal, Thursday, Nov. 8, 2019 at Chicopee Comp. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Amherst Regional coach Kacey Schmitt talks to her team during the Western Massachusetts Division 2 semifinal, Thursday, Nov. 8, 2019 at Chicopee Comp. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Delaney Macphetres, center right, of Amherst Regional, spikes against Haleigh Cole, of Longmeadow, during the Western Massachusetts Division 2 semifinal, Thursday, Nov. 8, 2019 at Chicopee Comp. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Mayouri Yath, right, of Amherst Regional, spikes against Bridgette McAndrews, of Longmeadow, during the Western Massachusetts Division 2 semifinal, Thursday, Nov. 8, 2019 at Chicopee Comp. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Olivia Hogans, of Amherst Regional, hits against Longmeadow during the Western Massachusetts Division 2 semifinal, Thursday, Nov. 8, 2019 at Chicopee Comp. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Skye Nolan, center, of Amherst Regional, digs the ball between teammates Nicole Lambert, left, and Olivia Hogans during the Western Massachusetts Division 2 semifinal, Thursday, Nov. 8, 2019 at Chicopee Comp. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Olivia Hogans, right, of Amherst Regional, digs a serve from Longmeadow as Jordan Machowski backs her up during the Western Massachusetts Division 2 semifinal, Thursday, Nov. 8, 2019 at Chicopee Comp. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Amherst Regional players Jordan Machowski, left, and Amelia Beigel prepare to dig the ball during the Western Massachusetts Division 2 semifinal against Longmeadow, Thursday, Nov. 8, 2019 at Chicopee Comp.

  • Amherst Regional players Nicole Lambert, from left, Skye Nolan, Olivia Hogans, Amelia Beigel and Erin Klaes celebrate after winning their only set against Longmeadow during the Western Massachusetts Division 2 semifinal, Thursday, Nov. 8, 2019 at Chicopee Comp. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Olivia Hogans, left, of Amherst Regional, attempts to block a spike by Leah Gorfinkel, of Longmeadow, during the Western Massachusetts Division 2 semifinal, Thursday, Nov. 8, 2019 at Chicopee Comp. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Jordan Machowski, left, of Amherst Regional, digs the ball as Olivia Hogans looks on during the Western Massachusetts Division 2 semifinal against Longmeadow, Thursday, Nov. 8, 2019 at Chicopee Comp. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Olivia Hogans, right, of Amherst Regional, spikes against Haleigh Cole, of Longmeadow, during the Western Massachusetts Division 2 semifinal, Thursday, Nov. 8, 2019 at Chicopee Comp. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Nicole Lambert, right, of Amherst Regional, spikes against Longmeadow during the Western Massachusetts Division 2 semifinal, Thursday, Nov. 8, 2019 at Chicopee Comp. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Amherst Regional defenders Amelia Beigel, left, and Erin Klaes eye a spike by Longmeadow during the Western Massachusetts Division 2 semifinal, Thursday, Nov. 8, 2019 at Chicopee Comp. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Olivia Hogans, right, of Amherst Regional, hits against Haleigh Cole, of Longmeadow, during the Western Massachusetts Division 2 semifinal, Thursday, Nov. 8, 2019 at Chicopee Comp. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Delaney Macphetres, of Amherst Regional, blocks a spike by Longmeadow during the Western Massachusetts Division 2 semifinal, Thursday, Nov. 8, 2019 at Chicopee Comp. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Nicole Lambert, right, of Amherst Regional, hits against Longmeadow during the Western Massachusetts Division 2 semifinal, Thursday, Nov. 8, 2019 at Chicopee Comp. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Olivia Hogans, right, of Amherst Regional, tips the ball over against Bridgette McAndrews, of Longmeadow, during the Western Massachusetts Division 2 semifinal, Thursday, Nov. 8, 2019 at Chicopee Comp. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Amherst Regional players Jordan Machowski, from left, Olivia Hogans, Delaney Macphetres, Amelia Beigel and Mayouri Yath leave the court after their 3-1 loss to Longmeadow in the Western Massachusetts Division 2 semifinal, Thursday, Nov. 8, 2019 at Chicopee Comp. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Erin Klaes, top, of Amherst Regional, hits against Lillian Swanson, of Longmeadow, during the Western Massachusetts Division 2 semifinal, Thursday, Nov. 8, 2019 at Chicopee Comp. Amelia Beigel looks on. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Amelia Beigel, of Amherst Regional, sets the ball during the Western Massachusetts Division 2 semifinal against Longmeadow, Thursday, Nov. 8, 2019 at Chicopee Comp. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Nicole Lambert, top right, of Amherst Regional, hits against Longmeadow during the Western Massachusetts Division 2 semifinal, Thursday, Nov. 8, 2019 at Chicopee Comp. Amherst players Erin Klaes, left, and Olivia Hogans look on. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

Staff Writer
Published: 11/7/2019 10:50:19 PM
Modified: 11/7/2019 10:50:08 PM

CHICOPEE — Amherst Regional and Longmeadow stared each other eye to eye for four sets. Someone eventually had to blink.

The Lancers prevailed 3-1, beating the Hurricanes in the Western Massachusetts Division 2 Girls Volleyball Tournament semifinals at Chicopee Comp. They split two regular season meetings in the Eastern League, and little separated them Thursday.

“It was tooth and nail all the way through,” Amherst coach Kacey Schmitt said.

The third-seeded Hurricanes (15-5) had two set points in Set 1, but double contract violations tied it at 25 and 26. Amherst had two attack errors to push No. 2 Longmeadow (15-5) to a 28-26 win.

“Sometimes when it’s a close match it’s only human for us to get nervous or start trying to play it safe when we should be swinging hard,” Amherst junior setter Amelia Beigel said.

Amherst built a 5-0 lead to start the second set behind four Nicole Lambert aces and held the Lancers at arm’s length until the Hurricanes prevailed 25-21. Olivia Hogans (nine kills) ended the set with a spike from the left side.

Longmeadow forced Amherst to play catch-up in the third. The Lancers took a 12-3 lead, but the Hurricanes battled to tie the set at 15 on a kill by Hogans. Longmeadow eventually gained set point at 24-20 on a Bridgette McAndrews kills. She finished with 13.

“She is tough to stop. They set her way off the antenna and it’s really hard for our blockers to stop her,” Schmitt said. “She did what good hitters do.”

The Hurricanes didn’t fold. Two Longmeadow attack errors and a Beigel dump kill made it 24-23. Hogans served those points and stepped to the line again with a chance to send the set to deuce and force either team to win by two. She missed the serve, and Longmeadow won 25-23.

The Lancers put her in a similar position in the fourth set. Longmeadow held a 24-19 lead on match point. Mayouri Yath picked up a kill to get the serve back for Amherst. Hogans committed a service error, and Longmeadow won the set and match. The Lancers will face top-seeded Minnechaug (20-0) for the championship at noon Saturday at West Springfield.

“Being at the service line for game point for the other team is a big challenge. Freshman and sophomore year I struggled because I was really nervous,” Hogans said. “Once I grew into a junior and senior I learned to tell myself that everyone can miss a serve and should try my hardest to get it in and if I don’t it’s not a big deal. It’s not like it’s the end of the world.”

Amherst had 13 service errors in the match.

“Our Achilles’ heel all year has been service errors,” Schmitt said. “In general we served pretty well, we had a little bit of a tough time in certain points giving up too many opportunities.”

Lambert led the Hurricanes with 11 kills and added 15 digs. Jordan Machowski picked up 30 digs.

“We dug up balls and scrambled and worked hard on every single play and that’s all I can ask,” Schmitt said.

Beigel (16 digs) organized the offense and distributed 37 assists, including the 1,000th of her career. She entered the match needing nine.

Amherst will graduate four seniors but bring back large parts of its rotation, including Beigel.

“I think we’re going to keep on going and keep getting and better,” she said.

Kyle Grabowski can be reached at kgrabowski@gazettenet.com. Follow him on Twitter @kylegrbwsk.



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