South Hadley sweeps Mahar in WMass girls volleyball first round

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  • Julia Pratt, of South Hadley, digs the ball against Mahar, Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019 at South Hadley High School. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Kayla Simon, right, of South Hadley, blocks a hit by Saylor Kegans, of Mahar, Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019 at South Hadley High School. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • The South Hadley team celebrates a point against Mahar, Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019 at South Hadley High School. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • South Hadley coach Cory Koske talks to his team during their win against Mahar, Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019 at South Hadley High School. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Julia Pratt, right, of South Hadley, spikes against Mahar, Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019 at South Hadley High School. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Erika Anderson, left, of South Hadley, hits against Ava Liberty, of Mahar, Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019 at South Hadley High School. Julia Pratt looks on. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Jamie Chapdelaine, of South Hadley, digs the ball against Mahar, Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019 at South Hadley High School. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Taylor Jackson, of South Hadley, digs the ball against Mahar, Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019 at South Hadley High School. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Mahar players Quincey Drew, front left, and Ava Liberty can't handle a South Hadley hit, Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019 at South Hadley High School. South Hadley players Jayna Schaarschmidt, top, and Taylor Jackson look on. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Madison Harrington, of Mahar, digs the ball against South Hadley, Thursday, Oct. 31, 2019 at South Hadley High School. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

Staff Writer
Published: 10/31/2019 10:17:20 PM
Modified: 10/31/2019 10:17:07 PM

SOUTH HADLEY — The South Hadley girls volleyball team advanced to the quarterfinals of the Western Massachusetts Division 3 Tournament with a 3-0 sweep of Mahar Regional on Thursday night.

The No. 8 Tigers topped the No. 9 Senators 25-17, 28-26, 25-22.

The victory sends South Hadley (13-6) to Berkshire County where it will face top-seeded Lee (16-2) at 6:30 p.m. on Monday.

The Tigers fell to the Wildcats last season in the quarterfinals.

“I know they are strong every year,” South Hadley coach Corey Koske said. “So we are going up hungry and ready to rock. Communication and passing are the key to beating them.”

The Tigers held off two Mahar comeback attempts in the second and third sets when leads dissipated. After timeouts, South Hadley settled in and got the points it needed to close out the sets.

“I think our passing was key,” Koske said. “We had a great day passing. Hitting the ball to the setter and setting up offense and not giving the other team free balls to spike the ball back at us.”

Kayla Simon had seven kills, mostly at clutch times for South Hadley.

“Lee is a very good team,” Simon said. “I think we are going to work very hard Friday through Sunday at practice and just try to do our very best and hopefully win.”

Simon’s big kill set up the Tigers with a 19-13 lead in the second set before the Mahar comeback.

“We played pretty well,” Simon said. “Just needed a little more talking.”

The Senators battled all the way back to even at 26-26 but South Hadley scored two straight to take the set.

“I think the momentum would have shifted a little bit,” Mahar coach Sarah Woodward said of the second set.

Jamie Chapdelaine and Kate Walas led the defensive effort for the Tigers with 11 digs and 10 digs, respectively.

Chapdelaine did some hitting as well with four kills. Haley Lempke added another four kills for South Hadley.

Taylor Jackson had four assists.

Madison Harrington sprawled all over the floor for the Senators and had 11 assists with two aces.

Quincey Drew led Mahar with eight kills and added six aces with three digs.

Errors were a problem for Mahar.

“We made way too many errors,” Woodward said. “Way too many service errors. Can’t win anything with that many errors. Offensive errors, hitting errors. We can play better than this.”

The young Senators will look to the future now without a senior on the roster.

“We can get better,” Woodward said. “Next year we will come back stronger and better. I’ve got a lot of kids that have never played in a playoff match. This is their first time being here.

Erica Anderson’s kill gave the Tigers an 8-7 lead in the first set. Then Julia Pratt’s service stretched the lead to 13-7.

The lead moved to 19-11 before Mahar closed the gap with a four-point run with Deanna Smith on the end line.

The Tigers then closed out the set with a Walas kill giving South Hadley a 24-17 lead before a hitting error by Mahar closed it out.

After an even start to the second set, an emphatic kill by Walas put South Hadley ahead 14-10.

South Hadley jumped out to a 13-6 lead in the third set. Mahar eventually pulled even at 22-22.




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