WMass girls volleyball: Frontier earns No. 1 seed in Division 3; Amherst No. 2 in D2

  • Ashley Telega, right, and Ella Deane will help lead No. 1 Frontier Regional in the Western Massachusetts Division 3 Girls Volleyball Tournament. GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Natalie Elliott and the No. 2 Amherst Regional girls volleyball team will look to defend their Western Massachusetts Division 2 Tournament championship. GAZETTE STAFF/SARAH CROSBY

Published: 10/31/2017 10:05:47 PM

The Frontier Regional girls volleyball team ended its regular season with a five-set loss to Lee on Monday.

A day later, the Red Hawks earned a No. 1 seed in the Western Massachusetts Division 3 Tournament.

Lee (17-1) is the No. 2 seed in the bracket, which was announced at Agawam High School Wednesday.

“We hope to see them again,” Frontier coach Sean MacDonald said.

Frontier (12-6) has a gleaming history in tournament play, with 17 Western Massachusetts and eight state championships. It’s won the last 12 sectional titles.

Last season, a streak of six straight state titles ended with a loss 3-0 to Case in the championship.

“This year we would like to get back and win,” MacDonald said. “But we have a lot of teams in our way.”

The Red Hawks will begin tournament play Monday, facing the winner of No. 8 Mahar (14-6) and No. 9 Mount Greylock (10-9).

The Red Hawks will look to the their senior core of Ella Dean, Grace Randall, Bri Thurber and Selayna Bathhurst to show the underclassmen how to win in the postseason.

“Those seniors had to grow up fast last year,” MacDonald said. “They are more mature and not hesitant to say something.”

Elsewhere in Division 3, Easthampton returns to the playoffs for the first time since 2014.

The No. 5 Eagles (13-3) shared a Southern League title with South Hadley during the regular season.

Easthampton (13-3) will host No. 12 Athol (10-10) at 6:30 p.m. Friday.

No. 6 South Hadley (14-4) also earned a home match, playing No. 11 Mohawk (9-9) at 6:30 p.m. Friday.

Division 2

Amherst Regional is set to defend its Western Mass. title as a No. 2 seed.

The Hurricanes (14-4) have a bye and will host a quarterfinal at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. They will play the winner of Friday’s 6:30 p.m. match between No. 7 Commerce (17-3) and No. 8 Belchertown (10-10) in Springfield.

Claire Basler-Chang and Teya Nolan bring a wealth of playoff experience to the Hurricanes. They are the only returning starters from last year’s team.

The Hurricanes dealt with some health and injury issues during the season, but everything has come together.

Amherst ended its season on a four-game winning streak, beating Frontier and No. 1 Longmeadow along the way.

We were happy to get the two seed,” Amherst coach Kacey Schmitt. “We are peaking at the right time. We are in a good place to be with home games in the playoffs.”


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