Close encounters against GBL’s best for volleyball team

Close only counts in horseshoes, as the saying goes, and that adage applied to the Everett High volleyball team’s hard fought contests against Medford and Cambridge, the top two teams in the GBL, this past week.

“For the most part, we played very well in both matches, but crucial mistakes proved our undoing,” said EHS head coach Mike Fineran.

In the match with Medford last Friday, all three sets were close (25-19, 25-22, 25-22), but serves that went out of play (four each in the second and third sets) gave Medford easy points that made the difference.

On Monday against first place Cambridge, five missed serves in a 25-21 first set and four in a 25-20 second set once again proved fatal to the Crimson Tide’s chances.

“Both Medford and Cambridge are very good teams,”said Fineran, “so you can’t give away points like we did and expect to win.”

Still, Fineran saw a lot of bright spots in his team’s play. “We rallied with them evenly and matched them up front,” said the coach, noting in particular the play of Amanda Souza and Taciane Santos.

Fineran also highlighted the performances of Eni Bashlarri, who served up six aces against Medford, and Jutta Boliver, who made a key contribution with her defensive effort as the “libero” player.

The match with Cambridge also marked the return of Linda Salazar, who has missed the past month with an injury, and who made a positive impact when she was on the floor.

Fineran and his crew took on Pope John yesterday (Tuesday) and then will host Somerville today in the opening round of the GBL Tourney. The winner will face Cambridge tomorrow, and the winner of that will advance to the final round on Friday against the victor of the Medford vs. Malden match.

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