EHS volleyball team defeats Saugus, 3-0
The Everett High volleyball team split its first two games of the season, defeating Saugus on the road in the season-opener before dropping a heartbreaking, five- set match against Salem at home on Friday.
In their first contest as a member of the Northeastern Conference, the Lady Crimson Tide traveled to Saugus and swept the Lady Sachems, 3-0, thanks to strong serving from junior Camila Morare and senior Chrystel Fortunat.
After outlasting Saugus to take the first set, 25-21, Everett found themselves down 9-4 in the second set when Morare took over the serve and pulled her team even.
Fortunat followed up with 13 in a row, essentially wrapping up the set, which Everett won, 25-12.
Down 9-5 in set three, Morare and Fortunat again served strong, back-to-back, to establish a 16-10 lead for the Lady Crimson Tide. Senior captain Isabella Lyles had three kills in the set, including the final point of the match, sealing the deal, 25-19.
“It’s always good to get a win, especially the first game,” said head coach Mike Fineran, who is in his 15th season behind the bench. “We graduated 14 seniors last year, so this year’s team is still learning how to play with each other at the varsity level.
“We made some mistakes,” Fineran continued, “but we overcame them against Saugus. However, we couldn’t overcome them against Salem.”
In the home opener Friday, Everett had plenty of chances to win, but too many missed serves and hits that fell out-of-bounds ultimately proved to be the razor-thin difference in the five-set match, 23-25, 25-20, 31-33, 25-18, 14-16.
“Our girls showed a lot of heart. They kept fighting to the bitter end, when a lot of other teams would have packed it in, especially after that marathon third set,” said Fineran. “We were inconsistent with our serves. We had 23 aces, but we missed 28 serves at the worst possible times: game one, tied 23-23; game three, up 24-23, and up 27-26; and game five, up 10-7 and tied 14-14.
“Our chances were there, but we let it slip away,” Fineran added.
However, Fineran noted the many silver linings in the loss, including a dominant front line which tallied 12 kills and five blocks from Lyles, and juniors Stephanie Ariste, Kayla Gomes, and Janeka Vilmont.
“We played together much better as the game went on, and we had the lead most of the way in sets four and five,” said Fineran, whose team built a 9-5 advantage in the deciding set, but had to claw back from three points down to tie it at 14, before dropping the final two points in the match. “We have to learn from it and move on,” Fineran added. “The NEC is a tough conference, and we have two more league matches next week against Winthrop and Swampscott. We have to step it up.”