Progressing through the season, the KO varsity volleyball team has hit their stride with a seven-match winning streak following a tough start.
Their streak began with a match at Wilbraham and Monson on Saturday, Sept. 25, where the team toppled the Titans in three sets (25-11, 25-3, 25-10) for their first win of the season. The Wyverns started strong, leading from the beginning of each set, and carried that momentum through for a decisive win.
The Wyverns remained on the road, traveling a mere two days later to Westover on Monday, Sept. 27, where they delivered a win once again in three sets (25-11, 25-19, 25-12). With strong offense, the team displayed versatility and consistency. Junior Co-captain Keira Sullivan and senior Lindsey Bailey drove the offense forward with kills, while strong setting from senior Co-captain Mackenzie Caruso and junior Jillian Plaut and powerful service from sophomore Ava Cashman helped seal the team’s victory.
Continuing their away streak, the red and black traveled to Ethel Walker on Wednesday, Sept. 29, hoping to raise their victory count to three. Accurate serving from sophomore Allie Arcaro secured KO’s lead in the first set, and the Wyverns never let it go, despite Walker’s efforts, winning in three sets (25-12, 25-17, 25-6).
The Wyverns returned home on Saturday, Oct. 2, to face a challenging and skilled Suffield team. In their closest match yet, the Wyverns downed the Tigers in 5 sets, winning 3-2. KO took the first two tough, nail-biting sets in 26-24 and 25-22 before falling in the next two sets 23-35 and 15-25. Coming down to the fifth and final set, the Wyverns rallied and took down the Tigers 15-6 to secure a tough and well-fought victory. Throughout the match, strong setting from Plaut and Caruso allowed for optimal hitting from Sullivan, Cashman and junior Quin Kearney to keep the Wyverns in the match, with a show-stopping block from Bailey ultimately sealing the deal in the final set.
Riding their momentum following their victory over the Tigers, the Wyverns carried their victorious streak to five on the road against Marianapolis on Wednesday, Oct. 6 in a decisive three sets (25-7, 25-17, 25-18). While Marianapolis had strong responses to the Wyverns’ offense, particularly in the second and third sets, the Wyverns adjusted and responded accordingly both defensively and offensively.
“We’ve improved a lot as the season has gone on,” Head Coach Scott McDonald said. “There were some things that we needed to work on early on that we’ve really addressed in terms of covering the court, playing defense and our blocking has gotten better.” This improvement is evident, in both the team’s record and their play on the court as they continue to advance their wins and their skill.
This team’s success didn’t stop after their victory against Marianapolis. Rather, the team notched two more victories against Williston Northampton at home on Wednesday, Oct. 13 and against Pomfret on Saturday, Oct. 16.
Against Williston Northampton, the team worked to a victory in four sets, winning 3-1 (22-25, 25-13, 25-17, 25-20). After falling 22-25 to the Wildcats towards the end of the first set, the Wyverns adapted to win the next three sets, bringing them to the victory and a six-match winning streak. Short attacks and shallow serving proved to be the biggest challenge to the Wyverns in the first set, but the team was able to come out strong in the second set, with exceptional serving from Caruso and powerful offense by Plaut, Sullivan and senior Naomi Wong.
Along with many other KO teams, volleyball traveled to Pomfret the following Saturday, hoping to add to their list of victories. In a strong showing, the Wyverns beat the Griffins 3-0 (25-14, 25-23, 25-9). Strong services by Sullivan proved the difference in the second set, while strong hitting from Kearney and sophomore Avi Lohr helped the Wyverns to a definitive lead in the third set. Cheers from the match could be heard across the Pomfret campus as the Wyverns brought the match to a close and their winning streak to an impressive seven matches.
Unfortunately, the team’s streak came to an end on Wednesday, October 30, when they suffered a tough loss to Worcester in 4 sets (1-3)
In what the team hopes is a start to a new streak, the team faced Kent School on Hewett Day, the team put on a strong showing, defeating them in 3 sets.
“We’re full steam ahead, eagerly awaiting each new match and gearing up for our dig pink match,” Coach McDonald said.
The Dig Pink match is traditional for the team, raising awareness for Breast Cancer. This year, the match falls on Wednesday, November 3 against Loomis Chaffee. The time has been moved to a 6 p.m. match, in hopes of allowing more people to come to support the team and the cause.
Prior to the Dig Pink match, the team faces Suffield Academy again on Wednesday, October 27 , on the road this time, in what is sure to be a tough and exciting rematch. The team then faces Miss Porter’s School on Saturday, October 30 before returning home for the highly-anticipated Dig Pink Match.