Streaking Frontier sweeps Ware, 3-0
SOUTH DEERFIELD — Make that 26 straight.
Frontier Regional School was never seriously threatened at any juncture and won its 26th consecutive Western Massachusetts Division III Girls’ Volleyball Tournament match with a 25-13, 25-11, 25-17 victory over Ware High School on Monday night at Goodnow Gymnasium.
The top-seeded Red Hawks (16-4), who will host No. 5 seed Lee High School in Wednesday’s semifinal, used solid passing and a superb serving performance to roll to an easy victory in just 54 minutes. They served for 22 aces as a team, and some serves that didn’t go for aces weren’t easily returned.
“I thought we passed well and served very well,” said Frontier head coach Sean MacDonald. “I thought they had a tough time with our serve, and we passed better than we had in the past few games. If you’re going to win a match, you have to serve and pass, and we did those two things well.”
After the Indians scored the match’s first point, Frontier took control and jumped out to an 11-4 lead behind the setting and serving of Emily Woodward (26 assists, six aces, four digs) and the tough front-line play of Sarah Woodward (15 kills, five digs) and Cassidy Ciesluk (nine kills, four aces, five digs). Ciesluk and Emily Woodward both had a pair of aces in that run.
Ware (19-3) could not gain any traction after the stat, never recording more than three straight points, and could only get as close as six (15-9) before Frontier pulled away with two more aces from Ciesluk. Then Woodward finished the set with four straight service points, including three aces.
Ware was scrappy in the second set, actually holding two leads early, behind the serving of Meg Adams. Frontier tied it at 5-5, then methodically built the lead before Sarah Conlisk stepped to the service line and fired home six consecutive aces to blow the set open, 19-6. Ciesluk finished off the set with a blast off a nice pass from Kimmi Logan.
From the midpoint of the second set, MacDonald substituted liberally and continued that trend in the third set, as the Red Hawks built an 8-3 lead.
The Indians rallied to tie it 10-10, but a bad serve put Frontier back ahead to stay. The Hawks rode the momentum to a 20-13 lead before Ware made one last push and got within four, 21-17. But Frontier regained the serve and Haley Dacyczyn (four aces, four digs) closed out the match with three straight aces.
MacDonald stressed the importance of keeping the team focused, regardless of the opponent.
“For us, we just need to control the things we can control,” he said. “If we serve and we pass well, we’ll be good against most teams.”