Snapped: BG ends North’s long regular season win streak
NASHUA – They’ve been looking for that signature girls volleyball win, the victory that confirms they’re own thinking that they can play with the best of them.
On Monday night, it was mission accomplished for the Bishop Guertin Cardinals. Over a city rival no less.
Guertin snapped Nashua North’s 16 regular season match winning streak that dated back to last year with a 3-1 victory in the Colligadome. The Cards took the first two sets 25-21 and 25-17, lost the third 10-25, but held off North in the fourth set, 25-21, to get the win and avoid a winner-take all fifth set.
“Really big,” Cards senior Meghan Stack said, her team now 6-3 in Division I. “I think that’s (a signature win) been our goal throughout the season. We had a really hard beginning of the season, when we played the best teams in the state.
“We came into this game starting fresh. … and (thinking) ‘You know what, I think we can beat them, I think we can play together.’
“They’ve been hot,” Guertin coach Kyle Clement said of the Titans, who were 8-0 coming in. “I’m really proud of my girls, they came out really well. I think the big thing for us is knowing we belong out there with some of the top teams in the state, with us being so young.
“We’re getting there. We’re getting to the maturity level that we need.”
The Cardinals set a tone twice in the opening set, jumping out to a 5-1 lead. They then gave up eight straight points, but pulled away after taking a 21-19 lead on a couple of big Larisa Comoli points. BG snapped a 9-9 tie in set two with nine straight points to go on to win, but the Titans blew them away in the third set, jumping out to a 16-5 lead.
Guertin, however, responded by jumping out to a 6-1 lead that grew to 15-7 in the fourth, and pulled away after the Titans got to within 15-14 and 22-20. Unforced errors did North in down the stretch, despite the effort of senior leader Alyssa Stanton, who had a whopping 22 kills, 13 digs, eight aces and was honored during the match for recording her 150th service ace.
“BG is a great team, they always challenge it and make us play our best,” Stanton said. “I think they maybe wanted it a little more than we did. But we left our hearts on that court and that’s all you can ask for in a game. … It stunk (to lose the streak) but we’re going to get right back at it.”
Kelechie Okorie and Taylor Joyal each had eight kills also for the Titans.
Comolli had 13 kills and two blocks to lead the Cards, while Brooke Partridge had 22 assists and two aces, and Veronica Gomez added 15 digs. But a big key was the serving of Akira Sopheap-Coravos, who had 10 aces to go with her three kills.
“At the beginning of the season, that match might’ve gotten away from us,” Clement said. “The maturity level just keeps going up every match. And (North) played a great game, too.
“It got ugly that third set. I said ‘Hey, we have the option right now to decide our fate. What are we going to do right now?’ They woke up and started to play some volleyball.
“They’re (North) undefeated. This was a huge win.”