boys volleyball coach Todd Elwell knew his team needed to take Cambridge Rindge and Latin out of its comfort zone to attain victory Wednesday afternoon.
The Lions managed to do just that for the first two sets, but the Falcons found their groove in the third, before Newton South ended the contest in the next set earning the 3-1 triumph. The scores were 25-18, 25-17, 23-25, and 25-23.
“We knew if we gave them too many free balls, they would hit them right back at us,” said Elwell. “So we had to get in a situation in which we attacked a little bit more on serve, take them out of system a little bit. But that’s what made it close the last few. We just didn’t take them out of system enough and they were able to hang around and make it very interesting.”
With three games remaining in the season, the playoff-bound Lions (13-4) are gunning for the third seed in the Div. 1 South tournament. That means they’ll probably have to hit the road after the first round, which doesn’t seem to faze Elwell.
“No matter how we look at it, this year we are going to have to go on the road some place and battle,” he said. “But it’s not a big deal because we spent so much time playing top teams this season. We’re excited to enter that phrase.”
Josh Horenstein, who finished with 18 kills and six blocks, was an instrumental part of the Lions’ game one win. The senior outside hitter had a kill that ignited a 7-1 run that gave Newton South control of the set. And it was another Horenstein kill that sealed the 25-18 victory for the Lions.
In the second game, Newton South raced out to an 8-1 advantage before Cambridge fought back to close the deficit to 10-7. Every time the Lions increased their lead, the Falcons were there to erode the advantage. But with the score 18-17, Newton South reeled off a 7-0 run that ended on a Brook Remy kill.
A shutout was within the Lions grasp in game three as they led 23-21, but two consecutive errors allowed the Falcons life. And Cambridge took full advantage as a Robbie Buderi block followed by a Jalen Penrose kill earned the Falcons the 25-23 win.
History appeared to repeat itself in game four as the Lions once again led 23-21. The Falcons were able to tally two points before Horestein nailed one more game-winning kill.
The Lions will look to continue their winning ways as they travel to take on Latin Academy today at 4 p.m.