The Everett High volleyball team earned its first win of the season with a 3-0 victory over GBL rival Medford Monday.
"We played together as a team for the entire game,” said veteran EHS head coach Michael Fineran. “The girls worked hard for every point and showed a high degree of mental toughness when they needed it.”
Although the final score showed the Lady Crimson Tide winning by a shutout, all three sets were close, with Everett prevailing by tight scores of 25-22, 25-23, and 26-24.
The teams were tied at 22-22 in the opening set, but EHS junior Wellen Maforte served out the set, including two aces, to give her team the triumph. In the second set, the Lady Crimson Tide found themselves down 23-21, but Bersa Shkreta stepped up to serve out the final four point for the win.
In the third and deciding set, senior captain Taciane Santos refused to yield Medford crucial points as she made a couple of diving saves to keep the ball alive. “Taciane really set the tone for us down the stretch of the final set and gave us the energy to keep Medford from getting back into the match,” said Fineran.
Among the Lady Crimson Tide who shone in the victory were Shkreta with 11 service points and four aces; Santos with 12 service points, three aces, two blocks, and three kills; Wellen Maforte with eight service points, three aces, and a block; and junior captain Amanda DeSouza with six kills and three blocks.
Fineran also cited the effort of junior Suellen Maforte, who started her first varsity match and came through with some service aces and a fine overall performance.
“Medford was the only GBL team we did not beat last season,” added Fineran, “so defeating them was very sweet.”
The Lady Crimson Tide opened their season with a pair of non league encounters against cross town rival Pope John and Lowell. Although Everett came out on the short end of 3-0 decisions in both contests, Fineran said the matches proved excellent preparation for the coming season.
“We made the sorts of early season mistakes that hopefully will be eliminated as we practice and play more,” said the coach. “However, there were a number of positives that came out of both of those matches that should bode well for the year ahead.”
Both matches were hard fought through all three sets. The encounter with PJ saw scores of 25-21, 25-18, and 25-22, and were close right up to the end. The set scores in the Lowell match were 25-22, 25-18, and 25-22 and similarly saw both teams engage in a nip and tuck affair.
“Last year we lost to Lowell by a fairly wide margin, but this year we battled them all the way,” said Fineran. “If we had played a bit better together as a team and had not had six missed serves in the second set, it might have been a different outcome.”
Santos and DeSouza led the way against Lowell in the power hitting department with four kills each, while Wellen Maforte, junior Courtney Cowan, and Shkreta all served up multiple aces on the day.
In the season opener against Pope John, service errors also proved costly, as Everett showed some opening game rust with 16 missed serves, nine of which came in the opening set. Santos and DeSouza turned in strong performances up front with five kills each, while Wellen Maforte came through with five service points, of which three were aces.
“We have 12 solid players, of whom eight are seniors,” said Fineran. “If we continue to work hard and play together as a team, we should have a successful season.”
The volleyball squad will host Malden on Friday and then play at Cambridge on Monday.