King Philip Knocks Off Quincy In Five Set Thriller

King Philip volleyball Catherine Waldeck
King Philip’s Catherine Waldeck swings at a ball in the opening set against Quincy on Wednesday. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
QUINCY, Mass. – An early deficit, the momentum against them, and their backs against the wall with the season on the line.

Those were just some of the obstacles the King Philip volleyball had to overcome on Wednesday evening on the road at Quincy.

King Philip fell behind 1-0, saw momentum swing to the hosts when the Presidents erased a 2-1 deficit to force a decisive fifth set, and then rallied when Quincy was just two points from a victory.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Trailing 13-12 in the final set, the Warriors won three straight points when senior Kiley Sullivan dumped a second ball to an open space in the Quincy back row, junior Lily Carlow dropped in an ace into the center of the court, and senior Kristen Masse drilled a line shot for a kill that clinched a 3-2 (21-25, 25-14, 25-14, 18-25, 15-13) win for #2 King Philip over #3 Quincy.

“They’ve worked so hard all season, day in and day out,” said King Philip head coach Kristen Geuss. “We’ve had some close games along the way. This game could have gone either way, it really could have. I think that game three gave us a lot of confidence. I know we lost game four but they knew they could it. And they fight to the end, and that’s impressive. Regardless of the outcome tonight, I couldn’t ask for anything more, they’ve been working hard.”

The fifth set was a rollercoaster symbolic of how the entire match went. Quincy jumped ahead with a quick 4-1 lead but the Warriors battled back with a 7-3 run that included a big block from Catherine Waldeck (21 kills, five blocks), aces from Emma Brooks (13 digs, three kills) and Masse (eight kills, four digs), and a double block from Nicole Coughlan (11 kills, three aces, two blocks) and Giovanna Fruci.

After switching sides, the Warriors twice took multi-point leads but Quincy wouldn’t go away. Waldeck had a big block and a kill to take an 11-8 lead but back-to-back points from the President made it a one-point game again.

Waldeck rose up and slammed a free ball down after a good defensive play from the Presidents for a 12-10 advantage but Quincy grabbed momentum back after a service error and a kill, tying it at 12-12.

After a timeout from Geuss, Quincy got a kind roll on a swing that just made it over the net and fell to the floor for a 13-12 lead, forcing Geuss into another timeout.

“I just told them, ‘we can do this.’” Geuss said of the message in the timeout. “We talked about how no ball touches the floor, we had been there before and we can do it again. We struggled with our serves at times so we needed to get our serves over and in. And we did it.”

An errant pass on a serve receive pulled Sullivan out of position but she alertly pushed the second touch deep into Quincy’s side, and with the defense pulled in, the ball fell to the floor to make it 13-13.

Carlow followed up but delivering a dipping ace right over the net and between the front and back rows to put KP on the verge of the win. After handling a Quincy swing, Sullivan set Masse up and she placed a perfect shot down the line for the win.

“We’re deep,” Geuss said of having so many players make plays down the stretch. “We work on these situations in practice and we talk about how not everything needs to be a kill. You look for the open spots, play smart. Sometimes it’s better to play smarter than to play harder.”

The opening set went back-and-forth with each team trying to feel the other out. The teams were tied six times over the first 22 points. King Philip had its largest lead behind a block from Waldeck, and then a double block from Waldeck and Ali McNamara to go up 17-12.

But Quincy fed off the energy of home court advantage and rallied with a 7-2 to knot the game at 19-19. KP won the next two points on back-to-back kills from Sullivan and Masse but Quincy won the final six points to secure a 25-21 win and a 1-0 advantage.

King Philip grabbed a small cushion early and held onto that for the majority of the match. A quick 5-2 burst midway through the set that featured a pair of kills from Waldeck gave King Philip a 15-10 advantage, and the Warriors never looked back from there. KP finished with a 10-4 run with Coughlan getting a pair of kills and using a strong serve late that helped clinch the win.

“Our defense, they’ve played well all year long,” Geuss said. “They are the start of everything. They don’t get the glamour but they set everything up for us.”

The momentum carried over for the Warriors, and they put on a stellar performance in the third game to take a lead in the match.

KP raced out a 15-5 lead with Waldeck, Coughlan, Carlow, Brooks (back row), and McNamara all recording kills early in the set, and Lauren Peterson chipping in with an ace and a handful of strong sets.

Quincy picked up a little steam late in the set but King Philip finished it off behind a tip kill from Waldeck, a block kill from Coughlan, and an ace from Brooks for the Warriors’ second straight 25-14 win.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“My two middles have been incredible the whole year,” Geuss said of Waldeck and Coughlan. “They are our go-to players. We have some strong outsides but our middles have gotten it done all year so whenever we can, we go to our middles.”

The fourth set resembled the first, with it being close throughout before Quincy pulled away. Besides an early lead, KP’s only advantage came at 14-3 after a terrific save on a loose ball from Sullivan. But Quincy took the lead with a 6-2 run and never looked back, eventually winning 25-18.

King Philip volleyball (18-4) is back in the D1 Central/East Sectional Final and will take on #4 Boston Latin (14-6) on Saturday at Wellesley High with the start time still to be determined.

Panthers Pick Up Key Win Over King Philip

Franklin volleyball Allyson Bonnet-Eymard
Franklin junior Allyson Bonnet-Eymard swings at a ball against King Philip. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
FRANKLIN, Mass. – Franklin looked like it was on its way to a three-set sweep of visiting King Philip in a battle of the top two teams in the Kelley-Rex division.

The Warriors wouldn’t go quietly though, putting their best performance forth and winning the third set to grab momentum and put the pressure on the hosts.

But the Panthers responded well, pulling away after a tight start to the fourth set to earn a 3-1 (25-17, 25-12, 22-25, 25-16) win and a regular season sweep over King Philip.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

With the win, Franklin moves into a first-place tie atop the division with the Warriors with four league games left apiece

“The girls are much more confident compared to the beginning of the year,” said Franklin head coach Kelsey Weymouth. “They were playing together for the first time then and now they’ve gotten a lot more comfortable in their roles. They know who does what, how girls like their sets, they are learning to do their jobs. I think they were all trying to do too much when the season started.”

The Panthers used a balanced attack offensively and a strong net presence defensively to earn the win.

Junior Allyson Bonnet-Eymard had a team-high 10 kills, senior Sophie Lyons (seven digs) chipped in with five kills, junior Emma Chase recorded four kills on .400 hitting along with three blocks, and senior Bridget Jackson finished with five blocks and four kills.

“Sometimes you’ll have a player or two that’s on, or a player or two that’s having an off night,” Weymouth said. “But tonight everyone was playing well, it was great to see.”

Franklin got off to a strong start, building a 10-7 lead. The Panthers went on an 8-2 run that featured a big kill from Lyons through a block. KP got within four points but Franklin hit back with four straight, punctuated by a kill from Bonnet-Eymard.

The teams traded points before a pair of KP errors set the Panthers’ up for set point. Off a set from sophomore Cailyn Mackintosh (26 assists, 12 digs, three aces), Chase hit around a block in the middle and hit the line for a kill to secure the 1-0 advantage.

It was all Franklin in the second set. The Panthers jumped out to a 5-1 lead and kept that advantage over the first 15 points. The separation came in the form of an 11-3 run that featured an ace from Bonnet-Eymard, a kill from Sarah Jackson, and a kill from Lyons off a KP block.

Holding a 19-8 lead, the Panthers finished the set behind another two kills from Bonnet-Eymard, including one that hit the 10-foot line on a cross court shot. In the set, KP only mustered five earned points.

“We didn’t play our game,” said KP head coach Kristen Geuss. “The better team won tonight. Our energy was definitely better in game three. We tend to start off slow, and unfortunately, we didn’t pick it up quickly enough.

“We couldn’t get more than a few points in a row. We’d win a point but then we ‘d have an unforced error or a serving error. You can’t win playing that kind of volleyball.”

But the Warriors were a completely different team with their backs against the wall in the third set. Senior Catherine Waldeck (15 kills, four blocks) gave the visitors an early spark, scoring four of KP’s first five points. Two came in the form of blocks while two were kills.

It was a lead that KP never surrendered, though the Panthers made a strong push to keep it close. Junior Nicole Coughlan (11 kills) had back-to-back big swings and junior Giovanna Fruci came up with a big block to give KP an 8-4 edge early.

An ace from Kristen Masse gave the Warriors a 13-7 advantage, and freshman Ahunna James and Waldeck had consecutive tip kills that forced the hosts into a timeout at 15-9.

Behind some strong serves from Jackson, the Panthers kept pace with KP, even getting within three on a kill from Mikayla Raffin. But the Warriors never let the lead slip, getting a key ace down Lauren Peterson.

Fruci, Coughlan, and Waldeck each recorded a kill to earn three of the final four points for KP, with the latter getting the set sealing shot to keep the Warriors alive in the match.

Both sides started strong in the fourth set with the teams tied at 6-6 and again at 8-8. But from there, the Panthers were able to slowly pull away to secure the win.

The big difference came in the form of a quick 6-0 burst that put the Panthers up 14-8. Bonnet-Eymard had a kill and an ace, Jackson added a block, and KP had three hitting errors in the sequence.

“I think the girls were a little too comfortable in the third set but they did a great job of coming back in the fourth,” Weymouth said. “We changed a couple of things up but we went back to what they are confident in and were able to pull away.”

KP got within four points with the help of a kill from James and a net violation, but Franklin’s Sarah Jackson landed a kill on the next play and the Panthers never looked back. Bridget Jackson had a solo block and combined with Bonnet-Eymard for another one down the stretch to help finish the match.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Franklin used a double block on KP’s middle attacks throughout the match, with Jackson and Bonnet-Eymard’s last block highlight the success it had.

“We brought [the double block] anytime they went to the middle,” Weymouth said. “They got their share of hits but we were able to get some good blocks. We practiced it yesterday, we wanted to try and get four hands on the hit. Our blocking was on point tonight. The middles did a good job setting the block, and the defense around it did great too.”

Franklin volleyball (10-2 Hockomock, 11-2 overall) is back in action on Thursday with a trip to Franklin. King Philip (10-2, 12-3) will look to bounce back at home against Taunton on the same day.