Bombers sweep into finals

Westfield’s R.J. Piper (11) skies for the ball in the Division 1 state semifinal against Newton North Monday night at Westborough High School. (Photo by Chris Putz)

WESTBOROUGH – The two-time defending Division 1 state volleyball champs are nearly living a charmed life.
The Westfield High School boys volleyball team swept the Newton North Tigers 30-28, 25-16, 25-20 in a D1 state semifinal Monday night at Westborough High School. The Bombers advanced to the state finals, where they will seek their third straight championship.
“None of us even dreamed to win three straight championships and the fact that we have the chance to do it is really crazy to us,” said Westfield’s Ryan Rix, who finished with four kills and three blocks against Newton North. “The program’s worked so hard over the last five years to get out of Western Mass. If we won three straight state championships, that just shows that the west is the best.”
Westfield enters Thursday night’s state title game at Worcester State University (teams/time TBD) having won five straight west sectional titles, aiming for their third straight state championship.
“I’m really excited for this group that they get an opportunity on Thursday night,” Westfield boys volleyball head coach Tyler Wingate said.
Both teams waged an epic battle in the first set Monday evening. Westfield rallied from a 22-20 deficit to eventually win by two points.
“It was really back and forth, especially towards the end of the set, but we felt if that we just kept the play on our side solid that we would pull through and win the set,” Rix said. “It definitely set the tone for the rest of the game. We really didn’t stop rolling once we won that first set and it showed in the box score.”
In the middle frame, Westfield gained a foothold early and never relinquished its insurmountable lead. The Bombers remained focused in the third set, and held on.
James Pavlyuk (17 kills, 12 digs) landed the first point of the final game with a wicked kill that sent a Newton North player staggering backward on to his back side. Rix made it a seven-point lead, 20-13, with an ace. The ball clipped the top of the netting, and trickled over the opposition’s side onto the court before the Tigers could react.
Westfield was strong from start to finish, ending the match with an exclamation point play. Bombers’ R.J. Piper and Riley Coughlin (4 kills, 4 blocks) made a bombastic block for the game’s final play.
“They really stepped up tonight in a tough spot against a really good team,” coach Wingate said. “I’m really proud of the guys for a really great effort.”
Eric Yurtuc (30 assists, 5 digs, 3 blocks), Ethan Flaherty (10 kills), and Mike Bowen (12 digs) were also instrumental in Westfield’s victory.

To Top