HOLYOKE – No matter what colored jersey has shown up on the other side of the volleyball court – the blue and gold of Chicopee Comp, the blue and white of West Side, or the orange and black of Agawam – everyone else is left feeling green with envy. For the third straight year, the red, white, and black uniformed Westfield Bombers (17-3) were the last ones standing.
Top-seeded Westfield swept No. 3 Agawam 25-13, 25-16, 25-18 in the West Division 1 boys’ volleyball finals Wednesday night to win its third straight championship title at Holyoke Community College.
The Bombers now stand as one of the school’s most successful programs of late, alongside others like gymnastics (which has been on a Huskies-like run of dominance) and ice hockey.
“I did not expect volleyball to be such a big part of my life,” said Westfield coach Tyler Wingate, a former Bombers’ player who graduated WHS in 2006. “It’s hard to put into words. I had a vision. We’ve had a lot of great players go through here. They made the commitment, they bought into what we are doing, and they’re doing some special things.”

The two-time defending champion Westfield Bombers become “three-peaters,” winning their third straight West Division 1 crown, sweeping Agawam Wednesday night at Holyoke Community College. (Photo by Bill Deren)

It was a special night for several Westfield players.
Noah Kappel (11 kills), Shane Kiendzior (10 kills), Ryan Murray (9 kills), Eddie Loboda (15 digs, 8 kills), Scott Walsh (28 assists, 8 digs), and Tyler Stanton (20 digs, 6 assists) were instrumental in orchestrating a victory on the biggest stage.
It was during a 10-0 run midway through the second set with Stanton serving that is was obvious Westfield was soon about to end another finals on a positive note.
“(I was thinking) just serve it strong, hard, and make sure I’m serving the right passer to get the most out of the next play,” Stanton said. “It’s all about teamwork, hard work, going to practice every day, being loyal to the team, just having a great day at practice, and bring it on to the court.”
It was truly a concerted effort by every individual on the court for Westfield.
Kappel delivered a kill for the first point of the match. Subsequent kills from Murray, Kappel (again), and Kiendzior helped build the lead. A combined block from Walsh and Murray, followed by yet another Westfield point made it 20-10. As the set neared its conclusion, Loboda soared sky-high for a Bombers’ kill.
“That first set set the tone,” coach Wingate said, “but (Agawam) pushed back.
Westfield cruised through the middle frame, but Agawam made a last-ditch effort in the third set to salvage the night. The two teams were tied 10 times before the Bombers scored 11 of the final 15 points to end it.
“We got that first (championship in 2015), but you keep wanting more,” Wingate said. “I want it so much for the next group of players.”
Before that “next” group has a chance to take over, Westfield gets another crack at the state title beginning with next Monday night’s state semifinal game against the Central Mass champ at Holyoke Community College. The game begins at 7.

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