WESTFIELD – Is it too good or two good?
Well, in the case of the two-time defending champion Westfield Bombers, it is actually a bit of both.
The Westfield High School boys’ volleyball team improved to 2-0 with a win over another worthy challenger. The Bombers defeated the Colts Thursday night at Chicopee Comprehensive High School 25-23, 25-16, 21-25, 25-15.
It was another well-attended game, featuring a strong contingent of fans from both schools. Westfield opened the season with a 3-0 sweep of Agawam in front of a raucous crowd in its home gymnasium Tuesday.
“We’re going to see teams come out and be pumped up to play us,” said Westfield coach Tyler Wingate, who won his first Western Massachusetts title two seasons ago against Chicopee Comp.
Last season, Westfield repeated by knocking off Central in the championship game.
“We’ve got to be on our game once we step off the bus and compete at a top level,” coach Wingate said.
It was a hotly contested match from the outset with both teams matching the intensity level early. Westfield survived the opening set, which featured 14 ties and eight lead changes, coming away with a two-point win.
After a close battle early in the second set, Westfield built an insurmountable lead and closed it out with a 5-1 run. The Bombers fell behind by five points midway through the third frame before posting an impressive comeback.
Noah Kappel (12 kills) served up an ace. Eddie Loboda (16 kills) and Kappel delivered two kills. Luis Castro (10 digs) skied high above the net before strategically tapping the ball to nearby open space for a kill.
Westfield forced an 18-18 tie, but Chicopee Comp’s rangy, athletic senior outside hitter Dondre Crump spearheaded a 7-3 run to force a fourth set.
Westfield quickly regained its composure in the fourth set, and dispatched Chicopee Comp by 10 points.
“Passing has been the barometer of our play,” coach Wingate said in describing his team’s actions through the first two games. “It’s still the beginning of the season. There’s some pressure on us. …We need to continue to work on first contacts and serve-receive … and we will be in a good place.”
Scott Walsh finished with 35 assists and seven digs for Westfield. Bombers’ Tyler Stanton (18 digs), and Shane Kiendzior (10 kills) also played well.