WESTFIELD – Early last June, the Westfield High School boys’ volleyball team last celebrated a championship over the Chicopee Comprehensive Colts in the Division 1 West Sectional Finals.
Nearly 10 months later and there is feeling of déjà vu surrounding the two teams.
Defending Western Massachusetts champion Westfield knocked off Chicopee Comp in three straight sets for the second time in two meetings to win its season opener Thursday at home. The Bombers won 25-17, 25-20, 25-11.
“Expectations are still high after a game like that,” Westfield coach Tyler Wingate said. “Our players who returned had a taste of that – they want it again. These guys feel the same way.”
On Thursday, Westfield received a balanced attack from Eddie Loboda (10 kills), Noah Kappel (9 kills), Igor Belokopytov (8 kills), and Scott Walsh (25 assists).
“We graduated a lot of good players, but we have a good group coming back,” coach Wingate explained.
Westfield took advantage of a solid night serving the ball, pressuring Chicopee Comp into making several mistakes.
“We have our work cut out for us but this was a good start,” Wingate said. “Realistically, we have a ways to go. The landscape is going to take shape.”
Bombers rally falls short
East Longmeadow 13, Westfield 10
Westfield gave the two-time defending league champs a run, but fell just short Thursday on the road.
“We got off to a slow start,” said Westfield coach Paul Fenwick, whose team fell behind 7-2 in the first half and trailed by seven goals in the second half before rallying. “Unfortunately we ran out of time.”
Westfield pulled to within two goals of a tie in the second half. Bombers’goalie Lexi Levere (12 saves) made some critical stops to keep the comeback attempt going late.
Rachel Gelina (3 goals, 1 assist), Olivia Chaoush (2 goals, 1 assist), Lexi Wood (2 goals), and Hannah Jarvis (2 goals) scored for Westfield.