Story and photos by Mark Carpenter –
Make it 47 in a row now for the North Adams Lady Devils varsity volleyball squad. That is, 47 consecutive wins in the Southern Hills Athletic Conference after the Lady Devils quickly disposed of the visiting Manchester Lady Hounds in three sets on Tuesday night, winning 25-9, 25-16, 25-5.
The win over Manchester was a dominant performance all-around by the North Adams girls as the young Lady Hounds were no match at the net or service line for the Lady Devils.
There was another milestone in the match for North Adams as junior setter Sydney Kendall picked up the 1,000th assist of her career in the third set.
“Sydney has done a really good job of running our offense this year,” said North Adams head coach Katie Ragan. “We have several good hitters and she finds a way to get each of them the ball. She has worked hard at becoming a good setter and reached 1.000 assists midway through her junior season.”
Early in the first set, the action went North Adams’ way as Brooklyn Stout served four straight point to give her team 6-2 lead. The Lady Hounds stayed close with service points from Sierra Thatcher, but the home team pulled away when Kendall racked up seven service points to stretch the lead to 16-5.
A service ace from Manchester’s Abby McFarland kept the visitors alive, but with the score 18-9, Maddie Toole stepped up to serve and closed the set with seven straight.
The second set mirrored the first as the Lady Devils took an early lead, this time 9-2 behind the serves of Abby Campton, that included five aces. A nice McFarland block pulled Manchester within 9-5, but a roll of service points from Madison Jenkins gave her side a 17-6 advantage.
Solid work on serve from McFarland and Katie Sandlin later rallied the Lady Hounds to within 18-13, but the Lady Devils hung on to post a 25-16 second set win.
After working diligently in that second set, the girls from Manchester may have run out of gas as the third set could not have begun any worse for them
Set three began with Campton at the service line for North Adams. If she was a gambler, she would have been accused of cheating as she pulled off seven aces on her way to giving her team a 9-0 lead. From that point on, it was all Lady Devils, with a series of kills from Charlee Louden and Kendall serves finishing the match off handily 25-5.
“I thought our serving was very good tonight,” said Coach Ragan. “We served at 88% and had 23 aces. Abby Campton tied a school record for most aces in a match with 14. We have been working on serving a lot because we need to score some points off serve in the tournament.”
On the stat line, Campton showed up with 14 aces, four kills, six digs, and two assists. Kendall contributed 25 assists, while Madison Jenkins and Louden racked up 10 and eight kills respectively.
The Lady Devils now stand at 10-1 on the season (8-0 SHAC) and were slated for two more conference matches this week, traveling to Fairfield on Thursday night and then to Eastern Brown on Friday night. The Lady Hounds (2-7, 2-6 SHAC) were scheduled to host Whiteoak on Thursday night and then the annual Kissick Klassik on Saturday morning. Those results were not available at press time.