By BOB YORK —
A hot start was followed by a chilly finish this season, as the Deerfield Academy volleyball team finished its 2012 campaign with a 6-8 record – and no tournament invitation. The Big Green opened this fall’s session with a 4-1 showing, only to pull out two more victories over the final nine games.
“The results really weren’t there this year as far as the wins and losses were concerned,” said coach John Pineo, “but overall, I felt we played together as a team quite well. I felt our players developed their skill levels over the season and our overall level of play was up.”
The problem for Deerfield was the fact that of its last seven league games, six were against tournament-bound teams. That list included top seed and eventual champion, Andover, which downed the Big Green, 3-0, while second-seeded St. Paul’s took a 3-1, decision, and No. 3 Taft grabbed a 3-0 decision. Fourth-ranked Northfield Mount Hermon School prevailed, 3-1, while fifth-seeded Choate prevailed by a 3-1 count.
Ashley So (13), who was named this year’s Most Valuable Player, was one of the team’s defensive specialists this season as an outside hitter, as was Hannah Insuik (13), an outside hitter as well. Lizzie Jeffrey (13) turned in a strong season as a setter.
Other contributors included Kate Ginna (14), a middle hitter, as well as Caroline Dye (14), an outside hitter, Caroline Baldwin (14) and Claire Collins (15), both inside hitters. Catherine Fleming (15) and Maggie Kidder (16) were both setters, while Kemi Akande (15) was positioned at center outside, while Zahra Rawji (15) was a setter. Chloe So (15) was a defensive specialist.
Pineo pointed to a 3-2 victory over Loomis, the seventh seed in the tournament, as probably the high point of the past season.
“We were trailing Loomis, two games to one,” explained Pineo, “and were trailing 25-24 in the fourth game, but we battled back to win that game and then went on to capture the deciding fifth game and won the match, 3-2. It was just a tremendous victory for the kids.”