The Deerfield Junior Varsity volleyball team (4-4) returned home for a match against the local Amherst High School JV team on Wednesday, October 24. All five sets were needed to determine the victor, with Deerfield coming up short. For Big Green, the afternoon was a tale of two teams; at times the girls were unable to make serves and rally for points, at other times playing some of their best volleyball.
Big Green, although not performing at its peak, kept the first game close with strong defense and good play at the net. The team score five points on kills alone. Unfortunately, four of the first six Deefield serves went into the net or out of bounds, gifting Amherst free points and side outs. Missing early opportunities to score quick points, DA still had a 22-21 advantage before Amherst stepped up and finished off the point scoring, winning 22-25.
It is hard to pinpoint what went awry in the second set, other than saying that everything that could go wrong did. Deerfield fell 12-25, one of its most lopsided losses of the season. The team missed serves, were aced, were called for multiple double-touch penalties, and struggled to setup plays.
Big Green could have called it quits and went quietly in the third set; but instead, Emma Weech ’21 came up firing on serve, acing Amherst on five of seven serves to post an early 7-0 Deerfield lead. The lead quickly evaporated, and the team found themselves behind 9-11, but those early service aces “awoke the beast.” Team spirit and energy shot through the roof and Big Green found themselves on the winning side of most rallies, taking the third set 25-17.
Success continued to go Green in the fourth set as well. Deerfield executed in all aspects of the game, making serves, returning hits, blocking balls, and setting up plays. Although they recorded only one kill and one ace during the game, the overall strong play led to a lopsided 25-13 victory. The JV girls went into the deciding 5th set flying high, ready to erase the early 0-2 match deficit and emerge victorious.
Unfortunately, the strong Deerfield wind left the home team’s sails. Miscommunication on some early, strong Amherst serves resulted in multiple free points for the visiting team. DA quickly found themselves in a 2-9 hole, in a set that would be decided by the team scoring 15 points. Additionally, the early service woes returned; after rallying the first two side outs, Deerfield serves went into the net, giving the ball right back to Amherst. With too little time remaining to mount a comeback, Big Green lost the fifth set 9-15.
The loss was tough after the girls’ resurgence in the third and fourth sets, and its drops the team’s win-loss record below 0.500 for the first time this season. But their spirits remained high and they clearly had a fun afternoon. The team enjoys each other’s company, win or lose, and that’s really the most important part. Deerfield (4-5) hits the road again on Sunday, October 28, traveling to face Philips Andover (5-4).
Set one: 22-25
Set two: 12-25
Set three: 25-17
Set four: 25-13
Set five: 9-15