The Deerfield Junior Varsity volleyball team (4-3) continued their string of road games on Saturday, October 20, by traveling north to Philips Exeter Academy to take on the undefeated (8-0) “Big Red” squad. The Love Gymnasium was packed with fans as Exeter celebrated their family weekend. After the final ball dropped, Exeter found their record at 9-0, but not without the scrappy Deerfield girls putting up a fight in their 3-1 loss.
Big Green came out charging hard. Although two regular starters needed to miss the game, the rest of the team stepped up and played a great four sets. Deerfield took the first set 25-17, behind an 8-point service run by Emma Weech ’21 and two kills each by Abby Persons ’21 and Elena Lu ’22. The team was fired up and energized, having fun and high fiving.
The same lineup returned to the floor during the second set, but the Exeter girls rebounded and demonstrated a highly organized attack that was difficult to defend. Their serves were challenging, causing many of DA’s first passes to go over the net as a free ball, leading to quick and successful counterattacks by the opposing offense. Big Green went down 14-25.
The third set remained close the entire time. Lexi Roadside ’21, in her first appearance as the team’s libero, and Maddie Lee ‘20 played great defense in the back row, sending tough serves right to setter and leading to a good Deerfield attack. However, Exeter stayed just ahead the entire time, eventually winning the set 20-25. Big Green pressed hard again in set four, keeping the score close and closing to within two at 9-11. But one of Big Red’s servers hit a hot streak and rang off eight straight points. Deerfield fought hard to the end, but the final set went to Exeter 16-25.
Although suffering back-to-back losses, which drops them to a .500 record, Big Green has played well the last two matches, coming up against two tough opponents. They demonstrated tenacity and a never-say-die attitude. Steph Martinez ’20 and Angela Osei-Ampadu ’21 exemplified this fighting spirit all afternoon, diving all over the court, staying positive, and celebrating their teammates. Deerfield will enjoy a short return home against Amherst on Wednesday, October 24, before hitting the road again for the following two games.
Set one: 25-17
Set two: 14-25
Set three: 20-25
Set four: 16-25