The Deerfield Junior Varsity volleyball team (3-1) hosted Northfield Mount Hermon (5-3) on Wednesday, October 10. After a strong and dominant performance against a talented St. Paul’s team, the Deerfield girls were excited to continue their winning streak. The Northfield Mount Hermon (NMH) Hoggers would have none of that. A tough four set match, where the Big Green lost their mental nerve, ended in a 3-1 defeat to visiting NMH.
The day started well for Deerfield. The home team struck an early 9-4 lead on the strong service of Emma Weech ’21 and Juliette Lowe ’21. They never looked back, outplaying the visitors with strong passing, great sets from Juliette and Steph Martinez ’20, and well-placed hits, winning 25-16. It looked like a repeat of the St. Paul’s match. Clearly NMH was a strong opponent, but all the shots were falling in Deerfield’s favor.
The second set was an even display of skill. Although Big Green was down early, service aces and a kill by Maddie Lee ’20 saw the girls down just 13-14. Then NMH exploded for 9 straight points. Down 15-24, the game looked all but over. Abby Persons ’21 came off the bench to serve at this critical juncture, and she nearly carried the team to a comeback. She rattled off 6 service points, including three aces. With energy high and the visiting team looking concerned, NMH finally struck the winning point and evened the match with a 25-21 win.
The third and fourth sets were tough on the home team. They found themselves in a 0-5 hole to start the third set. A second strong serve run by NMH left Deerfield down 4-13. The Hoggers found a weakness in the home team’s defense and exploited it for the rest of the day. As each additional shot fell out of reach, Big Green lost focus and all players on the team experienced a mental collapse. Despite this, a sudden service run by Emma, including four aces, and continued determination, brought Deerfield to within one point, at 17-18. However, the opponent’s hatchets brought the big Doors down on this day, emerging victorious 20-25. The fourth set bore witness to the final collapse of the home team; Deerfield lost by their biggest margin of the year, 10-25. Every Hogger ball seemed to find a place where a Deerfield girl could not reach it.
Although the loss was tough, Big Green had many strong moments during the game and showed that they can play evenly with a talented opponent. The volleyball season is long, and the team is now playing more frequently. There will be ups and downs; mental victories and defeats. The team (now 3-2) will brush this one off and complete their five game homestand this Saturday, October 13th against the Hopkins School (3-3). The girls welcome their family and friends to attend as this coming weekend is also Family Weekend!
Set one: 25-16
Set two: 21-25
Set three: 20-25
Set four: 10-25