After winning its first 15 matches of the 2014 season, the impressive Pinkerton Academy girls’ volleyball squad stumbled and fell to a team with a record a full five wins below the .500 mark last week.
The Lady Astros had managed to keep their 2014 record perfect at 15-0 on Wednesday, Oct. 15, at home in Derry on Senior Night. But it took coach Todd Royce’s roster quite a bit of work to do so after being forced to a fifth game by the 11-3 Goffstown High Lady Grizzlies, at which point they bagged a 3-2 match victory.
The unbeaten academy crew powered its way out to wins of 25-21 and 25-19 in sets one and two to push to within one more victory of a shutout. But Goffstown dug in its heels and managed wins of 25-19 and 26-24 in sets three and four to force the deciding fifth set.
However, the host team managed to claim a 15-11 win in that decisive game, and the Lady Astros’ season record remained unblemished.
Seasoned veteran Elizabeth Hicks was a powerhouse for the locals, tallying 39 assists and 17 service points for her side.
Lexi Verrault pitched in with 34 digs and six service points with five big aces, Alexis Bowers was good for 15 kills and six service points, Olivia Mathieu contributed 15 kills, Nicole Langlais snared 21 digs, and Michaela Blackwell was good for eight kills and a block.
But the Lady Astros saw their hopes of notching an undefeated 2014 regular season record fizzle away in Nashua last Friday, Oct. 17 thanks to a 3-1 loss to a Bishop Guertin team that stepped into that match with a rather underwhelming 5-10 record.
The Astro crew plowed its way to a fine, 25-13 victory in game one to step off in the direction of a 16th consecutive match win. But the host Lady Cardinals won sets two (26-24), three (25-22), and four (26-24) to send the girls home having to contemplate defeat for the first time this fall.
Hicks tallied 34 assists, Verrault registered 26 digs, Mathieu snagged 16 kills, and Bowers was responsible for 13 service points with six aces.
Royce’s roster then returned to action this past Monday, on the road at Concord, aiming to return to the familiar winning track in the final week of the regular season.
And that’s just what the local team did, ending the Concord squad’s six-match winning streak by besting the host in an impressive 3-0 shutout.
The Lady Astros claimed individual set victories of 25-20, 25-13, and 28-26.
Verrault notched 27 digs and eight service points, Hicks was good for 25 assists, Bowers bagged 13 service points and 12 kills, and Blackwell snared two blocks.
The PA crew’s season record stands at 15-1.