Patriots rebound from first loss – Lowell Sun
TOWNSEND — Back on track.The North Middlesex Regional girls volleyball team is back in the win column after suffering its first loss of the season on Monday night.The Patriots rebounded from a loss to Groton-Dunstable Regional on with a convincing 3-0 victory over visiting Leominster on Senior Night Wednesday.With the win, North Middlesex improves to 12-1 on the campaign while the Blue Devils drop to 2-9.“It feels good to get back on track after a really tough loss to Groton-Dunstable. We worked on some things today and we have to continue to work and to grow,” said North Middlesex head coach Mark Roy. “The girls weren’t going to overlook Leominster today. We always talk about one match at a time and focus on today’s opponent.”Roy’s squad cruise to victories of 25-7, 25-6 and 25-19.At the conclusion of Wednesday’s match, the Patriots honored their nine seniors with a ceremony inside the gym. The seniors recognized were: Lindsay Swartz, Alex Caliri, Angela Kopec, Madi LaCreta, Tess McDevitt, Katie McNair, Olivia Hill, Emma Chase and Lia Hollenbeck.“Saying goodbye to our seniors is very difficult. We have nine of them, one we lost to an injury earlier in the season and it created a big hole in our lineup,” said Roy. “These kids have been battling in every match and it will be hard to replace them next year.”The hosts jumped to a quick lead in the first two sets and never looked back. In the final set, Leominster showed some toughness as they hung around with the stronger Patriots squad. In the end however, the hosts proved why they are currently ranked in the top 15 in the Massachusetts Division 3 power rankings, shutting down the Blue Devils and picking up the win.In the first set, North Middlesex built a commanding 11-0 lead out of the gate before ballooningg to 18-2. Caliri and McNair recorded a pair of aces while LaCreta and McDevitt were strong in front of the net for the Patriots.The second set was more of the same for the home team, scoring 15 of the first 18 points. Leominster struggled to keep up with the patriots on the scoreboard despite some gritty play from captain Samantha Brady, Abigail Muller and Mikenna Porter.The Patriots put a stranglehold on the match by picking up the win in the second set 25-6 and take a commanding 2-0 upper hand in the third set.Roy and his staff adjusted his lineup prior to the start of the third set, giving an opportunity to a handful of players off the North Middlesex bench.On the Leominster sideline, the Blue Devils didn’t care who the Patriots put on the court as Leominster went down fighting.Aces from Brady and Alizabeth Yang and a kill from captain Brianna Osmosa kept the Blue Devils in things as the score was knotted at 10.Leominster took its first lead in the match during the third set when it built a 14-11 advantage.Unfortunately for the Blue Devils, that’s where the fun ended as North Middlesex responded with seven of the next nine points to grab an 18-16 lead and never relinquished the lead the rest of the way.Kopec, Hill and Julia Hyde all played well for the Patriots down the stretch to help seal the win.Both teams return to action on Friday evening as North Middlesex will host Marlboro and the Blue Devils welcome Hudson to Leominster High School.