CHICOPEE – The Westfield High School boys volleyball team continues to age like a fine wine.
For nearly a decade, the Westfield Bombers have dominated the high school volleyball landscape in Western Massachusetts. For a better part of that time, they have also proven to be the best in the state.
On Saturday, Westfield won its eighth straight Western Massachusetts title, winning the PVIAC Class A championship, 25-6, 25-16, 26-24.
It was one of the most dominating starts for a Westfield team in the championship.
Westfield opened with a 5-0 run and scored 10 of the game’s first 11 points. During that stretch, the Bombers racked up five kills and four aces.
Nick Maslar delivered three of those kills. Aidan Kinglsey and Miles Shepard had the other two. Caden Matusczak and Jonathan Bulan each had two aces in that early run.
Putnam failed to find its footing in that first set. Zach Kuharchuk helped Westfield salt away the quick win, landing five kills, including the final one of the set to seal a 25-6 win.
The second set proved to be much closer and much more competitive. Although Maslar continued to make his presence felt, Putnam served up several nice plays. Dmitry Guimaraes had an ace and Yonuel Ortiz had a kill. Still, Westfield managed to win decisively, 25-16.
The third set was easily the most competitive and featured highlight-reel plays from both sides. The match, which featured 11 ties, was not decided until the very end.
A fired-up Putnam unit built an early 7-4 lead with three consecutive scorching hot plays to break a 4-4 tie. Ortiz and Jahniel Jose had consecutive kills, and Janiel Peguero landed an ace. Maslar knotted the game 8-8 with three big spikes, two of which resulted in kills.
Back and forth they went with neither side gaining more than a 3-point lead.
Two straight kills from Guimaraes gave Putnam a 23-21 lead late. Three straight points from Westfield gave the Bombers a one-point lead. The Beavers tied it again, 24-24. The Bombers scored two straight points with a Maslar kill providing the final exclamation point to what developed into a thrilling final set.