Volleyball Hits Post-Season

Megan Clemons, Staff Writer

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From November 13-16 2018 the Westfield High School girls volleyball team will be participating in the statewide Volleyball Tournament. The team will have their first game this upcoming Monday, the 5th of November. It will start at 5:00 pm. They will play Amherst Regional High School. Update: Westfield won 3-2.

Mr. Wingate, physical education teacher and girls volleyball coach at WHS, found out Tuesday October 30 that they qualified for the postseason.

Coach Wingate explains that the team preparation began on Tuesday at practice. He talks about starting to “putting things into practice” with his players. He says that nothing is really changing at this point. The most important thing is working on skills that were developed during the season and fixing any problems.

Eighteen players are on the roster. That is the maximum number that can be on a post season roster. The team captains are Stephanie Sgueglia, a senior who plays as DS, and Madison Robitaille, also a senior who plays as RS/OH.

Coach Wingate says that the team strengths are “versatility” and “not being complacent.” The team is not reliant on one particular player and is constantly “working to make themselves better” which is what allows them to excel. Some of the key players in the games, according to Coach Wingate, Madison Robitaille, senior RS/OH, who was chosen during preseason selection of Western Mass and Tetyana Shvyryd, Senior OH, who was chosen as one of the top players entering the playoffs and championships in Western Mass.

There are three divisions in high school girls volleyball Western Mass. Division II, which is WHS is apart of, has twelve teams participating in the playoffs. Division III has eleven.

A team qualifies for the tournament by winning at least have of the games on their schedule. Or by being first or second in their league. The WHS regular season record was 15 wins and 3 loses.

The semi finals were played on Thursday November 8. Westfield won 3-1 over Central High School. The game was played at Chicopee Comprehensive High School.  The Championship Finals will be played on Saturday November 10 at West Springfield High School. Westfield will be playing Minnechaug Regional High School.

The winners of last year’s Championship were Minnechaug Regional HS when they defeated Longmeadow in the West Sectional Division II Final. Westfield’s record last year was 6-12. According to Coach Wingat the team has improved all around but more specifically in the areas of ball control. He commends the girls for they extensive practice and hard work doing the off season which made this years record possible.

Shelby Rowell, Junior DS, talks about her strengths in serving while calling “getting in [her] head.” She is excited to play in the tournament but worries that the team will “get in a hole and fall behind.” According to Shelby the team has “prepared and put hours in preparation.” She says the have a “strong mindset” and says her team “flows with confidence.”