Following a devastating loss in their previous game against Somerville, the Malden High School Girls Volleyball team bounced back to claim a victory over Chelsea with a final score of 3-0. Consistently maintaining at least an 8-point lead throughout each set. Head Volleyball Coach Daniel Jurkowski states that “[they] needed this. [They] lost to Somerville yesterday. It was a bad loss for [them]. [They] needed to bounce back and the girls did.”
The first set began with a tight lead by Chelsea. After a series of rallies, Chelsea secured a one-point lead, leaving the 9th rally with a score of 4-5. This would quickly change as Malden began to dominate the court. By the 27th rally, Malden would secure a five-point lead with a score of 16-11. Despite Chelsea’s attempts to retaliate, by the 37th rally, they would only be able to secure another 4 points, leaving Malden with a 7-point lead. This trend would continue as Malden increased its lead. The first set would eventually go to Malden, with a final score of 25-16, setting a precedent for Malden’s lead in each set.
With the momentum built from the last set, Malden continued to dominate the court. Securing a small lead by the 8th rally, with a score of 5-3, Chelsea maintained it’s pressure on Malden, playing aggressively while Malden continued its lead. By the 14th rally, Malden had increased its lead by four points, leaving a score of 10-4.
Slowly feeling the pressure, Chelsea made several uncharacteristic mistakes throughout the game. Chelsea’s Volleyball Coach Gabriel Morales remarked that a lot of “misserves” were made during the game, causing the team to struggle more in comparison to their previous game against Malden. This trend would continue to the 22nd rally as Malden increased its lead to 8 with a score of 15-7. This quickly changed as Chelsea began to increase the pressure on Malden, aiming to land in more spikes. Despite this change, Chelsea would be unable to close the lead, ending the 34th rally with a score of 20-14 and the set with a score of 25-17. Despite the uncharacteristic misserves made by Chelsea, Captain Riley Strano found that Chelsea was still “ hitting at [them], keeping them on [their] toes, and making [them] move.”
Strano opened up the third rally with a block to Chelsea’s spike, earning the first point for Malden. Chelsea would try to fight back, securing a 1-point lead by the third rally, however, this would not last. Malden would continue to follow the trend created in the previous two sets, securing a 5-point lead by the 9th rally, leaving a score of 7-2. This did not come easily to Malden as Chelsea continued to play aggressively, aiming to land spikes in more difficult to receive areas of the court while blocking many of Malden’s own spikes. Despite the difficulty, Malden would only continue to increase the lead, leaving the 22nd rally with a score of 15-7. Despite the cheer for Chelsea’s Varsity Team from their Junior Varsity Team, Malden would eventually go on to take the final set, with a score of 25-13.
Jurkowski remarked that “[they] played much better” in Thursday's game. Previously, the performance of the team was a “bit up and down”, however Jurkowski remarked that “[they] played much like themselves.” Attributing this to the “team energy,” Jurkowski explained that “[They] played with energy today”, resulting in overall better performance.
Despite the amazing performance of the team on Thursday’s match, Jurkowski found that they still needed to work on their inconsistent serving and communication on the court. Strano agreed, stating “there could always be more communication.”
Overall, Strano found Thursday’s game to be “one of the best games, personally, that [they] played overall”, attributing this to the constancy in the player’s performance and “better communication” they had on the court.