Melrose sweeps Tanners, 3-0
*Update post publication: Melrose sweeps Reading, 3-0 (Sept. 13)*
By JENNIFER GENTILE
MELROSE—The Melrose High girls volleyball team opened its 2023 season with a home win over Woburn, 3-0, on Friday, September 8 by sets of 26-24, 25-12, 25-19.
Following a loss to Belmont on Tuesday, Melrose is 1-1 on their early season with Reading and Watertown on tap.
In the match against the Tanners Melrose enjoyed 36 kills, 11 of those from senior captain Sadie Jaggers, with an impressive 8 tallied by Sabine Wenzel and 7 from Sofia Papatsoris. Also contributing with a number of kills were Manon Marchais and Abby Dennison. Senior captain Grace Gentile had 10 digs and junior captain Leah Fowke tallied 27 assists.
Melrose was off to a relatively slow start in set one, battling to ties of 7-7, 9-9 and 11-11 and only getting their first kill on a Sofia Papatsoris dinger in the middle spot to keep things tight. A great service run by Leah Fowke turned things around and set the tone for the night. Her five service points, backed by the hitting of Papatsoris, lifted Melrose to a 20-12 lead. However, the resilient Tanners crawled back, threatening with a score of 22-20, then soon a 24-24 tie to force overtime. A set-clinching ace by Melrose’s Maggie Turner gave Melrose the win, 26-24.
Turner, Gigi Albuja and Grace Gentile were key defensively in the set two as Melrose took very big leads of 11-4 and 16-9 behind some great hitting by Sadie Jaggers, Sabine Wenzel, Sofia Papatsoris and Abby Dennison. Another solid run on the service line by Fowke pulled Melrose away and a service point garnered by Ava Perrotti finished the set up 25-12.
Melrose would have a tougher time in set 3, battling to ties in the opening minutes but thanks to some dynamite kills from Sabine Wenzel and Manon Marchais and serves from Maggie Turner, Melrose grabbed a key 11-8 lead.
Sadie Jaggers and Wenzel finished the job with a series of kills that helped Melrose secure a 25-15 win and the ultimate 3-0 sweep.
Melrose will look to secure more victories against Middlesex League teams this week when they host Reading on Wednesday (post deadline) and travel to Watertown on Tuesday. They will next host Wakefield on Sept. 21.