THE PIONEERS celebrate their 3-0 victory over Arlington Catholic on Friday night at LHS to clinch a spot in the Div. 4 Final Four. No. 2 Lynnfield meets No. 3 Medway in the state semifinals on Wednesday, 4:30 p.m. at Woburn High. (LHS Athletics Photo)
By STEPHEN MARTELLUCCI
LYNNFIELD — In their regular-season matchup, the Lynnfield High volleyball team lost at Arlington Catholic, 3-1, back on Oct 12. The two schools met again with the stakes much higher last Friday night in the Division 4 quarterfinals, this time, in Lynnfield.
The Pioneers were able to avenge that loss as they beat the Cougars 3-0 in front of an enthusiastic crowd. They won the three sets, 25-14, 25-15 and 25-20.
“It was a fun match,” stated Pioneers head coach Brent Ashley. “We had a great crowd come out tonight and they were chanting loud all match.”
With that result, the second-seeded Pioneers improved to 19-4 while the seventh-seeded Cougars ended up at 14-9.
In the October meeting, the Pioneers were without their junior Cape Ann League All-Star Ella Gizmunt. She had a huge impact is this match as she had 25 kills, nine digs and six service aces.
“Not only is Ella a great player but her teammates play with more confidence with her out there,” said Ashley.
Sarah Foley also had a strong evening with 16 assists, seven digs and five service aces.
“She is starting to own her role as a senior motivator,” said Ashley.
The Pioneers will now play in the Div. 4 state semifinals on Wednesday (Nov. 17) afternoon as they will take on Medway at 4:30 p.m. at Woburn High School.
Medway is the third seed as they enter the match with a record of 18-3.
In the round of 16 match on Nov. 15, the Pioneers shut out South Lancaster Academy 3-0, also at home. Lynnfield won the three sets, 25-18, 28-26 and 25-10.
“That loss in the second set took the wind out of their sails,” pointed out Ashley. “They have a young, athletic team but we were able to win with our serve, receive game.”
The Crusaders, who are the 15th-seed, ended the 2021 campaign at 14-6.
Gizmunt had 12 kills to lead the team while Grace Davie was second with a season-high 10. Davie also had six digs and six service aces.
“Grace was the player of the match,” said Ashley, about the junior.
If the Pioneers can win on Wednesday, they would play either Ipswich or Advanced Math and Science for the Division 4 state title on Nov. 20 (time and location unknown as of press time).
Lynnfield went 0-2 against Ipswich this fall. They did not face Advanced Math and Science in the regular season.