Update post publication:
Melrose defeats Wakefield 3-1 (Sept. 22)
Melrose defeats Burlington 3-1 (Sept. 26)
By JENNIFER GENTILE
MELROSE—It was a great home opener for the Melrose High volleyball team who improved to 3-1 with a 3-0 win over Reading in sets of 25-23, 25-17 and 26-24 on Sept. 13 and on Tuesday, Sept. 19, they followed that up with a win over Watertown on the road.
Reading proved to be a gripping game despite the Melrose sweep. And it was a great offensive effort from Melrose, thanks to senior captain Sadie Jaggers who had 14 kills and sophomore hitter Sabine Wenzel with 11 kills.
Junior setter Leah Fowke earned 25 assists. In the libero spot, Grace Gentile had 16 digs with a 5.3 set average. Maggie Turner earned 16 points at the service line for Melrose.
Against the Rockets, Melrose fought to a close 25-23 first set win, pulling off a late-set victory. Melrose was more in control in set 2 and enjoyed major hitting power from Sadie Jaggers, who opened three kills to help lift Melrose to a 7-1 lead. A great block kill by Sabine Wenzel and a kill each by Sofia Papatsoris and Manon Marchais (5 total kills) extended lead.
Reading crawled back into the game before Wenzel helped lift Melrose to a deeper lead of 20-13. A few more kills from Jaggers helped seal the deal 25-17.
In the third set, Melrose had a slow start, opening to a deficit of 0-3 but soon tying it up on blocks and kills by Wenzel and Jaggers. A solid service run by the Rockets allowed them back into the set at 7-7. Fortunately, some Jaggers kills and a solid service run by Leah Fowke kept Melrose tied with Reading 15-15.
Reading would briefly take a lead of 23-18, putting Melrose on the ropes, but the girls in red and white used a group effort to tie it back up, starting with smart back row defense from libero Grace Gentile, a key block kill by Wenzel and two huge serving aces by Gigi Albuja, who put Melrose in a 23-24 position.
A Reading foul would tied it up 24-24 but two timely outside kills by Sadie Jaggers lowered the hammer and Melrose took the exciting – and close- match win, 26-24 for a 3-0 sweep to the day.
Melrose took another victory on Tuesday on the road against Watertown, 3-1, in sets of 25-8, 25-13, 17-25, and 25-13. Leading scoring was Sadie Jaggers with 10 kills. The evening was a chance for Melrose underclassmen to get rotations, including players such as Milana Noessel and Alex Homan who both served flawlessly.
Melrose will host Wakefield this Friday evening at 5:30 p.m. at the MVMMS gym. Fans will want to come out for this neighboring rivalry.