After a straight-set win over Div. 1 hosts Waltham High on Wednesday, Sept. 3, the Belmont High School Volleyball Marauders came close to doubling this season’s victory tally against visiting Bedford High Friday, Sept. 5.
But Belmont’s lack of a go-to player – one who can pick up a side out or score a point with raw power when needed – showed up in a big way in the final set as Belmont (1-1, 0-1) found itself quickly on the wrong side of a 10-1 deficit as the team fell to the Buccaneers in a tight five-set match, 3 to 2 (25-16, 20-25, 22-25, 25-22, 4-15).
“Our team started off strong because we had confidence from our game on Wednesday and [Bedford] was trying to organize themselves in the first game,” said Jen Couture, who is in her fourth year as Belmont’s head coach.
“[Bedford has] some extremely powerful hitters … and that’s the first time we’ve really seen that this season. We were doing a great job of adjusting but they ended up having more fire power,” said Couture, who took the team to the post-season last year.
“Our passers were digging great and we were getting lots of touches and blocks and our center was running all over the place,” she said.
“But even though we are working hard, we have to just get our shots a little harder because if we don’t have that velocity we have to make it up with perfect placement,” Couture noted.
Leading the way against Bedford was junior Faye Reagan, the team’s “opposite” – the player who is placed opposite of the setter in the rotation and located on the right side in the front and back row – “playing excellent defense and hitting good spots and I don’t think she missed a serve the entire game,” said Couture.
Leading the service game for Belmont were junior Kabita Das and senior Becki Sandvos who both bring a precise power hitting game that opponents are finding a handful. Each player went on runs against the Buccaneers, reeling off multiple points in the game.
As for finding its own scoring threat, “we have people who are getting there,” said Couture.
“We have players who can put up a strong hit but no one who is an automatic,” she said.