The Mystic Valley volleyball team had not won a match in nearly two years. During the 2011 season they lost 15 of their 16 matches 3 sets to none.
But, there was something in the air on Wednesday. The team was playing the first game in the school’s new gym and the girls were bound and determined to play a good game and they certainly did.
The bleachers were packed, as a standing room only crowd watched Jessica Phinney serve to start the match and the beginning of a new era in Mystic Valley athletics. The Eagles came out very strong, winning the first set 25-15 and announcing to everyone in attendance that they were here to play. Northeast was unwilling to let Mystic Valley control the game. They had beaten the Eagles in three straight sets earlier in the season and were intent on winning again. They quickly got back on their feet winning the next two games 25-9 and 25-17.
The Eagles were on the brink of losing the match, but they refused to quit and turned the match around with a 25-16 win, tying the match at 2 sets a piece and setting up the decisive fifth set.
By this time, the crowd had swelled with students and teachers from the high school who had come to check out the new gym, along with cheerleaders, swim club students and parents who had arrived early for their practice. Everyone in the building stopped what they were doing to watch the game and cheer on the girls.
Throughout the final frame, Northeast would get a one point lead and Mystic Valley would catch up and tie the set. The back and forth went on throughout the game until the Eagles were able to take the lead. With the score 14-13 the Eagles were just one point away from victory but Northeast held serve. A net violation by Northeast set off a wave of celebration in the gym as the girls jumped up and down on each other with tears of joy streaming down their faces.
Head Coach Marc Arria was very proud of his team. After the game he had high praise, saying “It was a great effort all around. All of the girls played well. They have always had the ability to do it, but it finally all came together and they took care of business.”
The girls played a great team game they were led by freshman, Jessica Phinney who had 19 assists. Freshman Shannon Roseen had 13 kills. Joanna Petras played solid defense and made great passes all game. Jordan Sullivan played well all game. Two freshmen, Nina Mirzakashani and Paulina Petras, came off the bench and made some great serves.
The team will be back in action on Friday with a match against North Shore/Essex Aggie.