Algonquin girls volleyball overwhelms Nashoba

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Algonquin girls volleyball overwhelms Nashoba
The Algonquin team huddles after a point. (Photo/Evan Walsh)

NORTHBOROUGH – Algonquin and Nashoba left it all on the court.

On September 15, the Algonquin Titans topped the Nashoba Wolves in an action-packed, hard-fought, back-and-forth match between two top-notch volleyball programs. Each team had the momentum at different points, but the Titans eventually prevailed in straight sets.

Algonquin started strong, winning the first set 25-16.

The team’s dominance continued from there; the Titans immediately started to control the second set, and jumped ahead 7-1. However, the energetic Nashoba team fought back, quickly narrowing Algonquin’s lead to 7-6. Nashoba hung around, but Algonquin edged the Wolves in the significantly more-competitive second set, eventually winning 25-18.

Algonquin girls volleyball overwhelms Nashoba
Caroline Macaulay spikes the ball over the net. (Photo/Evan Walsh)

Algonquin’s offense was led by Caroline Macaulay, who frequently – and with great success – spiked the ball over the net. Macaulay was the crux of the Titans’ offensive firepower.

“We count on [Macaulay] to get a lot of kills,” said Head Coach Janice Henningson.

Algonquin was one set from victory, but Nashoba wouldn’t go down easy. The Wolves opened the third set with five straight points, but Algonquin matched with six consecutive points of their own to reclaim the lead.

Nashoba pulled away soon after, leading 22-15 and seriously threatening to take the set.

“We tried some new things. We put in some kids that haven’t had the chance to play a lot this year. Sometimes some little changes can throw off the rhythm a little bit,” said Henningson.

Algonquin girls volleyball overwhelms Nashoba
Katie O’Connell (left) and Grace Chiota (right) attempt to block the incoming ball. (Photo/Evan Walsh)

Algonquin called timeout to reset themselves; what happened next seemed almost surreal.

The Titans won the next eight points, turning the 22-15 deficit into a 23-22 lead. Nashoba looked shocked, the crowd was shocked, and – based on some of the reaction in the team’s huddle – some of the Algonquin players seemed shocked too. The Titans would take the third set 25-23.

“Even when they’re behind, they’re not afraid to really dig in and come back,” Henningson said.

“I have a really great group of kids. They come in every day and they work really, really hard. They have great chemistry and everyone gets along well. Not a lot of drama this year, which is nice. They just work really well together and they push really hard in practice,” she added.

Algonquin girls volleyball overwhelms Nashoba
The team and crowd celebrate after Algonquin’s win. (Photo/Evan Walsh)

With the loss, Nashoba breaks their two-game winning streak and falls to 2-2. The Wolves will have an opportunity to exact revenge on Algonquin – this time with home-court advantage – when the teams meet again on October 6.

Algonquin remains undefeated (4-0), but faces volleyball powerhouse Westborough (4-0) on Tuesday afternoon. Westborough is coming off an undefeated season (17-0) and the MIAA Division 2 state championship. The stakes will be high in this early-season contest, but Henningson was confident in her team.

“Sometimes you have a lot of talent on your team but the chemistry isn’t there. You have to have both to have success, and we definitely have that this year… They work together, but they push each other,” she said.

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