The varsity volleyball team defeated defending New England Prep School Athletic Conference Class A champ Phillips Exeter 3-0 on Saturday, October 9, to improve its record to seven wins and no losses.
The matchup featured the last two New England champions — Loomis Chaffee won the title in 2018 —, so anticipation of the game was high.
Fueled by the crowd of students and family members at the game, the Pelicans took the lead early, going from a 5-1 lead to an 8-3 lead thanks to strong serving runs from senior captain Sophia Testa and junior setter Kaitlin Flynn. A couple of key kills from senior captain Sydney Hanley preserved the lead for the Pelicans, and sophomore Emma Wuchenich finished off the first set with an impressive serving run. Loomis won the first set 25-10.
The Pelicans struggled early in the second set but remained in striking distance and then managed to take a 22-18 lead thanks to big kills from senior Masha Sidorova. Exeter scored two quick points of their own, but Loomis seniors Willa Hock and Emily Collins put an end to Exeter’s run with consecutive kills. With a 25-20 victory in the second set, the Pelicans took a 2-0 lead.
With the match in reach, the excitement from the crowd built, and the Pelicans jumped out to an 11-3 lead in the third set. Sidorova recorded four aces during the run. Then seniors Lexie Hydrick, Collins, and Hanley earned crucial points for the Pelicans to build a 18-5 lead, and with minimal errors at the net and serving line, the Pelicans closed out the third set with a 25-10 victory.
Up next, the team hosts the Rhinos of Taft in the Olcott Center on Saturday, October 13, at 3 p.m. The game will be livestreamed on the Loomis Chaffee athletics livestream page.