Senior night emotions overflow as Plainville falls to visiting BC

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PLAINVILLE – Senior night is always an occasion of high emotion.
And for the Plainville volleyball squad, senior night saw plenty of emotion but also some spirited play as the Blue Devils gave Bristol Central a real run for their money.
But in the end, the Rams trudged out a 3-1 win from the Ivan Wood Gymnasium in Plainville on Wednesday, Oct. 15.
Central won by set scores of 25-16, 25-17, 11-25, and 25-12.
Plainville coach Steve Compson made sure all his seniors had a night to remember and the foursome of  Emilia Filipkowska, Stephanie Barbagallo, Sarah Abdulsame, and Emily Duda all started the game for the Blue Devils. “Tonight, we juggled the line-up to get our seniors some playing time,” said Compson. “The were a little bit shaky to start off the first set but I thought Emilia Filipkowska altered the game up at the net.”
“All of a sudden, she was blocking things, deflecting things and we heard (Central) coach (Jen Broderick tell her players) to push the ball over her.” Filipkowska certainly altered what Central wanted to do, racking up nearly a half-dozen kills, blocking four shots, and altering several others.
She connected on all 12 serves she took while Dude went 18-for-18 on the serving front.
Abdulsame was 8-for-8 serving and Barbagallo did a solid job setting up her mates in serve-receive for Plainville (1-13).
For Central (6-9), Lilly Sundgren ramped up 24 assists, 4 aces and went 11-for-12 serving while Taylor Jacquemin played well with 7 kills, 4 aces, and a 14-for-14 serving showing.
Autumn Blasi went 12-for-12 on the serving front while the stellar Ali Martel contributed 7 aces, 17 service points, and went 24-of-25 serving.
In each set for the Blue Devils, the squad did just enough to hang around against a solid Central attack.
And in the third set, Plainville took a quick lead and tallied up a 25-14 win to trail 2-1 in the match.
But off the third set, the Blue Devils looked gassed as a more experienced Central made all the plays down the stretch in the fourth game.
“We took that third set, which was nice,” said Compson. “But that’s just a problem with us in consistency the whole year. We got momentum and everything coming out of that third set and it just evaporates quicker than a raindrop in Death Valley.”
To start the first set, Martel served up several balls that Plainville couldn’t return as Central took advantage of the Blue Devils’ serve-receiving.
Off a kill by Central’s Hailee Velazquez, Plainville trailed 6-1 off the bat.
“A lot of coaches hate this senior night tradition because whether it’s basketball, whether it’s softball, whatever it is, the girls tend to get emotional and you come out a little flat,” said Compson. “I think we went down 6-1 or 7-2 (in the first set) and I was like let’s take the timeout. Unfortunately, this is not the first time we’ve done this. We tend to dig a hole.”
“When the game starts, we just don’t seem ready to go.”
Central pushed the advantage out to 20-8 as a couple aces by Martel had the visitors in control.
But Filipkowska started blocking shots, killing others and off a deflection that wasn’t returned by the Rams, Plainville was in the thick of things and trailed by just a 21-16 tally.
However, a Vasquez kill and a few Blue Devil errors ended the first set as Central took it by a 25-16 final to go ahead in the game by a 1-0 tilt. “I thought my girls played very well,” said Compson. “We just decided for the second set that we were going to stay with that line-up. We knew that they were going to work hard and we’d take our chances.”
In the second set, Abdulsame made a kill off an assist from Jess Gorski and Plainville led by a 5-3 tally.
“I think with our main setter out, I thought Jess (Gorski) stepped up and did a pretty good job for us in a lot of ways,” said Compson.
But that Plainville edge didn’t last as the Rams used an 11-2 jaunt to take a commanding 15-7, ending on a loud finish by Jacquemin.
Again, Plainville fought back, made a run, and via a Central kill that went long, Plainville was in it once again and down just 22-17.
Three straight Central points ended the second set as Central won it 25-17 and led 2-0 in the game.
However, Plainville didn’t work that hard to come away from the match with nothing.
In the third set, it was all about the Blue Devils.
Once Plainville nabbed a quick 5-1 lead, Central never got back into the swing of things.
Martha Boltromiejuk blocked a shot for a kill and later, her jump-serving proved a clean ace and the Blue Devils’ edge grew to 17-7.
And that final push grew to 14 points as Plainville won the second set by a 25-11 final and the home team had some desperately needed momentum.
However, Central quickly took control of the final set off the serving, and digging, of Martel. Off a tip-over by Jacquemin that was not returned, the Rams led 9-2 and never looked back.
A Plainville kill by Aminah Tsonga cut the deficit to 9-5 but a 9-0 jaunt by Central made it an 18-5 contest.
As Central was a few points away from taking the match, Compson brought his seniors out of the game, one by one, as each got cheers from the crowd before Plainville bowed out by a 25-12 ending the home portion of the volleyball schedule for the Blue Devils.
“I think tonight there was obviously some emotion,” said Compson. “And I (was tearing) up I have to say when I took my seniors out at the end. I just wanted the hometown crowd to give them a round of applause which they did.”

Plainville tangled with the Bristol Central Rams last week in Plainville.
Plainville tangled with the Bristol Central Rams last week in Plainville.
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