WORCESTER – The Westfield boys volleyball team is right where it expected to be at the start of the season. The Bombers capped off a strong year with a Division 1 state title, sweeping Wayland at Worcester State University on Thursday night, 27-25, 25-22, 25-21.
“You set out in the beginning of the season and we had high expectations,” said Westfield head coach Tyler Wingate. “But we had to temper them too because it’s a process and we know how long of a season it is
“It’s a long road, and when you have an experienced team like this, you don’t want to get too far ahead of yourself,” Wingate added. “It feels a little surreal to say we’re the best team in the state.”
The match did not feel like a sweep, with the two sides trading leads in all three sets.
The Bombers (19-3) came away with the win in a tight first frame, 27-25, and used it to set the tone in the last two. Wayland took a 21-17 lead in the second set, but the Bombers reeled off an 8-1 run to make it 2-0.
Senior middle hitter Noah Kappel was huge, tallying 12 kills, three assists, and five blocks. Fellow middle blocker Ryan Murray added seven kills, while setter Scott Walsh dished out 30 assists and libero Tyler Stanton notched 15 digs.
Trailing for the first time all postseason, the Warriors (23-3) did everything they could to force a fourth set but just couldn’t string together the points they needed late to extend the match.
“Hats off to them because they played a really great volleyball match,” said Wayland head coach Rod Fletcher. “I’m really proud of our kids and how hard they battled. They hung in there every stretch of the way, we just couldn’t seem to get that engine going.”
Senior Jack Fletcher finished with 17 kills and 14 digs, but the presence of Kappel and Murray at the net helped force him into 13 errors. Setter Asa Greenaway added 24 assists and 10 digs while Cam Gordon had four kills and two blocks.
“We’re all super happy,” said Kappel, whose Westfield team lost to Needham in the state final in 2015. “We’ve always wanted to get back here.
“This year, my last year, it’s been all we’ve been working for,’’ Kappel added. “We’ve been working so hard with preparation, putting in so much time and effort as a collective unit, and we finally got it done together.”Dan McLoone can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.