Volleyball falls in five sets

The Rams lost to Western New England’s volleyball team Sept. 10. 

Framingham took the first set 25-23 but then dropped the second set 25-20. 

In the third set, both teams were head-to-head throughout, but Western New England’s spikers powered through the Framingham blocks, sending the ball flying toward the stands at times to win the third set 25-22. 

In the fourth set, Framingham had to win or the match would have ended. 

The team as a whole stepped up, but one player stood out above the rest. 

Framingham’s libero, Alyssa Cafarelli, received spike after spike and racked up digs. This prevented Western New England from taking the fourth set, as Framingham won it 25-17.

Coach Richard Casali said Cafarelli “comes from Arizona so we’re very lucky to have her. She’s a really good player. You notice her more than others because she’s on the floor more than others.

 “Our other defenders are really good players. She’s special.”

The game went into a decisive fifth set. 

Playing in a complete five-set match is rare and physically draining for players. It also causes nerves and pressure.

“I’ve been doing this for a real long time – it’s not nerve-wracking for me. My assistant was a wreck. She was bouncing off the walls,” Casali said. “The girls get a little anxious at the end, and that’s what causes them to make mistakes.”

Western New England jumped out to a lead early in the final set due to multiple Framingham mistakes and took off from there.

The mistakes made by the Rams led to a 15-9 final set win by Western New England, which gave them the game win at 3-2. 

“We’re young and we need to learn how to play at the end of a game – that’s when it really counts the most,” Casali said. “The mistakes we made at the end, if we made them earlier, they wouldn’t have seemed so bad. 

“They’re a young team and they’ll make mistakes. That’s what I told them in the huddle. They played pretty well – we’re just having trouble finding a win.”

This loss is the third straight for the Rams. 

 “As we mature a little bit, they’ll attack more. What we’re doing, we’re just going to keep doing, because we’re not doing much wrong,” Casali said. “We’ll be back in the gym working on our attack and getting into a position to always attack.”

Fulfilling her job as the libero, Cafarelli led the team in digs with 32. 

Brandee Thomas led the team in kills with 17. 

The Rams had a better kill percentage than Western New England and had 12 more digs.

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