Ranger Volleyball Progresses Halfway through their Season with a 5-0 Record

Shannon Clark '23, Contributing Writer

After a 15 month off-season, the longest in Ranger history, the WHS Volleyball season is underway.

The Rangers hit the ground running during their first week of games with back-to-back sweeps against Marlborough. All three teams (Varsity, JV1, and JV2) participated in one home match and one away matches against Marlborough. In keeping their momentum, the Rangers swept Shepard Hill both home and away the following week. Varsity and JV1 were the only teams that played Shepard Hill as Shepard Hill doesn’t have a JV2 team.
A consistent adjustment for all games is the new Covid-19 protocols. For instance, instead of all the teams taking one bus and jamming players into seats for away matches, each team is required to take their own bus with only one player to a seat. Hand sanitizer is readily available and must be applied before players enter the court. Similarly, the volleyballs are wiped down in between sets (games to 25). Players contacting one another is prohibited, which limits typical routines such as the use of the locker rooms before games. Each player is required to wear a mask at all times and is designated a specific chair in which they are able to take water breaks.

Though most of these protocols are still strictly enforced, there has been some change in who is permitted to watch the games. All of the games thus far have been live-streamed and will continue to be so that anyone is able to watch. However, it was recently approved that each player is given two lanyards to invite two members of their immediate household to come to home games. This development came just in time as Senior Night was the first match family members were allowed to attend.

Senior Night took place against the Nashoba Chieftains on Tuesday, March 30. The gym, decorated with balloons, streamers, posters, and families felt more like the Westborough gym than it had in over a year. 

Starting out, seniors made up the majority of players on the court. The first set was a close back and forth up until the end when the Rangers lost 21-25. In the second set, the tight game persisted until the Rangers pulled ahead to win 25-17. Westborough took the third set handily with an early lead winning 25-15 by the end of the set. The Rangers beat Nashoba 25-16 in the final set and concluded the match with six out of seven seniors on the court. Senior Captain Ella Hilfinger led the team in kills in accumulating 9 kills in the match. Fellow Senior Captain Taylor Chelak scored four aces against Nashoba while Senior Sarah Cox played strong defense with 6 digs in the game.

After the game, the Rangers held a brief ceremony for their seniors, teammates, and families. On Thursday, Westborough will travel to Nashoba to seek another win against the Chieftains. The game can be streamed via the live stream at Nashoba, as can the remainder of the Rangers’ matches.

Statistics: http://hometeam.telegram.com/schools/?season=202021&type=story&sport=girls-volleyball&id=20210330-1-nashoba-westborough