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Lyman Memorial volleyball wins final three games to top Waterford 3-1 in ECC Div. II

Waterford — It was more the relentlessness from the Lyman Memorial volleyball team following a Game 1 loss than anything Waterford might have done wrong.

"Give credit to Lyman," Waterford coach Matt Maynard said. "They have really good servers. We were really pumped and energetic. We were making a point for us to come out (strong)."

Waterford won the first game 25-17 against defending Class S champion and Eastern Connecticut Conference Division II unbeaten Lyman on Monday night and it wasn't really that close, with Waterford jumping out to a 20-10 lead.

But Lyman, amidst a series of long rallies against a fairly equally matched Waterford team, came back with renewed fire to win the next three games and the match, 25-12, 26-24 and 25-19.

Ryleigh Gonyo had 15 kills and 10 digs and fellow hitter Rachel Miller had 10 kills and 16 digs for Waterford (8-3, 2-2) in a defensive showing that showcased the Lancers' toughness, and Sabrina Kobykluck added 25 assists. Waterford had won four straight matches since losing a 3-2 decision at Lyman on Sept. 25, coming off a 3-1 victory over ECC Division I opponent Fitch its last time out.

And the first game Monday certainly caught Lyman's attention, with a Lyman player serving long on game point as Waterford went up 1-0.

"I feel like we let a few bad plays get in our heads," Lyman coach Amanda Nappi said of the opening game. "In between, some of the things we talked about were 'What did we feel during that set?' We talked about good communication, good body language and staying aggressive. ... It was the exact opposite lately; it was one of the few times this season we struggled early."

Lyman (7-1, 3-0) remained aggressive, too. The Bulldogs got off to a 22-8 lead in the second game, winning that game in a rout.

The remaining games were more even, however. After trailing 7-1 early in Game 3, Waterford came back to tie it 10-10 and several minutes later it was still tied 24-24. Lyman hitter Helen Megson made the key play of that series as she was headed out of bounds toward the scorer's table yet managed to stick her arm out and somehow hit the ball back for an unlikely winner, giving the Bulldogs the 25-24 edge.

The final game was tied as late as 12-12.

"I wanted them to not be afraid to make errors, as long as they're good errors," Nappi said of her team's aggressiveness. "... Waterford is probably one of the best teams in the ECC. I would say (it's because of) their defense, setting, hitting and their serving."

Megson had 19 kills and 16 digs for Lyman, while libero Anna Mathewson had 29 digs and setter Indigo Hevner had 44 assists and 12 digs. Lyman's aggressiveness contantly put pressure on Waterford.

Maynard, though, despite the loss, listed a few of the qualities which has Waterford successful this season.

"I love our team," Maynard said. "We have all the pieces. We're coming together well. We're going to do great things this year. I like our tenacity, I like our togetherness, I like that we never give up. ... Every day we get stronger."



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