Jack Hastings said his girls’ volleyball team is ready for the state tournament and that was evident after Wednesday’s decisive 3-0 victory over Millis.
“One season’s done and the other season starts,” Hastings said. “Hopefully we will be able to continue what we’re doing now and continue into the tournament.”
Medfield made quick work of the Mohawks, 3-0, (25-6, 25-4, 25-5) on Senior Night to close out the regular season with a 15-4, 12-1 record.
Before the match, the Warriors honored their three senior captains: Rachel Wyman, Natalie Gill and Campbell Reiff.
“Natalie [Gill] and Rachel [Wyman] were starters last year on our championship team,” Hastings said. “We ended up losing Campbell [Reiff] about two weeks ago [to injury]. … They’ve meant a lot [to the program]. They know what to expect. They’ve been here and they’ve got the experience and I think that goes a long way once you start getting into the tournament. They know how to perform in front of loud places and they know what to expect where some of these teams may not.”
The MIAA announced its volleyball state tournament pairings Wednesday and Medfield drew the fourth seed in the Division 2 Central-East bracket and will host the 13th seed Milford in first round action Friday at 7 p.m.
“We played Milford last year in the same situation,” Hastings said. “I think it was the quarterfinals and I haven’t really seen them play. They’re real gamers. They’re always in it. They’re not going to walk in here and lay down, nobody is.”
Medfield, winners of three straight titles, finds itself in unfamiliar territory heading into this year’s tournament from year’s past. For the first time in three seasons, the Warriors are not a number one seed and are not unbeaten.
That’s OK with Hastings.
“We’ve seen a lot of good teams in the season and we’ve beaten some and we’ve lost to some,” Hastings said. “But at least these kids are not riding an undefeated streak. Undefeated really does scare me.”
Hastings said there are a lot of strong teams in the tournament this year and his team will have a target on their backs but he feels his players will be ready.
“We just have to take care of our side of the court,” Hastings said. “Whatever happens over there, happens over there. The kids are excited. They are ready to go. I don’t think there’s going to be too much jitters.”
The championship experience that Wyman, Gill and Reiff have should help calm the rest of the team as state tournament play opens.
“All three [seniors] are captains and all three of them have done a real good job as far as leadership and chemistry,” Hastings said. “They have to lead by example obviously, but we have them concentrate on trying to get team chemistry. There’s different grades and there’s different cliques and different personalities and they do a really good job [of bringing everyone together].”
As for Friday, Hastings said the Warriors will have one more practice to prepare and then it’s up to the players to make the most of their opportunities.
“It’s just a matter of whether they can weather the storm,” Hastings said. “I’m happy with the group as a whole. We battled some adversity and injuries and stuff. At this time of year, I just hope everyone has fun.”
The fun begins Friday in the MHS gym at 7 p.m.