Chelmsford Boys Come Up Aces in North Final
TEWKSBURY -- The eighth-seeded Chelmsford High boys volleyball team captured the Division 1 North championship in high style on Wednesday night.
The Lions rolled over fellow MVC rival Lawrence in a three-game sweep to improve to 19-5 and advance to Monday night’s state volleyball semifinal doubleheader at Concord-Carlisle High where they face the West champion (to be determined).
Coach Edgar Valdez won a gold trophy in his first year coaching at Chelmsford.
“I have a great bunch of players and eight seniors who are very coachable,” he said. “Falling behind in that third game I reminded them that you cannot play passive. Step up and take the play to them.”
The first two sets came almost too easily for the winners. They won 25-19 in the first set and prevailed 25-22 in the second set. The close score belies the fact the Lawrence never had a lead in either set.
The Lancers came out and grabbed the early lead in the third set and held it well into the deciding moments.
Leading 20-17, Lawrence took a timeout to reset their defense. Chelmsford fought hard for each point, and found themselves down by two at 23-21 and 24-22.
The match swung on the next four points, all secured by the Lions.
Kills leaders for the Lions were Levi Cass (7) and 5 each by Luke Briand and Wes Fortier.
Senior setter Chris McCarthy was dominant at the net with 24 assists, including 3 of the last 4 in the match.
MVP consideration belongs also to senior Libero Aaron Schaefer, who had 10 digs off the floor, 14 assists and 2 serving aces both in the third quarter.
“This is incredible,” said coach Valdez. “We were ready for anything they might throw at us. This was our third match of the season with Lawrence -- the rubber match. We were never down in that last game, even when they led by 4 or 5 points. We just kept driving ourselves harder on every point until that 24-all tie. Then we knew we had them.”
Chelmsford, which also won the North crown in 2015, has beaten St. John’s Prep (9 seed), Winchester (1), Wayland (4) and Lawrence (3) in the tournament and is 20-4 overall.