Walpole falls just short on Wu Night

Alex Barmakian

  After a commendable effort, the Walpole Rebels Volleyball season came to a conclusion last Monday; however the team ended on a positive note with the celebration of the team’s only senior, Tzu-Lin Wu. Tzu-Lin Wu Day commemorated the lone senior’s final game in a Walpole uniform. As the Walpole girls walked into the Elm Street Gym, posters were hung, cameras were geared up and fans with painted faces congested in the stands. The Walpole starting line-up included Wu, junior captains Caroline Crimmins and Michaela Nee, and sophomores Erin Nee and Kim Walsh. 

  As the match kicked off, Wellesley got an early 5-11 lead over the Rebels, but an impressive spike by Crimmins led Walpole back into the game. The Raiders kept their distance in the first set as they prevailed 16- 25. Though the Rebels maintained good communication,  Wellesley’s finesse and composure never wavered. Through the first 13 points won, the Rebels remained within one.  With a Wu spike and a Michaela Nee ace, the team felt as though it was their time for vic- tory. The Rebels and Raiders contested in many long rallies as both teams fought for points. Nothing got past Erin Nee as she blocked spiked shots and man- aged to tip the ball in between three defenders sever- al times, leaving her opponents in awe. As the end of the set drew near, Wellesley gained huge momentum and scored eight consecutive points. Ultimately the Rebels gained control, but  it was too late in their attempt, and they relinquished the second set 22-25. 

  After both teams used a timeout, Walpole came into the third set knowing that their post season dreams were riding on the next 25 points.  The Rebel team scored four unanswered points, then the Raiders started responding. Junior Sam Cametti contributed with back- to-back aces, giving her team a 9-5 lead. With junior Kerry Nelligan back from a knee injury, she proved to be a focal point of the set. She managed to place the ball barely over the net, adding another point to Walpole’s score, making it 10-5.  Wellesley then struck back when the Rebels could not communicate between each other in time, gaining eight out of the next nine points played. As the match progressed, the Raider offense and defense prevailed over the Rebels, winning the third and final set 26-24. This, however, did not dishearten the girls, as they continued to celebrate Wu Night. They look forward to next year, hoping they will have an equally fun time, despite the loss of Wu.