When Fabe Ardila took over the reins of the Weston volleyball program five years ago, the team was in its infancy, entering its first full season as a varsity program.
“We’ve come a long way since then,” he said.
For Weston’s opponents, that much is clear. Fresh off a 9-11 season, the Dual County Small squad earned its first win of the year as the visitors beat perennial volleyball powerhouse Newton South in three sets, 26-24, 25-17, 25-21, for its first victory over a Dual County League Large school.
“[The win] validates what the girls have been talking about all along,” said Ardila. “We missed district tournament by one match last year. Now knowing that one match can be so important, the girls want to win all the winnable games early in the season to make sure they make the district tournament this year.”
Weston (1-0) had control most of the game, but its deciding blow came in the third set. With the score tied at 21, Weston and Newton South volleyed for more than three minutes. Senior Sophie Alphas made three spectacular digs to bring the ball back into play and keep Weston alive.
At the end of the point, Newton went for the block and hit the net, with the unforced error giving the Wildcats the point, the momentum, and eventually the win.
Senior Sydney Halloran had 10 kills for Weston and junior Paige Gordon chipped in 10 aces. Sophomore Gabriella Ardila added 30 assists.
“[Newton South] is always one of the top teams,’’ said Ardila. “We basically set the bar so high going forward that we cannot go below it.’’
Newton North 3, Weymouth 1 — Senior Keane Brazda had 15 assists while junior Alanna King recorded 15 service points to help the Tigers improve to 3-0.
Canton 3, Attleboro 0 — The Bulldogs defeated the Bombardiers with the help of Julia Murphy, who had 12 kills and four aces, and Erin Proctor, who had 15 assists.
Lincoln-Sudbury 1, Wayland 0 — Junior midfielder Andy Rosenblatt netted the lone goal while freshman goalkeeper Bobby Hurstak made seven saves to record his first career shutout.
Braintree 4, Brookline 2 — Sophomore Brendan Gawron netted a hat trick to help the Wamps improve to 3-0.
Westford 1, Boston Latin 0 — Senior Chris Difonzo netted the game’s only goal to help the Grey Ghosts improve to 2-0.
Latin Academy 6, Brighton 0 — Freshman Charlene Evans and junior Morgan Wheeler each scored twice to help the Dragons win their first game of the season.
Needham 2, Framingham 0 — Freshmen strikers Rachael Kingston and Emma Spector each scored their first career varsity goals for the Rockets.
Saugus 19, Lynn Classical 36 — Sachems senior Kevin Powers won the 3.1 mile race in 20:15.
Whitman-Hanson 15, Middleborough 50 — Senior Gianna Cacciatore took first place for the Panthers (2-0), finishing the 3.1-mile course in 20:17.
For complete scores, go to Boston.com/schools.