by MICHAEL LETENDRE
BRISTOL – After the Bristol Eastern volleyball team earned a bye as the number one seed in the Class L state tournament bracket, the Lancers battled No. 17 Mercy in second round action on Thursday, Nov. 14 from the Thomas M. Monahan Gymnasium in Bristol.
And Eastern won its 23rd match of the season behind a 3-0 sweep.
Game scores were 25-9, 25-22, and 25-8.
All-stater Zoe Lowe started the postseason with a team-high 14 kills to go along with a blocked shot and three digs.
Ryley Plourde zipped up nine kills, an ace, and nine service points while Hannah Webber added six kills and three aces.
Ariana Caucci slipped in five kills and two aces; Sage Scarritt had a kill and three aces; Rebecca Bender bumped up five digs; and Leah Chipman dished out 34 assists and added six digs.
Mercy ended the campaign at 12-8 overall.
But in quarterfinal play on Saturday, No. 8 Woodstock Academy pulled off the upset on the road, bouncing the Lancers 3-2 in a match that could have gone either way.
The Centaurs won via scores of 25-19, 23-25, 25-23, 26-28, and 15-13.
Woodstock’s Paula Hernandez loomed big on the court with 19 kills and 43 digs to pace the victors.
Lowe ended her junior campaign with 28 kills and 10 digs.
Webber had 13 kills and two blocks while Caucci spiked down eight kills.
Scarritt rambled up two kills, Bender collected 16 digs; Lucy Winarski nabbed eight digs; and Chipman dished out 51 assists.
Woodstock Academy (19-5) moved on in Class L play while Bristol Eastern (23-2) ended a very memorable season with just two losses.
The match was the final contest for captains Rebecca Bender, Brooke Doris, and Ariana Caucci.