Banged-up and bruised, the Newton South boys’ volleyball refused to lose.
After a tightly contested first set, the Lions squad took charge on their home court, stealing three straight sets for a 3-1 victory over defending state champion Cambridge Tuesday, 24-26, 25-20, 25-22, 25-23.
“We’re pretty confident we’re the best team in the state just because we have every single piece — the hitters, the passers, the setters — we weren’t really worried at all,” said 6-foot-6-inch senior Zack Halpryn, who had nine kills.
The Lions have been a nuisance for Cambridge (10-3), taking five of the last seven matchups, including last season’s straight-set win that ended a nine-game winning streak for the state champions.
Senior Zach Litchman had seven kills, despite dealing with a knee injury suffered against Westford, where the Lions avenged their only loss this season.
The “wounded warrior,” as coach Todd Elwell called him, kept the Lions neck-in-neck with the Falcons in the first set, before falling, 26-24.
Libero Craig Kauffman also played with a wrist injury.
Newton South sophomore Joe Esbenshade (nine kills) sparked a 7-point lead with two spikes in the second set, but DCL Player of the Year Jalen Penrose rallied with a pair of hits to tie it, 14-14, pushing the Lions to call a timeout. Point-for-point, the two squads battled until senior Paul Vasiloff (eight kills) knocked in a tip and a kill, 25-20.
“We didn’t really start playing volleyball until that second set and even then we were still making bad decisions with the ball. Finally the third set we put the foot down and said this is the way we play volleyball,” said Elwell.
Greater New Bedford 3, Brockton 2 — Senior Derek Lewis had 29 kills for the Bears (10-4).
Xaverian 3, Lincoln-Sudbury 0 — The Hawks earned their eighth consecutive win.
Archbishop Williams 10, Quincy 2 — Senior James Daley went 3 for 3 with three RBIs for the Bishops.
Newburyport 4, Amesbury 1 — Senior Connor MacRae had the win for the Clippers (7-4) with 13 strikeouts.
Cohasset 12, Norwell 3 — Junior outfielder Chris Haggerty went 3 for 4 and had two RBIs for the Skippers (7-7). Senior Connor Goetz went 2 for 3 and had five RBIs.
Mt. Alvernia 5, South Shore Christian 4 — Tori Bethoney went 2 for 3 with a home run and a double to lead the comeback.
North Quincy 3, Scituate 1 — Senior Kelly Thompson went 2 for 3 with one RBI and senior Liz Kelly scored three times for the Red Raiders.
East Bridgewater 16, Hull 1 — Senior MacKenzie Kingman hit two singles, a double, and had four RBIs for the Vikings (8-4).
BC High 5, Malden Catholic 0 — With the victory over the Lancers, the Eagles captured the school’s first Catholic Conference tennis championship.
Lexington 5, Stoneham 0 — The host Minutemen improved to 12-1 with Harry Nichols leading the way at No. 1 singles with a 6-0, 6-0 win.
Lowell 5, Central Catholic 0 — The Red Raiders improved to 8-3 with the victory.
Framingham 10, Norwood 9 — Senior Joe Igoe scored the winning goal with eight seconds left in the game for the Flyers (8-4).
Reading 14, Woburn 5 — Senior Mark Dente scored four goals and had three assists for the No. 14 Rockets (11-1).
Wellesley 15, Braintree 6 — Kerry Lyne led the Raiders with four goals and an assist in the first quarter.
Walpole 13, Weymouth 5 — Senior Chris Frye recorded seven goals and three assists for the Rebels (7-6).
Whitman-Hanson 16, North Quincy 5 — The Panthers (8-3-1) were led by senior Jackie Sullivan’s six goals and two assists.
Dover-Sherborn 19, Medway 6 — Senior Nora Klemmer scored four goals and had one assist for the No. 16 Raiders (10-2). Junior Elisabeth Olgevee had three goals and two assists.
Needham 17, Milton 3 — Senior Julia Fletcher and junior Elizabeth Larkin both scored three goals and had one assist for the No. 4 Rockets (12-2).