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In finals’ rematch, Newton North girls’ volleyball makes its point with sweep of defending champion Needham

Newton North players were in a celebratory mood after taking the second set against Needham Tuesday night.Jim Davis/Globe Staff

NEWTON — Just 304 days removed from their Division 1 state final match, the Newton North girls’ volleyball team gained a small bit of satisfaction Tuesday night, sweeping defending champion Needham, 3-0.

In the first two sets, the host Tigers (5-0) pulled out close 25-20 and 25-21 victories, trading blows back and forth with the fellow unbeaten Rockets (3-1), who had claimed a 3-2 victory for the championship last November on the court of another Bay State Conference rival (Wellesley).

But the third set was a different story as North shot off to an immediate seven-point lead and eventually won 25-16, capitalizing on the Rockets’ mistakes.


“We had way too many service errors, and our serve-receive wasn’t too good either,” Needham coach Courtney Chaloff said. “We weren’t in rhythm or system and when you get pulled out it’s hard to get back in.”

Her former assistant, Nile Fox, is now in season two at the helm of the rival Tigers.

“He is a really great guy and a great coach,” Chaloff said. “Him and I have the same competitive drive and I have a lot of respect for him.”

Acknowledging Needham is a great team, with a great coach, “I learned a lot from her,” Fox said of Chaloff. “I came with a bit of a chip on my shoulder after losing last year, it wasn’t a fun loss, we wanted to be prepared for this day.”

Senior opposite hitter Abigail Wright led the offense with 16 kills, continuing her play early on that has been a difference maker, said Fox.

With five sweeps to start the season, match preparation has been key for Newton North.

“We have had the same mind-set all season,” Fox said. “We want to improve, we want to bring energy, and the game plan was just to worry about how we play and not the noise around the match.”


Tyler Foy can be reached at tyler.foy@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @Tyler__Foy.