GREENFIELD — Volleyball is an emotional game even in a routine setting, with point-by-point momentum shifts on every kill, block and ace, usually punctuated by players’ jubilant screams.
The Greenfield-Central and Eastern Hancock programs took that commotion to a new level Thursday, with the matchup heightened by the intra-county rivalry, a raucous crowd and a pair of G-C transfers that suited up for the Royals.
A powerful front line hitting attack and the defense of Alex Colclazier helped the Cougars take control after a slow start en route to a 21-25, 25-14, 25-22, 25-20 win.
G-C spikers Maddie Graham, Rachel Irbe and Jordan Bunch combined for 33 kills, often set up by the digging of Colclazier (18 digs) and passing of Megan Bradley (31 assists).
The Cougars (5-2) had just talent and guts to turn back an equally determined Royals squad.
EH seniors Frannie Stephenson and Jordian Eastes are former Cougars, with Eastes part of the G-C program as a freshman and Stephenson taking the court for the blue-and-gold at the beginning of last season.
There was no doubt of the familiarity between the teams Thursday.
“Our seniors and them, they grew up together,” G-C coach Rita Rouse said. “Jordian until two years ago and Frannie until last year, they were classmates and teammates, so it was definitely something that was on everyone’s mind.
“I think the game meant a lot to everybody and it was just an emotional night for everybody. I think the biggest thing, it’s over. I think everybody’s just, ‘We got it and let’s move on.’”