WESTBOROUGH, Mass. — Rangers volleyball took on Westford for the second time in five days, and although Westborough won 3-0, coach Roger Anderson said it wasn't as comfortable as the score might indicate.
"We weren't as smooth or as clean as we wanted to be, and they definitely pushed us," Anderson said.
After winning a close first game 25-21, Westborough (7-0) got sloppy. At one point in the second game the Rangers made five straight errors, allowing Westford to take a 22-20 lead before the Rangers calmed down.
"I think as a coach you're always trying to get your kids to play one point at a time. We can't control the score on the scoreboard, you can only control what you're doing," Anderson said.
The strategy paid off. Behind strong performances from juniors Sam Kehoe (13 kills) and Addie D'Luzansky (16 digs), Westborough scored five of six points to win the second game 25-23. The Rangers cruised in the third 25-15. Tori Flahive had eight kills and Heather Clemmons contributed three aces behind a strong service game.
Anderson said the undefeated start is a pleasant surprise from his junior-laden lineup, but there's a long way to go.
"Westford allowed us to see some things we definitely need to clean up," Anderson said.
Westborough 3, Groton-Dunstable 1: A 3-0 Rangers lead midway through the second half gave coach Paul Mumby flashbacks to his team's collapse against Shrewsbury a week prior. This time his team's defense held tough.
"I think technically my team is very good this year, very quick. We're just a bit naive at times," Mumby said, referring to the Rangers' 3-3 tie to Shrewsbury in which they allowed three unanswered goals. "You've just got to keep levelheaded."
That's what the Rangers (4-2-1) did Monday, behind goals from Olivia McGourty and Jenna Thomas in the first half, followed by a goal from Kylie Bradley in the second. Groton's goal cut the lead to 3-1 with about 20 minutes remaining.
Groton-Dunstable 4, Westborough 0: Coach Michael Griffin said his team played well in a shutout loss to Groton, highlighted by Sean VanDoren's defense, but the Rangers didn't take advantage of opportunities.
"We created quite a few good chances, we just couldn't stick them in the net," Griffin said.
With the loss, the Rangers drop to 3-2-1, losing their second straight after a three-game win streak.
Nashoba 1, Westborough 0: Senior Katie Lombardozzi scored midway through the second half to break the scoreless tie and end the Rangers' two-game winning streak. Westborough is 2-4.
BOYS CROSS COUNTRY
Nashoba 20, Westborough 41: Eric Latimer (17:07) took third and Mark Aronson (17:15) took fifth to lead Westborough as Nashoba beat the Rangers in the 3.1-mile race at Veteran's Freedom Park in Westborough.
GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY
Nashoba 23, Westborough 32: Rachel Harris (21:50) finished second and Helena Wright (21:56) finished fourth to lead Westborough as Nashoba beat the Rangers in the 3.1-mile race at Verteran's Freedom Park in Westborough.