Volleyball: Promising season for Concord comes to an end Wednesday night against Pinkerton

Brooke Wyatt controls the ball for Concord during Wednesday’s preliminary round playoff matchup with Pinkerton.

Brooke Wyatt controls the ball for Concord during Wednesday’s preliminary round playoff matchup with Pinkerton. CHIP GRIFFIN / Photos By Chip

Concord’s Sarah Taylor spikes the ball against Pinkerton during Wednesday’s Division I preliminary round playoff game.

Concord’s Sarah Taylor spikes the ball against Pinkerton during Wednesday’s Division I preliminary round playoff game. CHIP GRIFFIN / Photos By Chip

Brooke Wyatt (9) and her teammates celebrate a point during Wednesday’s preliminary round matchup against Pinkerton.

Brooke Wyatt (9) and her teammates celebrate a point during Wednesday’s preliminary round matchup against Pinkerton. CHIP GRIFFIN / Photos By Chip

By ERIC RYNSTON-LOBEL

Monitor staff

Published: 10-25-2023 11:17 PM

CONCORD – The first month of the Tide’s 2023 season couldn’t have gone much better. Through 12 games, Concord sat at 10-2, poised for a top seed in the Division I playoffs. But against tougher competition down the stretch of the schedule, the Tide faltered, losing five of its final six games, limping into the playoffs as the No. 8 seed. 

Hosting No. 9 Pinkerton (12-7) on Wednesday in the preliminary round of the playoffs, Concord (11-8) once again came up on the short end, losing 3-1 (21-25, 25-14, 27-25, 25-17) to end the season.

The two teams had previously met on Oct. 4 at Pinkerton Academy; the Tide won, 3-2. But on Wednesday, after winning the first set narrowly, the Tide struggled to find rhythm.

“They started hitting at us and getting around the block that we were putting up,” said head coach Maria Wimpey. “I think we had a tough time adjusting to that and then adjusting around their block that they were starting to put up. We stopped covering, and we started trying to hit around it.”

Brooke Wyatt led the Tide with six kills and five blocks. Katie Blinn added four kills and four blocks.

While Concord would’ve loved to have kept the season alive and faced No. 1 Bedford on Friday night, there’s little reason for disappointment, Wimpey said. Under a first-year head coach, the team still finished above .500 and had the opportunity to host a playoff game.

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“I already told them they should be super proud of themselves,” Wimpey said. “They went into a season with a brand new coach and had a winning season which doesn’t happen a lot because culture shifts, things change, how practices are run change. They came into it really, really well, and they did an awesome job, so I think moving forward, they should be proud of themselves. It was a tough loss, but the season itself I think was a win.”