Don’t let the 7-11 record fool you.
The Bedford High School volleyball team is “battle-tested and able to compete against almost anyone,” according to Head Coach Lisa Predaina.
The team will have an opportunity to find out on Wednesday when the 12th-seeded Buccaneers visit defending Division 3 state champion Old Rochester in the second round of the 2022 MIAA state tournament.
Bedford proceeded to the second round after blanking the 20th-seed, Putnam Vocational Technical Academy of Springfield, 3-0 on Thursday. Putnam arrived in Bedford with a 16-4 record but was the lower seed based on power rankings.
“The Dual County League continues to be a fiercely competitive league, so our regular season record is not quite an accurate depiction of our ability,” Predaina explained. “When we put it all together, we are really competitive.”
The coach pointed out that for most of this year’s roster, “this is their first experience of varsity volleyball and the state tournament. We were all really happy to have had one last home match, and to get that win at home is especially nice for the seniors.”
“We are a work in progress, but I am seeing some incredible growth from the team, especially in their confidence to try new things and push themselves to be faster and stronger,” Predaina observed. “I see this in their reaction speed and decision making, but also in how they designed their own trick play.”
Bedford has one massive advantage – senior Gaby Zovko, one of the top scholastic volleyball players in the state. She dominated much of Thursday’s match; Putnam just had no answer for her game.
During the contest, she broke the school record for aces, set at 101 by Olivia Roscoe in 2019. Zovko now has 104.
“The kids on the volleyball team have some great moments for sure, and Gaby is simply incredible,” the coach asserted. “Throughout the season we have been working to maximize our strengths, especially with Gaby, while also improving the team’s overall skills and situational awareness.”
“If we can keep our mental focus and positive energy as a team, I think anything is possible.”