SOMERS, N.Y.— Somers’ varsity volleyball team grinded out a 3-2 win over visiting Brewster on Oct. 14.

Alexa Hoffman paced the Tuskers with a big game up front with 17 kills, while Liz Spencer had 26 assists and four aces.

“The key to beating Brewster was staying focused and playing how we know how to play,” Hoffman said. “We made a lot of silly mistakes the first game and the tension on the court was tangible. By the end of the second game we shook it off and were able to get our heads in the game and turn it around.”

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The Tuskers fell behind with a 25-13 loss in the first set, but rallied to win the next set 25-22, climbing out of a deep hole in the process.

“We started off the match slowly and lost the first game by a large margin,” Somers coach Kim Kelly said. “Communication on the court was ineffective and unproductive. And our offense wasn’t able to get into sync. Brewster continued with the momentum early in the second game and established a lead of 22-13. After a few lineup changes and excellent leadership from our senior, Alexa Hoffman, the team began to turn things around and made the long haul back to a tie game, eventually winning it.”

The Tuskers took the third set by a score of 26-24.

“Game 3 was intense with both teams fighting point by point,” Kelly said. “The game stayed close throughout, but we played well as a team and kept our energy and intensity levels high. Madison Andriano was a key defensive player for us (in the third set) and passed the ball well all night.”

Somers fell in the fourth set 26-24, but was able to dominate the fifth and final set, 25-12.

“The girls established a lead and began to chip away at Brewster’s position on serve-receive which threw their offense out of system,” Kelly said of the final set. “The girls capitalized on the lead and with some amazing serving and offense by Liz Spencer, we held a strong lead and won.”

Hoffman said it is important to stay strong, focused and determined during a tiebreaker fifth set.

“We started in the beginning positive and with a good energy and carried it throughout the game,” Hoffman said. “We were very scrappy and fought hard for the win.”

A day earlier, Somers fell in straight sets to cross town rival Kennedy Catholic for the second time this season. The Gaels won 26-24, 25-17, 25-19.

Caroline Tompkins had 22 assists, three aces, five kills and seven digs to lead the defending CHSAA city champion Gaels. Tara Cooney had nine aces, six kills and seven blocks. Dani Kralik slammed down 11 kills.

Somers junior middle hitter Alyssa Klee suffered a broken finger in practice right before the two-game stretch last Wednesday, Oct. 12. Stepping up in her absence was freshman Pooja Rao, who was called up from the junior varsity. Rao received the ‘game ball’ for her efforts against Kennedy.

The Tuskers close out the regular season with a three-game road trip. They travel to John Jay-Cross River at 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 20, head to Lakeland at the same time the next day and take on Walter Panas at 6 p.m. on Oct. 24.

“The team has its ups and downs,” Hoffman admitted. “We definitely like to fight for our wins. In the beginning of the game (against Brewster) we weren’t doing well but by the end we were definitely playing hard and aggressive. That being said, we still have to focus and work hard to be prepared for any team we play in sectionals.”