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Winning is fun; getting revenge is better.

Two weeks after losing in straight sets to Worcester Academy, the Wilbraham & Monson Academy Girls' Volleyball team gained its best win of the season with a sweep over the Hilltoppers at home on Oct. 10.

The Titans controlled the majority of the match, winning 25-13, 25-21 and 25-15.

"I thought it was a great team effort," Coach Donna Barone said. "There was no one superstar: they were all great. If you looked at the statistics, it was divided equally. Our serving percentage was 92 percent. I think we took Worcester by surprise having lost to them two weeks ago."

The Academy received strong serving from Courtney Fallon '17, Gabriella Leary '17 and Carly Venditti '16.

"I think our team really pulled together. We played extremely well together," said Courtney, who missed the first match against Worcester. "We talked a lot better and we didn't get down when we lost a point. We got back up."

WMA played nearly 200 points of volleyball less than 24 hours before the Worcester match in a Spike for the Cure fundraiser against Ludlow High School.

Go Wildcats!

Wilbraham & Monson Academy's Wenyen Gabriel '16, one of the most sought-after high school boys' basketball recruits in the Class of 2016, verbally committed to the University of Kentucky Oct. 1.

Accompanied by WMA Coach Mike Mannix, Wenyen made his announcement at ESPN in Bristol, Conn.

"It's been like a dream, and hectic," said Wenyen, a 6-foot, 10-inch, 195-pound forward. "Going into the summer, I didn't know what to expect. Having it go this way is great. I learned a lot from a whole lot of people during the recruiting process. It's done a lot for me but it's taken a lot of time, but it's obviously worth it in the end. I feel confident in my decision. At times it got overwhelming and I had to go away from my phone, but I'm happy where I'm at right now."

Wenyen, the #23rd ranked player in the senior class by ESPN, had narrowed his choices to Kentucky, Duke, Maryland, Connecticut and Providence before selecting the long-time college basketball giant and its Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame coach, John Calipari.

"I really likes Cal's vision for me and I like how he recruited me," Wenyen explained. "He took my recruitment into his own hands. It made me feel special how he recruited me. Also, I like how his vision . . . me going to Kentucky, I don't have to be a certain type of player someone wants me to be. I can be who I am and play how I play: play hard, block shots, defend and not get locked into a position."

"I think he made a great choice," Coach Mannix added. "With all five schools that were involved late, no matter what he decided he was going to pick a great situation. When it came down to making his choice, he wanted to go to a place where his vision and goals gelled with the head coach, and I think that's what he saw in Coach Calipari. I think in the end Wenyen went with his heart. Kentucky's a smart choice."

Wenyen said he appreciated the support and privacy the WMA administration, faculty and students gave him during the recruiting process, and he's ready to move forward and focus on the Academy's Boys' Basketball season.

"Tomorrow is a fresh start to the basketball season," said Wenyen, an honor roll student. "It's a new chapter. It's a whole new team this year. We have a lot of different players from last year. I'm ready to start a special thing this year."

Wilbraham & Monson Academy will continue one of its recent traditions when the Girls' Volleyball team competes against Ludlow High School in a Spike for the Cure event.

The sixth annual match will be held at Ludlow Oct. 9 at 7 p.m. Spike for the Cure is a national fundraiser in the fight against cancer.

"It's great we've been able to do this for six years now, even though there's a new coach at Ludlow," WMA Coach Donna Barone said. "The fact that it doesn't matter whether we're a private school or public school, it's all for the cause."

This year's proceeds will be raised in honor of a Ludlow janitor who died of multiple myeloma, which is a cancer of the plasma cells.

WMA and Ludlow collected approximately $10,000 in the first five years of the fundraiser.

"The team definitely has more fun with this match," Coach Barone said. "It's not about the winning. We can mix things up and everyone gets an opportunity to play. I think it's good for the fans that teenagers can do a charitable event and have fun with it, but still understand the seriousness of the mission."

Much like its first game of the season, the Wilbraham & Monson Academy Field Hockey team broke a scoreless deadlock in the closing minutes to beat Hamden Hall Country Day School 1-0 Sept. 26 at the turf.

Sydney Liptak '16 scored off of a rebound with less than six minutes to play as the Titans pushed their record to 2-0-1.

"We're doing a very good job trusting our teammates," said Jenny English '17, who played all game with a high level of intensity at forward and midfield. "The team has been working hard on the field and has been giving 110%."

The Titans got 110% from four of their middle school players. Laurel Vartabedian '21, Charlotte Kindblom '21 and Charlotte Derose '21 gave WMA quality minutes, and defender Claire Thomas '20 cleared a dangerous ball away in the last minute. Goalie Megan Wells made eight saves for the team's second shutout in three games.

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