Lowell boys down Chelmsford – Boston Herald

CHELMSFORD — The Lowell boys volleyball team keeps overcoming adversity to get wins, and a third straight Merrimack Valley Conference title is well within reach because of it.

Despite another slow start to drop the opening set Monday night, the No. 9 Red Raiders (14-2) found their rhythm over the next three to fend off a resilient No. 15 Chelmsford, 3-1 (22-25, 25-20, 25-20, 25-18), sealing a regular-season sweep.

With Methuen beating Haverhill, Lowell’s matchup against the Rangers on Friday could decide the MVC title between the two one-loss teams — barring a loss from either in their other remaining conference games.

“We’re looking for that MVC title,” said Lowell assistant coach Brandon Seng. “The league has got a lot better, so it’s been pushing us a lot and we’ve been stepping up for the occasion. We’re happy with what the guys are doing so far.”

Tyrell Lout dished 41 assists to lead the way, setting up three different players for at least 10 kills. Reigning conference MVP Cody Fitzpatrick was at the forefront with a team-high 14 kills, proving especially effective in a 1-0 match deficit after the Lions’ Liam Quinn (11 kills), Ridty Tauch (13 kills) and Royce Roxas (seven kills, two blocks) paced a 25-22 win in the opening set.

Lowell needed a big response, which it got with a 25-20 win in the second. Fitzpatrick’s second kill in the frame’s first four points sparked a 5-0 run, and Lowell never led by less than two points for the rest of the set.

“(The conversation after the first was) keep pushing and keep feeding me,” Fitzpatrick said.

“It really was, it was just, ‘Feed me, feed me,’ the whole time,” Lout added. “I gave it to him.”

Fitzpatrick led the game in kills but was far from the only game-changer for Lowell.

Senior middle Walter Palacio racked up two blocks and four of his 10 total kills in the second set. Ceazar Joseph (nine kills, two blocks) and Ayden Ruom (10 kills) each added several kills in the frame, and their involvement rolled over into a dead-even opening 30 points to the third set.

Joseph, Lout (four kills) and Fitzpatrick closed out a 25-22 win for a 2-1 match lead, but Palacio’s and Dennis Seng’s (five kills, block) utilization was extremely influential.

“We had a big difference on our middles, so I tried … setting the middles, get them going,” Lout said. “After that, I’d just push it all the way to the outside.”

“(The biggest difference) was definitely getting the ball to the middles,” Fitzpatrick added. “Once you start to feed the middles, it opens up the gaps.”

The Red Raiders started to roll from there with a 15-3 lead in the fourth set as Chelmsford strung together a run of errors. The Lions scrapped to get within a 21-14 deficit, but couldn’t overcome Lowell’s numerous hitting options.

“When I have these kind of people (around me), my job is very easy.” Lout said. “I just push it out, boom. … Push it to their hands, they kill it every time.

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