KP Hangs Tough But Falls to Westboro in D2 Final

King Philip Volleyball
KP senior Ahunna James fires a kill in the opening set of the D2 state title game against Westboro at Worcester State. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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WORCESTER, Mass. – Following King Philip’s semifinal win against Melrose, Warriors coach Kristen Geuss commented that she wanted her team to go into its first Div. 2 game and play their style of volleyball. KP matched that expectation on Saturday afternoon at Worcester State, but unfortunately ran into an opponent that was capable of matching it.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Westboro, the unbeaten top seed, showed off its finals pedigree. The Rangers, who finished as runners-up last fall, were buoyed by their traveling support and pulled out a 3-0 (25-19, 25-22, 25-23) victory. KP played well, but Westboro made every point difficult to come by.

“I think we hung with them,” said KP coach Kristen Geuss. “If the first set could’ve gone the other way, then maybe the momentum would’ve gotten us in that direction, but Westboro is strong and they did a great job. Maybe [the hitters] didn’t get into their rhythm the way that they usually do, but also the competition was better.”

The first set was always going to set the tone for the match. KP came into Saturday having won eight straight matches, all without dropping a set. The last time that the Warriors had lost a set was more than a month before in a match with fellow Kelley-Rex champ Attleboro.

Trailing 6-4, KP went on a 5-0 run and looked like it might have the top seed rattled. Ahunna James got it started with a kill and Madison Asprelli delivered three straight aces. When Westboro failed to get another ball over the net, the Rangers quickly called timeout.

James would add a block on the first point after the timeout, but Westboro very quickly regained its composure and then took control of the set. The Rangers went on a 12-1 run, including a couple points on the outside from Georgia Tyrrell and a couple of aces from setter Shannon Clark.

Missy Canning and Olivia O’Neil got blocks and Sami Shore had a nice kill in the middle to keep KP hanging around, but the damage was done. Westboro held on to take the first set and build momentum for the rest of the match.

The second set was close throughout, with the largest lead for either team being four points. Shore again gave KP a spark with a nicely placed tip and then a solid dig that led to a point. Canning went off the block for a kill and setter Kiera Hagen fired an ace to take an 11-10 lead. Clark caught the Warriors a couple times with quick pushes that dropped into the middle of the defense and the Rangers pulled ahead 19-15.

KP rallied. Emily Sawyer came up with a big block for a point and libero Ava Kelley hit a well-placed shot into the back corner that Westboro couldn’t return. The Warriors tied the set at 20 apiece, but again the Rangers had the answer. While Maggie Cardin was the main weapon on the outside, it was Annabelle Semeter in the middle who delivered a critical point to put Westboro on the brink, up 2-0 in the match.

“We tried to tell them that,” Geuss said when asked about battling the energy from a partisan Westboro crowd and not feeling down despite being still right in every set. “We were so close but yet so far. It never felt like we took charge of any set as we went along, but we stayed in it, we hung in there.”

The Warriors wouldn’t give up, as expected from a team filled with senior leaders. They came out strong in the third set and built an early lead. James blasted a pair of hits down the line, continuing her outstanding playoff performances, and Shore added another good hit from the middle.

Sawyer found the court with a tip and O’Neil split the blockers with a swing to put KP ahead 12-8 and force a timeout. As was the case after each timeout, the Rangers settled down and went on a run, this time winning six of the next seven points, led by Cardin’s swings.

Down 19-16, KP was able to stay calm and get back into the set. Shore delivered an ace that tied it and Sawyer came up with a big block to put the Warriors ahead 20-19. Hagen added another ace and KP was up 23-22 and looked ready to keep its season alive for at least another set.

But, Westboro was able to make the plays it needed. The Ranges won the next three points, with Cardin going down the line for a kill, a long back-and-forth rally ending with the ball in the net, and then Cardin blasting another hit off the blockers for the match- and title-deciding point.

“They’re an incredible team,” Guess said about Westboro. “They’ve been here before. They knew what to expect. We did the best we could and that’s all I can ask of them. They gave 100 percent. It’s always hard to have it end in a loss, but I couldn’t be prouder of the way they performed.”

It was a remarkable run for King Philip, which finished with 22 wins, a share of a third straight league title, and the program’s first-ever appearance in the state title game.

“It was just a great season getting this far,” Guess said. “This was the unspoken goal, the unspoken thing we wanted to achieve. It wasn’t about winning the Hock, it was always about going as far as we could in the tournament. I’m so proud of everything they’ve accomplished.”

“They were good games and I’m super proud of the way they performed.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Experience Carries KP to Place In State Title Game

King Philip Volleyball
King Philip swept Melrose, its fourth 3-0 win in the postseason, to secure the program’s first ever spot in the D2 state title game. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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FRAMINGHAM, Mass. – Trailing 7-2 at the start of the second set, King Philip was struggling to find the same energy that they started Wednesday night’s Div. 2 state semifinal with, but the Warriors were hardly going to panic. Instead of rushing and trying to get back into the set on one play, KP stuck to its plan.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Melrose was playing well and led 13-7 in the second, but the Warriors went on an 8-2 run to tie the set. Even after the Redhawks regained the lead with back-to-back points, KP seemed unperturbed and won 10 of the next 13 points to go up 2-0 in the match.

The benefit of having six players who were part of last year’s Final Four run was never more apparent. KP would hold off Melrose in the third set, winning 3-0 (25-18, 25-20, 25-22) at Framingham High to advance to the program’s first ever state championship game.

“I think the six of them who had been here last year definitely came with experience, they knew what expect all along,” said KP coach Kristen Geuss. “It was a total team effort. They have been giving 110 percent since day one. They had their sights set very high, I couldn’t be happier for them to get this far and they’re still working and giving 100 percent in practice every day.”

“We already knew the feeling going into the game and I think that made us want to push even more because of how the game went last year,” said senior hitter Ahunna James. “Reliving all those memories, and even rewatching our game from last year, we were really prepared and knew what we had to fix.”

KP came into the night on a seven-game win streak, having not dropped a set since a loss to Attleboro almost exactly a month ago. In the opening set on Wednesday, the Warriors kept rolling right along.

Emily Sawyer (14 kills) dropped a tip over the block and then had back-to-back kills. Kate O’Neil followed with a block, which forced an early Melrose timeout, and a big swing to put the Warriors in front 7-2. KP wouldn’t allow Melrose any closer than four points for the remainder of the set.

The front line of Sawyer, James, Sami Shore, and Olivia and Kate O’Neil was just too deep for the Redhawks on both sides of the net. KP was creating points with the block and overpowering Melrose at the net. The spark for KP’s fast start on attack was the play of setter Kiera Hagen, whose consistent passing and her defense on the back line (along with libero Ava Kelley) gave the hitters plenty of chances to swing.

Olivia O’Neil served consecutive aces and then won a third service point to extend the lead out to 10. After Melrose cut it back down to six, Kate O’Neil smacked one off the block for a point and Sawyer got a point on her serve. The Redhawks kept battling, but James (seven digs) had a block and a pair of kills to seal the first set.

KP had the momentum and seemed to be in complete control, but the Warriors were sluggish to start the second set and the Redhawks took advantage behind impressive outside hitter Gia Vlajkovic. Melrose led 7-2 and 13-7 and were dominating play at the net, with Chloe Gentile and Anna Shoemaker both getting blocks and points in the middle.

The Warriors never looked bothered by the early deficit, trusting that they would eventually go on a run and pull themselves back into the set. Shore had a kill and Sawyer an ace to cut the lead to just one at 15-14, forcing a Melrose timeout, before another pinpoint Sawyer serve tied things up.

A block from Sadie Jaggers put the Redhawks back up by two, but Shore snuck a swing inside the back line and then also hit one down into the block to tie things at 18-18. James fired an ace and Olivia O’Neil went cross-court with angled swing to go up two. Sawyer would make it a three-point lead with a hit that the officials ruled was tipped. The Sacred Heart-commit added a block and another big swing to close things out and make it 2-0.

“I think we were a lot more fragile last year,” James explained. “During practice we tried yelling at each other when we started serving and just trying to send ourselves into that fragile moment, so when we were in that moment in the match we’d get out of it.”

Geuss said, “To see them come back is phenomenal. They just need to believe in what they can do and I think if they can just keep the pressure on, play their game, I think that’s hugely important.”

KP made sure to get off to a much better start to the third, jumping ahead 7-1. Shore and James went back-to-back with swings to extend the lead to 10-4 and Sawyer ended a long rally with a kill. Hagen dropped in an ace to make it 18-10 and it looked like the Warriors were going to cruise into the final.

Credit to Melrose, the Redhawks made sure to add a little drama to the third set, going on a 9-2 run to cut the lead down to just one. Ava McSorley had a couple of aces and Leah Fowke had one during the run. Shore stepped up in the big moment, recording a block and then a kill to make it 22-19.

When asked about how much fun it is to play with Sawyer and Shore along the front line, James said, “It’s really nice because if one of the three of us is down, we know there’s always someone who can help us get out of that moment. The three of us are always watching each other’s backs.”

After Melrose took the next two points, Missy Canning got into the act with a kill. O’Neil added a swing from the outside and Canning closed out the match with a swing from the right that the Redhawks couldn’t run down, sealing KP’s progress to the final day of the season.

“It’s just so amazing for us,” Shore said. “We really wanted it last year but that gave us more motivation to come out this year and take it.”

She added, “We’re definitely on an upward track right now. It feels amazing to know that we made a little part of KP history and we’re excited for a chance to play for the state championship.”

King Philip (22-2) will play for the Div. 2 state title on Saturday at 12:30 at Worcester State against unbeaten top seed Westboro.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Player of the Week: Ahunna James, King Philip Volleyball

Ahunna James
 
By HockomockSports.com Staff

King Philip senior Ahunna James has been selected as the HockomockSports.com Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, for Nov. 6 through Nov. 12. James is the 10th player chosen as Player of the Week for the 2022-23 school year.

James put together a stellar week to help King Philip sweep Nashoba and Westwood and reach the Div. 2 Final Four for the second straight season. James had 25 kills between the two matches, helping the Warriors dominant both sides of the net and make it seven straight wins without dropping a set. KP will now face No. 6 Melrose this week in the state semifinal.

“Ahunna continues to be a big part of the teams success,” said King Philip head coach Kristen Geuss. “She is a six-position player and makes an impact on both offense and defense.”

After a sweep of Notre Dame Academy in the Round of 32, James had one of the best overall matches of her career in the win over Nashoba. She finished with 15 kills, six digs, and four blocks, as the Warriors held of Nashoba in the opening set 28-26 before more comfortably winning the final two games. Her impressive play at the net continued against the Wolverines. James had 10 kills in the win, most of them smashed through the Westwood defense. She also added three digs to help the KP defensive effort in a 25-19, 25-17, 25-17 victory.

Click here for a photo gallery from this match.

The Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, is selected by the HockomockSports.com staff. Nominations can be submitted throughout the week up until Saturday night at midnight. There may be a poll posted on every Sunday with the nominations. The results of the poll influence the selection but do not strictly dictate the decision.

Ahunna James
Ahunna James The Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, is selected by the HockomockSports.com staff. Nominations can be submitted throughout the week up until Saturday night at midnight. There may be a poll posted on every Sunday with the nominations. The results of the poll influence the selection but do not strictly dictate the decision. Ahunna James The Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, is selected by the HockomockSports.com staff. Nominations can be submitted throughout the week up until Saturday night at midnight. There may be a poll posted on every Sunday with the nominations. The results of the poll influence the selection but do not strictly dictate the decision. Ahunna James The Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, is selected by the HockomockSports.com staff. Nominations can be submitted throughout the week up until Saturday night at midnight. There may be a poll posted on every Sunday with the nominations. The results of the poll influence the selection but do not strictly dictate the decision. Ahunna James The Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, is selected by the HockomockSports.com staff. Nominations can be submitted throughout the week up until Saturday night at midnight. There may be a poll posted on every Sunday with the nominations. The results of the poll influence the selection but do not strictly dictate the decision. Ahunna James The Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, is selected by the HockomockSports.com staff. Nominations can be submitted throughout the week up until Saturday night at midnight. There may be a poll posted on every Sunday with the nominations. The results of the poll influence the selection but do not strictly dictate the decision. Ahunna James The Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, is selected by the HockomockSports.com staff. Nominations can be submitted throughout the week up until Saturday night at midnight. There may be a poll posted on every Sunday with the nominations. The results of the poll influence the selection but do not strictly dictate the decision. Ahunna James The Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, is selected by the HockomockSports.com staff. Nominations can be submitted throughout the week up until Saturday night at midnight. There may be a poll posted on every Sunday with the nominations. The results of the poll influence the selection but do not strictly dictate the decision. Ahunna James The Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, is selected by the HockomockSports.com staff. Nominations can be submitted throughout the week up until Saturday night at midnight. There may be a poll posted on every Sunday with the nominations. The results of the poll influence the selection but do not strictly dictate the decision.

Friday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 11/11/22

Today’s games are listed below.

Football
Division 1

#8 Methuen, 28 @ #1 Franklin, 24 – FinalClick here for a Photo Gallery from this match.
1st Quarter: (M) Shane Eason 2-yard rush, 2-point conversion good.
2nd Quarter: (F) Jase Lyons 35-yard pass to Luke Davis, Garrett Portesi XP good; (F) L. Davis 24-yard interception return, G. Portesi XP good.
3rd Quarter: (F) G. Portesi 30-yard field goal; (M) S. Eason 71-yard rush, XP good.
4th Quarter: (M) Drew Eason 5-yard pass to S. Eason, Conversion failed; (F) J. Lyons 22-yard pass to Derek Dubriske, G. Portesi XP good; (M) D. Eason 2-yard rush, XP good.

Division 2
#8 Mansfield, 21 @ #1 Milford, 27 – Final
1st Quarter: (Ma) Drew Sacco 4-yard rush, Travis Hennessy XP good; (Mi) Evan Cornelius 5-yard rush, Nick Araujo XP good.
2nd Quarter: (Mi) Romeo Holland 42-yard rush, N. Araujo XP good.
3rd Quarter: No scoring.
4th Quarter (Ma) Connor Curtis 40-yard rush, T. Hennessy XP good; (Mi) N. Araujo 31-yard rush, N. Araujo XP good; (Ma) Conner Zukowski 30-yard pass to Trevor Foley, T. Hennessy XP good; (Mi) R. Holland 6-yard rush, XP no good.

#7 Marshfield, 13 @ #2 King Philip, 17 – Final
1st Quarter: (M) Anthony Molander 7-yard rush, XP good.
2nd Quarter: (KP) Tommy McLeish 5-yard pass to Daniel Silveira, Matthew Kelley XP good; (M) A. Molander 87-yard pass to Charlie Carrell, Conversion failed; (KP) M. Kelley 40-yard field goal.
3rd Quarter: No scoring.
4th Quarter: (KP) Rudy Gately 1-yard rush, M. Kelley XP good.

Division 3
#7 Billerica, 6 @ #2 North Attleboro, 34 – Final
1st Quarter: (NA) Nathan Shultz rush, Austin Clemente XP good; (NA) N. Shultz rush, A. Clemente XP good; (NA) Greg Berthiaume rush, A. Clemente XP good.
2nd Quarter: (NA) G. Berthiaume rush, XP no good.
3rd Quarter: No scoring.
4th Quarter: (NA) N. Shultz rush, A. Clemente XP good.

Division 4
#6 Foxboro, 21 @ #3 Bedford, 14 – Final
1st Quarter: No scoring.
2nd Quarter: (F) Mike Marcucella 13-yard pass to Tony Sulham, Sam Carpenter XP good.
3rd Quarter: (F) Lincoln Moore rush, S. Carpenter XP good; Brandon Mazenkas-O’Grady rush, S. Carpenter XP good.
4th Quarter: (B) Blocked punt return, 2-point conversion.

Field Hockey
Division 1

#5 Franklin, 1 @ #4 Wachusett, 2 – Final

#23 King Philip, 1 @ #2 Andover, 4 – FinalKing Philip kept it close with highly-touted Andover for the majority of the game but the Golden Warriors pulled away with two goals in the final quarter for the win. Mara Boldy got KP on the board off of a Kelly Holmes shot and a Lauren Barriero insert, and the game teams finished the opening quarter tied 1-1. Andover took a 2-1 lead in the second, and it stayed that throughout the second and third quarters thanks to a tremendous effort from KP goalie Haley Bright (22 saves). Head coach Kaitlyn Wilder credited Bright for her efforts in net and all of her seniors of their efforts in the game and throughout the season.

Division 3
#5 Foxboro, 0 @ #4 Dover-Sherborn, 1 – Final

Volleyball
Division 2

#7 Westwood, 0 @ #2 King Philip, 3 – FinalClick here for a Photo Gallery from this match. The Warriors controlled the match from start to finish to reach the D2 Final Four for the second straight year, winning 3-0 (25-19, 25-17, 25-17). The front line of Sami Shore, Emily Sawyer, and Ahunna James were too much on both sides of the net. Shore and James went back-to-back on kills in the first and an ace from setter Madison Asprelli put KP up 9-4 in the first set and the Warriors never relented. James had a big hit and then on the following point had a block and the kill to make 18-12. Olivia O’Neil and Missy Canning both got points down the stretch of the first. Westwood got its first lead in the match at 4-3 in the second set, but a Shore kill off the block put KP up 7-6 and the Warriors never relinquished the lead. Sawyer was in charge both in the middle and the outside and setter Kiera Hagen dropped a push into a hole in the Wolverines defense. After a James kill, KP led 21-10. O’Neil would secure the second set with a swing off the block. Things were pretty comfortable in the third, as KP scored five straight, including a block from Canning, to make it 12-7. Again KP never let off the gas, extending the lead to as many as 12 points, with James rising up and blasting a few big kills. KP will face No. 6 Melrose in the state semifinal.

Football
Non-Playoff

Canton, 41 vs. Dennis-Yarmouth, 13 – Final
1Q: (DY) Dennis-Yarmouth pass, conversion failed.
2Q: (C) Owen Lane 6-yard pass to Hayden Rose, H. Rose XP good; (C) Godson Ofonagoro 11-yard rush, H. Rose XP good; G. Ofonagoro 60-yard rush, H. Rose XP good; (C) Josh Richards 34-yard interception return, H. Rose XP good.
3Q: (C) Charlie Cox 7-yard rush, H. Rose XP good.
4Q: (C) O. Lane 7-yard rush, Nathan Levis XP good; (DY) Dennis-Yarmouth pass, XP good.

Tuesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 11/08/22

Today’s games are listed below.

Field Hockey
Division 1

#23 King Philip, 4 @ #6 Bishop Feehan, 3 – Final (OT)Click here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.

Division 2
#10 Canton, 1 @ #7 Falmouth, 2 – Final

Volleyball
Division 2

#18 Nashoba, 0 @ #2 King Philip, 3 – FinalKing Philip emerged with a victory in a tight first set and then rolled the rest of the way for a 3-0 sweep (28-26, 25-15, 25-8) of visiting Nashoba. Ahunna James had one of her best matches of the year with 15 kills along with six digs and four blocks. Emily Sawyer added nine kills, seven aces, and four blocks, Sami Shore chipped in with seven kills, two aces, and a pair of blocks, and Olivia O’Neil added five aces and three kills. KP is set on Friday at 5:00 against the winner of Woburn and Westwood.

Division 3
#14 Foxboro, 0 @ #3 Newburyport, 3 – Final

Wednesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 10/26/22

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Soccer
King Philip, 5 @ Taunton, 0 – FinalKing Philip scored a pair of goals inside the opening 15 minutes, pushed the lead to three by the break, and tacked on two more in the second half to get a win on the road. Matt Crago had a hand in four of the five goals for the Warriors, scoring once and recording three assists while Will Bowen added a goal and two assists. Andrew Seropian, Dermott Amorim, and Brad Lynn each scored once.

Girls Soccer
Mansfield, 1 @ Canton, 1 – FinalCanton scored with two minutes remaining, freshman Alyssa Wong finishing off a free kick that landed in the box, scoring her first varsity goal to secure a point in a battle of teams sitting in the top 10 in Div. 2. Mansfield took the lead when Kara Santos scored off a feed from center back partner Olivia Dunham. Wong equalized in the dying minutes when Gisella Berardi’s cross caused a scramble in the box and Wong was able to knock it home. The Bulldogs close out the regular season against D2 rival Medfield on Saturday. The Hornets are one point back of league leader OA with one league game left for both teams.

King Philip, 0 @ Bishop Feehan, 3 – Final

Field Hockey
Attleboro, 1 @ North Attleboro, 7 – Final

Mansfield, 0 @ Canton, 5 – Final

Milford, 0 @ Franklin, 11 – FinalA second quarter explosion led the Panthers to a big win at home, capping an undefeated (15-0-1) league schedule for Franklin. Shaw Downing scored twice in the first quarter and finished with a hat trick, Kaitlyn Carney and Payten Crandall each had a pair of goals, and Haley Wernig, Kaeley Dubriske, Ella Griffin, and Delaney Hess each scored once.

Oliver Ames, 0 @ Foxboro, 3 – Final

Taunton, 0 @ King Philip, 2 – FinalKing Philip celebrated senior night with a shutout win over visiting Taunton. The Warriors took the lead in the opening quarter but didn’t find an insurance goal until three minutes left in the game. Makenzie McDevitt gave the hosts the lead and senior Lauren Barriero added the second. Seniors Haley Bright and Samantha Sweetman combined for the shutout. Jasmine Lucier made six saves in net for Taunton.

Stoughton, 2 @ Sharon, 0 – FinalClick here for a Photo Gallery from this game.Stoughton went on the road and returned home with a 2-0 shutout win over Sharon. Senior captains Katherine Giroux and Carly Sanda each scored for the Black Knights while Andrea Khouzmani and Cat Melo had strong performances. Stephanie Costeira earned the shutout in net for Stoughton.

Volleyball
Mansfield, 0 @ Canton, 3 – FinalCanton ended the regular season on a high note, earning its 13th win of the season with a 3-0 (25-12, 25-10, 25-15) win over visiting Mansfield. Zoe Scibelli’s precision passing (15 digs, three aces) allowed for Erin Bigham (24 assists) to run the offense. “It was a complete team effort a good end to the regular season,” said Canton head coach Pat Cawley.

Oliver Ames, 3 @ Foxboro, 0 – FinalThe Davenport division champions fended off another test from Foxboro, this time securing a 3-0 (25-23, 25-23, 25-19) win over the Warriors. Maddie Homer (17 digs, 16 serve receptions) and Saia Rivera anchored the defense for the Tigers, Clare Kavolius dished out 30 assists, and Claire O’Rourke (10 kills, two aces) and Addyson Smock (five kills, four blocks) played well at the net.

Milford, 1 @ Franklin, 3 – Final Milford put the Panthers on upset alert with a win in the first set before Franklin fought back and finished off the win, 3-1 (23-25, 25-10, 25-17, 25-7) to clinch a share of the Kelley-Rex division title. It marks Franklin’s fifth straight title. Freshman Makayla Kuykendall followed up her big game on Monday with another strong showing, putting down 16 kills along with 10 digs and three aces while junior Taylor Lacerda had another strong all-around game with 12 kills, 11 digs, and an ace.

Taunton, 0 @ King Philip, 3 – FinalKing Philip earned its fourth straight win to close the season, and third straight league win, to clinch a share of its fourth straight Kelley-Rex title with a 3-0 sweep (25-10, 25-6, 25-8) of Taunton. The Warriors had a dominant showing at the net with Emily Sawyer notching 11 kills, two blocks, and two aces, Sami Shore recording nine kills, and Ahunna James adding seven kills and four digs. Kiera Hagen finished with 10 assists and Ava Kelley had seven digs.

Stoughton, 3 @ Sharon, 2 – FinalClick here for a Photo Gallery from this game.

Attleboro, 3 @ North Attleboro, 0 – FinalAttleboro shook off a pesky North Attleboro squad in the third set to complete a 3-0 sweep (25-18, 25-12, 25-23) and clinch a share of the program’s first ever Kelley-Rex division title. Natalie Brojek dished out 30 assists to go along with three kills and two aces while the Bombardiers used a balanced attack at the net with Julia Leonardo (17 kills, two aces), Addie Shelton (seven kills, two aces), and Ellie Shelton (seven kills) all playing well.

Friday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 10/21/22

Today’s games are listed below.

Football
Attleboro, 0 @ Franklin, 44 – Final
1Q: (F) Jase Lyons 8-yard pass to Luke Davis, Garrett Portesi XP good; (F) Mike Davide 6-yard rush, G. Portesi XP good; (F) Safety; (F) J. Lyons 48-yard pass to Grayson Hunter, G. Portesi XP good.
2Q: (F) J. Lyons 38-yard pass to Derek Dubriske, G. Portesi XP good; (F) J. Lyons 5-yard rush, G. Portesi XP good.
3Q: (F) M. Davide 24-yard rush, G. Portesi XP good.
4Q: No scoring.

Canton, 14 @ Foxboro, 36 – FinalClick here for a recap and photo gallery of this game.
1st Quarter: (C) Godson Ofonagoro 20-yard rush, Hayden Rose XP good; (F) Brandon Mazenkes-O’Grady 72-yard rush, XP no good.
2nd Quarter: (F) Mike Marcucella 27-yard pass to Rashaan Lewis, Sam Carpenter XP good; (F) M. Marcucella 28-yard pass to Nolan Gordon, Conversion failed; (F) S. Carpenter 37-yard field goal.
3rd Quarter: (F) Lincoln Moore 1-yard rush, S. Carpenter XP good; (F) M. Marcucella 66-yard pass to Eddie Feldman, S. Carpenter XP good.
4th Quarter: (C) G. Ofonagoro 5-yard rush, H. Rose XP good.

Oliver Ames, 0 @ Mansfield, 35 – Final
1st Quarter: (M) Conner Zukowski 29-yard pass to Trevor Foley, Travis Hennessy XP good; (M) C. Zukowski 43-yard pass to T. Foley, T. Hennessy XP good.
2nd Quarter: (M) Drew Sacco 1-yard rush, T. Hennessy XP good; (M) C. Zukowski 28-yard pass to Trevor Foley, T. Hennessy XP good.
3rd Quarter: No scoring.
4th Quarter: (M) Connor Curtis 24-yard rush, T. Hennessy XP good.

Milford, 30 vs. Barnstable, 16 – Final

North Attleboro, 3 @ Taunton, 0 – FinalClick here for a recap and photo gallery of this game.
1st Quarter: No scoring.
2nd Quarter: No scoring.
3rd Quarter: No scoring.
4ht Quarter: (NA) Austin Clemente 24-yard field goal.

Stoughton, 7 vs. Newton North, 28 – Final

Sharon, 21 vs. Hull, 31 – Final
1Q: (S) Gabe Korn 20-yard rush, XP failed; (H) Hull 44-yard pass, XP good.
2Q: (H) Hull 43-yard field goal; (H) Hull 5-yard rush, XP good; (S) G. Korn 17-yard rush, G. Korn 2pt rush.
3Q: (H) Hull 7-yard rush, XP good; (S) G. Korn 10-yard rush, Jace McCarron XP good.
4Q: (H) Hull 18-yard pass, XP good.








Boys Soccer
Canton, 0 @ Oliver Ames, 7 – FinalOliver Ames built a two-goal lead in the first half then poured in five more inside the final 20 minutes of the game to earn a big win over Canton. Casey Milliken opened the scoring with his 19th goal of the season and then set up Mirray DaSilva for his fifth goal of the season to give the Tigers a 2-0 lead. DaSilva added one more in the second half while Andrew Martins and Braeden Blass each scored twice. Milliken added two assists while Joey Carney, Diego Rivera, and Jackson Macomber each had one.

Stoughton, 4 vs. Norwood – FinalAfter a scoreless first half, Stoughton found the back of the net four times to earn a big win over visiting Norwood. Kyle Grant had a hat trick to lead the Knights and assisted on the other goal, scored by Alex Kozak. Sam Santos set up Grant twice while Matheus Groberio had the other assist.

Girls Soccer
Canton, 4 @ Oliver Ames, 2 – FinalCanton came into Friday having not won in the past five games and the Bulldogs fell behind after just three minutes, but they came storming back behind an Emily McCabe brace to beat the league leaders. Jolie Diaz set up Lucinda Li Cotter for a quick opening goal for the Tigers, but Canton answered with two straight to take the lead. Mekhala Costello equalized with an unassisted goal and Paige Sullivan made it 2-2, assisted by Emma Cahill. Taylor deVos would level the match again from the spot, after Sophia Byron’s corner led to a handball in the box. McCabe scored what turned out to be the game-winner after she drew a foul in the penalty area and converted from the spot. McCabe would seal the win off an assist by Sarah Dempster. It was a high-paced game from start to finish and Canton coach Idris Senyonjo is hoping this can give his team some momentum to finish the regular season.

Attleboro, 0 @ King Philip, 5 – FinalKP scored four times in the second half to seal its third win of the week and move back within a point of first-place Franklin with two league games remaining. Ella Pisani got the opener four minutes into the match, on a feed from Addisyn Lamothe-Vaughn. Dani Lomuscio scored to double the KP lead after 57 minutes and then Heidi Lawrence scored twice within a minute to put the game away. Ally Pochay added an unassisted goal in the final minute. Lamothe-Vaughn finished with two assists, while Lomuscio and Pisani each finished with two points.




Field Hockey
Mansfield vs. Holliston, 3:45

Stoughton, 0 @ East Bridgewater, 3 – Final

Foxboro, 2 vs. Hopkinton, 0 – Final

Franklin, 2 @ Walpole, 6 – FinalIn a battle of two of the top teams in the entire state, Walpole earned a 6-2 win over the Panthers. Franklin thought it scored first when a deflected shot found the back of the net but the shot was ruled dangerous and the goal was wiped off. Walpole took a 1-0 lead into halftime before Kaitlyn Carney found the back of the net to make it 1-1. The Porkers scored back-to-backs but the Panthers got one back before the end of the third when Shaw Downing redirected a shot from Carney to make it 3-2. Walpole won the fourth quarter to pull away with the win.




Volleyball
Oliver Ames, 3 @ Bridgewater-Raynham, 0 – FinalFor the second time this season, Oliver Ames earned a win over Bridgewater-Raynham, this time doing it on the road with a 3-0 sweep (25-29, 25-14, 25-22). Sophomore Clare Kavolius dished out 28 assists to set the offense in motion, Sarah Hilliard led the charge with 18 kills, Maddie Homer (19 digs) and Claire O’Rourke (15 digs, four aces) anchored the defense, and junior Isabel Domenico played well at the net.

Canton, 3 vs. Westwood, 2 – FinalAfter dropping the first set, Canton rallied to win two in a row — including a close third set — and then bounced back in the fifth to capture the match, 3-2 (14-25, 25-22, 28-26, 20-25, 15-10). Freshman Erin Bigham had a breakout match for the Bulldogs, dishing out 32 assists to go along with 12 digs, four aces, and a block. Junior Jess Wright continued her strong all-around play with 20 kills, 16 digs, three blocks, and two aces while sophomore Kaitlin Bigham added five kills and a pair of blocks. Sophomore Zoe Scibelli played well with 22 digs and five aces.

Foxboro, 3 vs. Braintree, 0 – FinalFoxboro defended home court with its second win over Braintree this season, earning a 3-0 (25-19, 26-24, 25-15) win over the Wamps. Juliana Pettigrew and Sami Sloan each had eight kills while Mallorie Meyer added seven kills to pace the offense. Alyssa Cloherty dished out 23 assists to go along with three kills and three aces, and Shannon McElhinney added 16 digs in the win.

King Philip, 3 @ Medway, 0 – FinalKing Philip earned a season sweep of Medway, running away with a big 3-0 (25-12, 25-20, 25-11) win on the road over the Mustangs to move to 16-2 on the year. Ava Kelley (eight digs) and Ahunna James (10 digs, seven kills) took care of business defensively while Sami Shore (eight kills), Emily Sawyer (seven kills, four digs, three blocks), and Olivia O’Neil (four kills, two aces) led the offense.

Stoughton, 3 @ North Attleboro, 1 – Final

Wednesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 10/19/22

Today’s games are listed below.

Field Hockey
Attleboro, 2 @ Taunton, 0 – FinalAttleboro scored early in the opening quarter and added a key insurance goal early in the final quarter to earn a win on the road at Taunton. Marley Young opened the scoring just under four minutes into the game, taking a pass from Siobhan Landers and finding the back of the net to establish a 1-0 lead. After back-to-back scoreless quarters, Stella Krawiec scored off of a pass from Young less than five minutes into the fourth to make it 2-0. “I’m really proud of the girls for playing their game and using great passing skills around an aggressive Taunton team,” said Attleboro head coach Jess Pink. Attleboro’s Siany Ortez made seven saves in net for the shutout.

Franklin, 10 @ North Attleboro, 1 – FinalFranklin came out of the gate flying with five first quarter goals and never let up on its way to a win over the Rocketeer. Kaitlyn Carney was nearly unstoppable, scoring four of her five goals in the opening 15 minutes of play while Emily Carney had the other goal. Haley Wernig, Shaw Downing, Ella Aldred, and Sydney Rogan also scored for the Panthers. North scored just past the midway point of the second as Caroline Folan scored off of an assist from Francesca Spencer. Julia Puccio orchestrated the goal by knocking down a Franklin aerial and started the counter with Spencer. Gracie Leary (six saves) and Eman Farid (12 saves) played well in net for North. Devon Barry and Megan Sullivan each made three saves for Franklin.

King Philip, 8 @ Milford, 0 – FinalKing Philip juniors Mara Boldy and Kelly Holmes each recorded four points to help the Warriors earn a big win on the road over Milford. Boldy scored a hat trick and had one assist while Holmes found the back of the net once and notched three assists. Meg Dowling added two goals, Nikki McDonald scored once and added one helper, and Makenzie McDevitt added a goal for KP.

Sharon, 0 @ Mansfield, 4 – FinalMansfield got off to a great start with four goals in the opening half and that was enough to earn a win over visiting Sharon. Rose Maher opened the scoring less than a minute into the game, converting a pass from Ava Adams at the 56-second mark to make it 1-0. Lola Varricchione (from Danni Cuzzi) and Maher added to Mansfield’s lead with first quarter goals while Liv Barry made it 4-0, finishing off a pass from Ella Palanza in the second quarter. Lily Danehy earned the shutout in net for the hosts.

Foxboro, 7 @ Stoughton, 0 – Final

Canton, 1 @ Oliver Ames, 1 – FinalClick here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.








Volleyball
Canton, 1 @ Oliver Ames, 3 – FinalCanton came storming back to win the third set to keep the match going, but Oliver Ames closed it out with a hard-fought fourth set to take a 3-1 (25-16, 25-19, 11-25, 25-20) win over the Bulldogs. OA senior Maddie Homer recorded 31 digs to eclipse the 1,000-dig mark for her career. Sophomore Clare Kavoulis dished out 37 assists, junior Sarah Hilliard landed 18 kills, and senior Courtney Raymond recorded 27 service points to go along with eight aces and five kills. Jess Wright and Sally Hoban combined for 17 kills, 16 digs, and five aces while Liana Lamparelli played well for the Bulldogs with 11 digs, three aces, and a pair of kills.

Franklin, 3 @ North Attleboro, 0 – Final

King Philip, 3 @ Milford, 0 – FinalKing Philip bounced back into the win column in a big way, earning an emphatic 3-0 (25-15, 25-6, 25-19) win on the road at Milford. Senior middle Emily Sawyer landed a team-high 17 kills along with a pair of aces and a pair of bocks, senior Ahunna James recorded 11 kills and eight digs, senior Sami Shore added five kills, and senior Olivia O’Neil had five kills and four digs. Junior Ava Kelley chipped in with eight digs for KP.

Sharon, 0 @ Mansfield, 3 – FinalAfter running away with the first set, Mansfield prevailed in a very competitive second set that went down to the wire and went on to finish the match in the third for a 3-0 (25-8, 26-24, 25-12) win over Sharon. Lilly Verheggen (three aces) led a balanced offense for the Hornets with eight kills while Elyssa Buchanan added seven kills, Lily Campbell added six kills, and Lexie Scibilia chipped in with five kills and seven blocks. Jackie Zelic anchored the defense with 14 digs, Ella Mahoney (six aces) and Gabrielle Moore (five aces) both had strong games serving, and Keira Fitzpatrick orchestrated the offense with 14 assists.

Attleboro, 3 @ Taunton, 0 – FinalAttleboro stayed a match ahead and atop the Kelley-Rex standings with just a week to go following a 3-0 sweep (25-17, 25-16, 25-20) win on the road at Taunton. Natalie Brojek dished out 26 assists to go along with five aces and four kills, Julia Leonardo added 17 kills, and Addie Shelton finished with five kills and two aces.

Boys Cross Country
Canton, 43 @ Medfield, 15 – Final

Girls Cross Country
Canton, 50 @ Medfield, 15 – Final

Attleboro Prevails Over King Philip In Five-Set Thriller

Attleboro volleyball
Attleboro players celebrate after clinching the fifth and final set and a win over visiting King Philip. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
 ATTLEBORO, Mass. — The Attleboro volleyball team was on the verge of completing an epic five-set thriller over one of the best teams in the state in King Philip, but in a blink of an eye, the Bombardiers’ six-point lead was gone.

Once holding a 12-6 lead in the deciding final set, Attleboro saw the Warriors rally for six straight points to tie the game and steal the momentum back. On top of that, Attleboro sent a free ball back instead of a swing, and KP was set up for a big attack in the middle.

But a huge double block from senior Tigin Bombardier and junior Natalie Brojek gave Attleboro the edge once again, and after trading points, sophomore Julia Leonardo (29 kills, 21 digs) landed a kill on a back row attack to secure a 3-2 (17-25, 25-17, 12-25, 25-21, 15-13) win.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“Tonight was huge,” said Attleboro head coach Mary Katherine Runey. “We knew going into this was going to be a massive match and I think it really showed the resiliency of our girls, especially being so young. We only have a couple of returners from last year so this was a true test for us, can we make the right plays in a big game? We had some moments where we showed our youth but in the end, we showed we’re capable of playing at this level.”

After splitting the first two sets, King Philip took a 2-1 lead after dominating the third set (25-12). The Bombardiers showed a lot of resolve in the fourth set as they saw a 12-10 lead turn into a 16-12 deficit. But just as quickly as their lead disappeared, it came back as the Bombardiers rattled off five straight points, including an ace from Addie Shelton, a nice push down the line by Leonardo, and an ace from Julia Mondello.

KP’s Emily Sawyer (eight kills, three blocks) traded kills with Leonardo, a service error put the Bombardiers on the brink and Leonardo once again used a back row attack to end it, 25-21.

King Philip came out with the win in the first set after a see-saw battle throughout. The Warriors led by three or four points for the majority of the set but really pulled away after getting a huge block from Kate O’Neil, a block from Sawyer, and an ace from Shore.

The second set played out similarly but it was Attleboro who claimed a three or four-point advantage by the midway point. Ellie Shelton, Addie Shelton, and Leonardo all registered kills off of assists from Brojek (39 assists, 14 digs), who did a great job throughout the match giving the Bombardiers a chance at attacking swings. Sadie Whitmarsh (23 digs) provided strong defense in the win.

“Who isn’t good at the net for [King Philip]?” said Runey. “We had to be strategic with where we were putting the ball on offense, we wanted to try to get them into mistakes passing and try and get their setter off the net which will help us defensively. We’re slowly working on our double block, which is something we want to utilize more throughout the playoffs. Both of their middles and Ahunna can put the ball at the one, and that throws any team off when their setter has to play true defense. I was very proud of the way both Natalie and Julia Mondello played in the back row tonight.”

Attleboro couldn’t have asked for a better start to the final set. Sami Shore (10 kills, six aces, four digs) scored the first point for KP after a nice dig from Ava Kelley (19 digs) but then it was six straight for the hosts: three errors from KP, an ace from Addie Shelton (seven kills, seven digs, four aces), a kill from Ellie Shelton (four kills), and another from Leonardo.

King Philip chipped away with a big block from Sawyer, a couple of Attleboro errors, some terrific defense from Ahunna James (11 kills, 25 digs, two blocks), and a clever dump from senior setter Kiara Hagen on the second touch to catch the defense, making it 12-12 before Attleboro finished it off.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“I think we can learn from this, playing a team like this and this is the first time we’ve gone to five sets all season,” said King Philip head coach Kristen Geuss. “We needed this…we needed to play in this atmosphere, we needed the crowd yelling at us, we needed this going forward. Attleboro played great, they are a great team and I give them total credit. Their program has really turned around which is so good to see. That being said, we made a lot of mistakes. We had a lot of unforced errors that we don’t usually do. But again, this environment was different so I think this is good for us.

“This was a hard loss but it was a well-fought match. What it does is open our eyes. We have to step up and stop the unforced errors. We came back in that fifth set, I was happy about that. That shows we can dig in. But a few points here or there against good teams can change things.”

Attleboro volleyball (12-1 Hockomock, 14-1 overall) takes sole possession of first place in the Kelley-Rex division with three matches to go. The Bombardiers are on the road the rest of the way, starting with a trip to Taunton on Wednesday ahead of a huge showdown with Franklin on Monday. King Philip (11-2, 14-2) will look to bounce back on Wednesday at Milford.

KP Sweeps Back, Beats Franklin in First Place Showdown

King Philip Volleyball
Ahunna James (11) and her KP teammates celebrate after the final point of their 3-0 win over league title rival Franklin. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

Josh PerryFollowJoshPerry


WRENTHAM, Mass. – When the teams met for the first time, just three games into the new season, Franklin earned a three-set sweep on its home court in a match that was much closer than its overall final score (two of the sets went beyond 25 points). King Philip hosted the second meeting on Thursday night at the Wooden Gym and the opening set was just as competitive.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

The Warriors were able to pull out the first set this time around, winning it 27-25, and KP carried the momentum into a 3-0 (27-25, 25-16, 25-19) sweep, a 12th straight win, and a split of the season series.

“I think that for us it was huge,” KP coach Kristen Geuss explained. “I think it gave us a little boost of confidence going into the second set. That first set could’ve gone either way, much like the first time we played them. Just having a win gets us going even more and that momentum takes us into the next set.”

KP got off to a strong start in front of the home crowd, taking an 8-3 lead when sophomore setter Madison Asprelli laid out to keep the point alive and Sami Shore finished it with a spike off the blockers. Franklin wasted no time coming right back, with an 8-2 run of its own to take an 11-10 lead. Jennifer Soohoo and Taylor Lacerda had kills and freshman Makayla Kuykendall’s ace put the Panthers in front for the first time.

From that point to the end of the first set, neither team was able to lead by more than three points and the intensity, the energy, the speed, and the quality of play was all at the highest level.

The Warriors came back with a pair of kills from Olivia O’Neil and one from middle hitter Emily Sawyer. Soohoo answered with a nice tip and Lacerda found the court with a big swing. Rachel Taylor caught KP leaning and dropped a bump in for a point, Cate Roberge had a kill, Grace Lacerda got a block and Taylor fired an ace to make it 19-16 for the Panthers.

Shore smashed another shot off the block and put KP back in front with an impressive block right in the center of the net. With the home crowd and the home bench getting excited, Kuykendall stepped up again with a shot through the block to tie it at 21 apiece. Her ace put the Panthers up 23-22, but KP came right back with two points, including a spike from Sawyer.

Grace Lacerda picked out the far corner with an accurate shot to tie it and then found the floor with a nice tip to make it 25-25. Sawyer continued to overpower the Franklin block to put the Warriors in front and when the ball hit the net on the final point of a breathless set, it was KP that was on top.

There was no let off for the Panthers at the start of the second, as KP jumped out to a 7-1 lead behind two kills and a block from Sawyer. Franklin’s energy remained high, but the Panthers were struggling to make accurate passes and the errors early in the set proved costly.

“We made too many mistakes at the start of the second to keep that momentum up,” Redmond admitted. “We finished that first set still feeling good because it was close and high energy and it was really good volleyball, but to start any set against a really great team with a lot of errors kills all the momentum.”

Franklin did put together a run in the middle of the set to close within two at 10-8, Lacerda finished off a long rally and a replayed point with kills. Missy Canning and O’Neil answered back to push the lead back to four and Ahunna James dropped in a powerful serve to keep the lead growing.

After Lacerda’s kill made it 17-13, KP went on an 8-3 run to close out the set. James powered one through the block and Shore had another big block in the middle. Shore would end the second with kills on two of the final three points to put KP on the brink of the win.

While a lot of attention rightly goes to the team’s hitters. Geuss gave credit to her back line, including Kate O’Neil, Shea Mellman, and libero Ava Kelley, who helped keep plays alive for setters Asprelli and Fiona Bailey to tee up the hitters.

“It’s totally a team effort,” Geuss said. “Our passes were so good this time. Everyone played really, really well. I think it was a total team effort to get the ball to our hitters. It all starts in that back row and they really great today.”

Franklin needed a spark to keep the match alive, but the third set started with another KP run. The Warriors this time pushed the lead to 8-1, with James and Sawyer recording kills and O’Neil providing a block. The Panthers scored three straight on kills by Taylor and Grace Lacerda and and ace from Sasha Tracey, cutting the lead to 12-9.

As she did all match, Shore had the answer. Her well-placed tip fell in for a point and she followed it with yet another block. James added an ace and the lead was back up to six in an instant. Soohoo had a kill and a block to bring the Panthers back again, at 15-13, but Olivia O’Neil and Sawyer had kills to give KP a more comfortable cushion.

Things went back-and-forth down the stretch. James fired a swing to the back row and Taylor Lacerda matched it. James came right back with another accurate hit, Kuykendall went down the line to respond, and Kate O’Neil tipped one off the blockers and out.

Canning would get the final swing for the Warriors, securing a season split for the third straight year.

KP and Franklin have been the class of the Kelley-Rex division for the past decade. One or the other has been league champion for the last nine seasons and the two have shared the crown each of the past three years (with Oliver Ames grabbing a third of the title in 2019). Both coaches noted that the rivalry and the level of volleyball the two teams play against each other will only help prepare for the playoffs to come.

“KP is a fantastic program and it’s great to play them this close to the end,” Redmond said. “They’re high energy, it’s great volleyball, and it’s a lot of fun to watch. It’s stressful, but it’s fun.

Geuss added, “Franklin is so good. They’re always so good. You have to play at your top when you play against them. We have to prepare for moving on and to see a team like Franklin come, it’s great experience for us.”

King Philip (14-1) will come back on Monday night with another title showdown, facing surprise division co-leader Attleboro. Franklin (10-3) will be home on Monday to face Taunton, hoping for an Attleboro upset to possibly share the title again this fall.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.