By HockomockSports.com Staff
Player are listed alphabetically
Liz Bickett, Senior – Canton
Although Bickett only picked up volleyball a few seasons ago, she was one of the league’s top middle hitters last season, helping the Bulldogs win a 13th league title in the past 14 seasons and clinch the program’s first-ever state championship. A lot of attention was (rightly) given to Taylor Harris on the outside, but Bickett was a strong, all-around performer who seemed to get better in the biggest games. She finished with 173 kills and 59 blocks and was a dominant force in the middle of the net, but she also chipped in with 238 digs, 466 serve receptions, and 33 aces. Her athleticism, length, and quickness allowed her to impact matches no matter where she lined up. As she heads into her third season playing volleyball, Bickett will be the centerpiece of Canton’s front line and will be hoping to keep the Bulldogs in their place at the top of the Davenport division.
Allyson Bonnet-Eymard, Senior – Franklin
Bonnet-Eymard emerged as one of the top all-around performers in the league last season, becoming Franklin’s leading hitter but also chipping in with solid play at the service line and on the defensive side of the game. Bonnet-Eymard recorded a team-high 205 kills and was a dynamic hitter in Franklin’s balanced offense. She also had 36 aces and 117 digs, making her someone that could be counted on regardless of the rotation. Quick and athletic, Bonnet-Eymard has a powerful and accurate swing and forces the opposition to keep an eye out for her on every attack. Franklin is looking to win a third straight Kelley-Rex title this season and Bonnet-Eymard’s versatility will be critical to a title run.
Emma Brooks, Senior – King Philip
So much attention goes to the play at the net, hitters, and blockers, that sometimes it can be hard for other positions to stand out, but Brooks shone during KP’s playoff run last season. The libero was one of the top defensive players in the Hock and seemed to get even better in the biggest moments. Brooks had 151 digs and 88 aces on the season and also chipped in with 23 kills, including several critical points during the playoff run. Athletic, quick, and willing to lay out to keep plays alive, Brooks allows KP blockers to be aggressive at the net, knowing that they have someone who can chase the ball down behind them. Her passing range and defensive skills will be key again this season as Brooks and KP hope to repeat as Kelley-Rex division champs.
Nicole Coughlan, Senior – King Philip
Coughlan dominated the middle for the Warriors last season, pairing with Catherine Waldeck to give King Philip control of the net and helping KP make a run to the Div. 1 Central-East final. With 252 kills Coughlan was fourth-best in the league in the regular season and she also had 22 blocks, but she also contributed in other aspects of the game with 46 aces, good for 10th best in the league. Waldeck’s graduation means that Coughlan’s importance in the middle will be even greater this season, as KP is going to be relying on her accurate hits and her solid timing on the block to keep control of the play on the front line. The Warriors will be looking for a second straight league title and Coughlan’s experience and imposing presence in the middle will make KP a tough team to beat this season.
Sara Fandel& Leah Fandel, Seniors – Sharon
Sharon has shown improvement in each of the past few seasons and the Eagles are hoping to be in the mix for the division title this season. Two reasons for that are sisters Leah and Sara Fandel. Leah led the Eagles attack last year with a team-high 96 kills with a 38.4% kill percentage and does a nice job with her placement from the middle, picking spots around the block. She also gives the Eagles a strong first line of defense at the net and was second on the team with 36 blocks a year ago. Despite picking up a preseason injury, Leah is expected to return soon and give Sharon a big boost. Sara has emerged as one of the Eagles’ go-to options already this year after showing great improvement. Her ability to swing from all spots on the court, including the back row, gives the Eagles another dynamic to its offense.
Caroline Flynn, Senior – Oliver Ames
The Tigers make their return to the Davenport division this season, 16 months after a historic season that saw them reach the Div. 1 South final. OA has hopes of ending Canton’s reign at the top of the league and Flynn will be one of the main reasons for those high expectations. She is the team’s top returning hitter, after amassing more than 130 kills as a junior, and also a vocal leader on the court. As she showed during basketball season, Flynn is a strong jumper with good body control and feel for the game, which makes her a weapon on the outside in the attack and also makes her effective at the net defensively. A tough player who doesn’t back down from a challenge, Flynn can set the tone for a team that is trying to end more than a decade of Canton domination in the Davenport.
Julia Kelly, Junior – Mansfield
Kelly has taken no time at all to make a major impact for the Hornets. The two-year varsity player was one of the Hock’s top all-around players last year, finishing in the top 15 in kills, digs, and aces, and helped the Hornets reach the postseason. She showed off her skills in the back row as a freshman but last year took on a much bigger role in the Mansfield attack, finishing with 124 kills. Kelly continued to be strong at the service line, with 48 aces, and was a tough defensive presence with 134 digs. Her versatility is already an important piece of Mansfield’s success and as she continues to gain more experience at the varsity level Kelly can help the Hornets challenge the top teams in the Kelley-Rex.
Ana Leonardo, Senior – Attleboro
With a few new names on the roster and a new coach on the sidelines, Attleboro will be hoping to take a step forward in the standings this season. Leonardo, a rare four-year player, will be a leader for the Bombardiers on the court and her versatility means that she can make an impact regardless of where she’s lined up. A player who seems to do everything well, Leonardo can play as a setter or outside as a hitter. She is a good passer, strong on the service line, and an accurate hitter. Leonardo is also consistent on the defensive side, keeping plays alive and giving her team the chance to snag a point. By being able to play multiple roles, Leonardo gives Attleboro’s new coach, Mary Katherine Runey, the flexibility to make in-game adjustments and find the right spots for the new players.
Cailyn Mackintosh, Junior – Franklin
Not many teams could have graduated a player of the year setter (Lauren McGrath) and not really missed a beat, but Mackintosh stepped right in and became one of the top passers in the league. In her first varsity season, she recorded 487 assists, second-best in the Hock, had 44 aces, and had 94 digs, as the Panthers won a share of a second straight league title. Mackintosh is an accurate passer but also does a great job spreading the ball around to Franklin’s assortment of hitters, keeping the opposition on its toes not knowing who might get the pass. The reigning Underclassman of the Year looked like a seasoned veteran last season and with a year of experience under her belt, the expectations are sky-high that she can pass the Panthers to a three-peat in the league.
Shannon McDonald, Senior – Foxboro
Foxboro had a breakout season during the 2019 campaign and made it to the state tournament. Even though the Warriors graduated a strong group of players that helped them get there, one big piece back in the mix this year is senior middle Shannon McDonald. McDonald is a towering presence at the net that is a weapon both offensively and defensively. The Warriors had one of the top attackers last year in Grace Boudreau but need some new faces to step up to fill the void this year. McDonald doesn’t need a ton of power on her hits, her quick swing and placement against single blocks make it tough for defenses to react. And defensively, as we saw last year, it’s going to be tough for opposing middles to get many clean hits off. McDonald was second in the entire league last year with 58 blocks and her range to get to either side helps Foxboro’s first line of defense.