The Canton volleyball team battled through the ups and downs of a wildly competitive match to earn a 3-2 (25-22, 21-25, 25-23, 16-25, 15-13) win over previously unbeaten Danvers to claim its first-ever D2 State Championship.
The Bulldogs, who have won a Hockomock-best 15 league titles, will be adding a new state championship banner after overcoming a late deficit in the fifth set to earn the win.
“Honestly I go in every year thinking this team can do it,” said Canton coach Pat Cawley, who has been with the program for 19 years as either the head coach or an assistant. “That’s the way I coach…we’re going to win the Hock, we’re going to go deep in the state tournament, and we’re going to win the state championship.
“Until we got into the tournament did I really believe we could go all the way. I believe in these girls, they have a chemistry that is uncompared. They really care about each other, they don’t get mad at each other on the court…you have to the skill but you have to have the chemistry too and I think this team had that.”
Canton won the first and third sets but Danvers, who entered the match at 25-0, answered each time, including the biggest win by either side in the fourth set that forced a decisive fifth set to decide the state champions.
Like the entire match did, the fifth set went back and forth with ties at 2-2, 4-4, 5-5, and 7-7. An ace from senior Taylor Harris (29 kills, 19 digs, four aces) gave the Bulldogs the slight edge at the switch.
But Canton’s lead quickly evaporated behind two Danvers kills and a play error, putting the Falcons up 10-9 and just five points away from a title. After Cawley called timeout, Canton came up and answered.
A line violation on a serve tied it 10-10, junior middle Liz Bickett (18 kills, 12 digs, two aces) smashed a kill over a block after a nice pass from Nikki Desjardins, and a Falcon hitting error put the Dogs ahead 12-10. A hitting error made it a one-point game but Bickett slammed another kill that brought Harris back into the front row. Danvers’ Carly Goodhue and Harris traded kills to put the Dogs up 14-12. A kill from Madelyn Montanari kept the Falcons alive at 14-13.
But Claire Quinn (eight kills, 19 digs) handled the serve with a nice pass right to setter Jackie Morrissey (49 assists, 12 digs), who pushed a set to the outside and Harris rose up and smashed the ball over the block and to the floor in the heart of the Falcon defense, securing a 15-12 win and the state championship.
“When I saw it was a good pass and we could set the ball I was thrilled because Taylor was feeling it in that fifth set,” Cawley said. “And I was feeling it for her. Just get the ball to Taylor [in the fifth set] and luckily she was able to put it away.”
“It felt really good to get the last point. Coach always tells us to play to the last point and that’s what we did. Coach Cawley has worked so hard all of these years for this to happen.”
Canton led from straight to finish in the opening set. A kill from Bickett and an ace from Steph Trendell (who combined with Desjardins for 22 digs) gave the Dogs an early boost. A kill from Angie Elias and another ace from Trendell pushed the Dogs’ lead to 12-8 but Danvers continued to hang around, forcing a tie at 13-13, 18-18, and again at 20-20.
But the Davenport champs never relinquished the advantage as a service error, a strong Bickett hit, and a kill from Harris pushed Canton to a 23-21 lead. Danvers got a kill out of a timeout to get within one but Harris dropped a shot in front of the back row on the second hit and Bickett sealed the first set with an ace.
“The first set was actually a good set, we got off to a good start,” Cawley said. “Then I think the pressure started creeping in. I knew a couple of key players were playing tight. We just had two tough matches with Westboro and Minnechaug. We’ve played from behind and we’ve played from ahead, and I just had to remind them this is what we’ve done all year.
“The records today didn’t matter. I think sometimes the pressure is on the undefeated team. You learn a lot through losing and we learned a lot from our losses this year (to KP and twice to North Attleboro). I kept reminding them that we have been here many times and we can do this.”
Danvers answered by opening the second set with a quick 7-2 burst. Canton slowly got back into the set and used an 8-2 run that featured three kills from Bickett and Harris and an ace from Quinn to jump ahead 16-14 in the set. But Danvers responded with a 6-1 run for a 20-17 lead, and then won five of the next six points to even the match at 1-1.
The third set started in similar fashion to the second with Danvers building an early five-point lead, this time taking advantage of two net violations and three Canton hitting errors to take a 9-4 lead.
But similar to the second, Canton rallied to keep it close but couldn’t overtake the Falcons for the majority of the match. Trendell had a key ace, Bickett landed a kill, and Harris had three kills in a four-point span that kept Canton within striking distance, down 16-14.
A roll shot from Quinn brought the Dogs within one but a kill off the block from Goodhue and two play errors put Danvers up 21-17. After Cawley calmed the troops during a timeout, Canton won three straight points that featured a huge solo block from Elias on Goodhue, and another block from Bickett to make it 21-20.
Canton tied it out of the break, and then again at 22-22 but Danvers moved within two points of going ahead in the match after Goodhue dropped a perfectly weighted tip over the Canton block for a 23-22 lead.
But Bickett got a kill after a partial block saw the ball hit the floor, junior Shannon Malloy went up and put down a loose serve receive, and Bickett landed another set-sealing ace to give Canton a 25-23 win and a 2-1 lead in the match.
“I think Liz Bickett carried us, got us into that fifth set,” Cawley said. “She was amazing. As well as the defense, I think we played pretty well, we got a lot of balls up to where we could set them. To get the ball to Liz, we have to have some good passing, and Liz was phenomenal.”
It was deja vu in the fourth set for the Bulldogs as Danvers once again raced out to a five-point advantage at 8-3. This time, Canton didn’t have much of an answer and had to use its second timeout down 12-7.
“We were really up and down in this match, I don’t think we played our best volleyball until maybe the fifth set,” Cawley said. “There were a lot of nerves out there and I’m sure Danvers had them too. Taylor had some nerves, she was a little tentative and hit some balls out. She was up and down but really worked through it, and after her first swing in the fifth set, I said ‘she’s back.’ The whole confidence of the team rises up when they see that.
“Danvers is a great team, they had strong defense and #6 [Carly Goodhue] killed us. We couldn’t get the timing of the block because it’s a different type of set than we’ve seen this year. We did touch a lot more [swings] in the third and fourth sets once they adjust. [Danvers] was a good team, but we had to focus on our game.”
Danvers’ extended its lead to as much as 10 before Canton finally got its footing in the fourth set. Senior Katie Lynch came off the bench and landed an ace and got another point for Canton after a strong serve never made it back over. Harris added a kill off the block to halve the deficit, now down just 19-14.
But Danvers finished the set strong out of a timeout, winning six of the next eight points for a decisive 25-16 win, forcing a fifth set.
“We went back into the huddle and just talked about [the fifth set] being a fresh start, a whole new game,” Harris said of Canton’s ability to bounce back from its rough fourth set. “We just had to believe in ourselves and we did.”
While Canton didn’t win the fourth set, Lynch’s serving helped stem the Falcons’ momentum some and showed off the depth the Bulldogs have.
“That definitely sums up this team,” Cawley said. “I carry a big roster and they play against each other every day in practice. They are digging Taylor and Liz in practice and those kids are all ready to go. And they are ready if I call on them at any time. They’ve been on the bench for the tournament and never complained. They are totally involved. If they didn’t push the starters every day, we wouldn’t be here. The non-starters are so important to our program.”
While Harris and Bickett were the standouts and came up with a lot of key plays for the Bulldogs, the win wouldn’t have been possible without the strong play of everyone around them according to Cawley.
“Taylor has a very good supporting cast,” Cawley said. “My other outside Claire is very consistent and she gives us a kill when we need it. I can’t say enough about Liz Bickett…Angie, my opposite [hitter], gives us a lot of blocking, it’s a very unheralded position but she really does a great job. Shannon Malloy in the middle is coming into her own, and our defense did a good job. We’re not a one-dimensional team even though Taylor is a superstar. We need everybody to win in a place like this.
Canton volleyball finishes the season at 22-3.
Today’s games are listed below.
#1 King Philip, 4 vs. #12 Needham, 1 – Final – Click here for a recap and photo gallery of this game.
D2 State Semifinal
#2 Canton, 3 vs. #1 Minnechaug, 1 – Final – After splitting the first two sets, Canton won two straight to claim a 3-1 (25-17, 20-25, 25-23, 25-23) win and advance to the D2 State Final for the first time in program history. “This was a competitive match start to finish, I’m so proud of our girls who hung tough no matter the score,” said Canton head coach Pat Cawley. Taylor Harris was immense with 24 kills and 14 digs to lead the Bulldogs while Liz Bickett closed out set three with a block and set three with a kill, finishing with 13 kills, 7 blocks, 15 digs and two aces. Jackie Morrissey distributed the ball well with 35 assists along with 14 digs and three aces. Cawley added Claire Quinn, Angie Elias and Shannon Malloy were strong at the net, and Stephanie Trendell and Nikki Desjardins played super defense. Canton will play Danvers in the D2 State Final on Saturday at 3:00 at Worcester State.
WELLESLEY, Mass. – Canton volleyball has a long history of success. The Bulldogs have won 15 league titles in the last 17 seasons and have reached nine sectional finals. But, heading into Saturday afternoon’s Div. 2 Central final against Westboro at Wellesley High, Canton had only one sectional title to its name.
Last year, the Bulldogs had a 2-1 lead against Groton-Dunstable but were unable to hold on, as the Crusaders rallied to win the five-set thriller. Only two players (one starter) were back from last year’s squad, but the Bulldogs were right back in the same spot on Saturday. Canton edged the first two sets and then the Rangers pulled out the third to stay alive.
“At the end of the third set, we looked like scared little kids compared to them,” said Canton coach Pat Cawley. “We were running around like chickens with their heads cut off. I was like, come on, we’re up! We’re good and luckily in volleyball a set ends and you get to start again.”
It turns out that Cawley had nothing to worry about. The Bulldogs have been through a lot this season, including a rash of injuries that forced players to adapt to changing lineups. No one expected Canton to be back in this position, so the Bulldogs were unfazed by dropping a set.
Canton came right back in the fourth, jumped out to an early lead, and closed out a 3-1 (25-23, 26-24, 18-25, 25-21) victory.
“We kept saying don’t let up, keep pushing through, and finish it,” said senior Taylor Harris. When asked what the Bulldogs learned from last year’s final, Harris explained, “We learned that if we win the first two then we can’t let up and we have to keep pushing through and we did that today.”
Cawley said, “Half of these kids were on JV last year, so no matter what happened today we were leaving this place with our heads held high. It’s been a journey and I’ve watched these girls improve. Some of these kids who are on the court right now we weren’t even sure we were keeping at tryouts, so to watch them improve so much is amazing.”
The match was even from the start, with neither team able to build a big lead in the first set. Canton’s block, led by juniors Angie Elias, Shannon Malloy, and Liz Bickett, was disrupting the Westboro attack in the early going. Elias and Malloy had back-to-back blocks to end rallies and give Canton the 8-6 lead.
Westboro grabbed its only lead of the set at 11-10, but Bickett (14 kills and 22 digs) answered with a hit from the middle. It took a little while to get her into the game, but Harris (team-high 20 kills and nine digs) came up with two straight kills to push the Canton lead to four. Westboro got the lead back down to just one at 24-23, but Harris rose up again to smash the final point of the first.
The second set was much like the first, with Canton grabbing an early lead by neither team taking full control of the match. Claire Quinn had a kill on the outside and Harris continued to be the most dynamic attacker on the floor, stretching the Canton lead to 14-11.
“Taylor is an amazing player,” said Cawley, who earned her 200th career win in the season opener. “She’s one of the top players I’ve ever coached. Offensively, defensively, blocking she is really a great player but the other kids have to do their jobs too. Taylor is certainly in a class of her own, but without the players that surround her we wouldn’t be here.”
Bickett came through with another point after a long rally and then Harris showed off her defensive ability with a block for a point. The Rangers came right back, scoring two straight and tying the set at 19-19. A Bickett kill made it 23-20 and put the Bulldogs on the brink, but Westboro got two straight before a Harris kill made it set point.
Again Westboro tied it but two errors handed Canton a two-set advantage.
Considering Canton’s history in sectional finals, a two-set lead hardly felt comfortable and the Rangers turned things around in the third to add to the pressure. A Harris kill tied the set at 17-17 and a two-touch put the Bulldogs in front, but the Rangers scored the final eight points of the third to stay alive in the match.
If a dropped set was supposed to heap pressure on Canton, the Bulldogs didn’t show it in the fourth. They jumped out to a 7-2 lead behind an ace from Stephanie Trendell, a kill by Quinn, and a block by Bickett.
“It was really good,” Harris said about the quick start in the fourth. “That let us have momentum to finish out the game.”
Setter Jackie Morrissey (35 assists) has grown into her role this year and she was spraying the ball to several different attackers and adding points from the service line. Quinn had another kill and Bickett added two more points, but a Westboro run put the Rangers ahead 15-14. Quinn sparked a rally with another hit and a Bickett ace and a Harris kill had Canton up 21-17.
Fittingly, it would be Bickett in the middle that would get the final swing, as she buried another shot that Westboro couldn’t handle and sealed a first Central title since 2012.
Cawley said, “Liz is a big softball player. I twisted her arm to play last year. That kid has only played six months of volleyball in her life. She is without a doubt the most improved player, the quickest, I’ve ever coached. She’s just amazing.”
When asked what it meant to win a second sectional title, Cawley said, “I feel really happy for the kids. They work hard and to have this result, I couldn’t be happier for them.”
Harris added, “It means so much. We went through so much this year. We lost 10 seniors from last year, so it’s a really big deal to be back. I think working hard everyday in practice, we never gave up and we wanted to prove everyone wrong who thought we couldn’t make it this year.”
Canton (20-3) will face the West champion, either top seed Minnechaug or No. 2 seed Longmeadow, in the state semifinal on Wednesday at a time and location to be determined.
CANTON, Mass. – Canton knew very little about its opponent in Thursday night’s Div. 2 Central semifinal, so it focused on its own game. That was more than enough, as the Bulldogs needed only an hour to dispatch of North Middlesex, rolling to a 3-0 (25-12, 25-12, 25-19) sweep and a return to the sectional final.
“We’ve had our ups and downs this season, the Hock was a very strong league and every day we had to work hard,” said Canton coach Pat Cawley. “So we’ve been through the trenches, we’ve had so much adversity this year that I think they’re just so happy to be here and just want to do as well as they can.”
Cawley was impressed with the way that her team remained focused on the task at hand, despite dominating the match from the start and despite watching Westboro and Ashland play a five-set thriller in the evening’s first semifinal.
“We’ve really been working on that a lot this year,” she added. “It’s hard in this sport, it’s such a game of momentum and subliminally you let up sometimes but we’ve really, really been working hard.”
The Bulldogs got off to a perfect start to the match, jumping out to a 13-5 lead in the first and using a number of different players in the attack. Claire Quinn (eight kills and 12 digs) had a couple pf early points, one at the service line and one at the net, Angie Elias had a block, and Shannon Malloy had a kill during that stretch.
Elias, Malloy, and Liz Bickett (five kills, three blocks, and three aces) were strong in the middle and limited North Middlesex senior Sara Murphy, who was the top threat for the Patriots.
Each time that the Patriots tried to cut into the lead in the first, Canton had an answer. Quinn picked the right spot on a kill to make it 18-9 and Bickett added an impressive block to make it 21-10. Taylor Harris (team-high 13 kills and 12 digs) smashed a kill to make it 22-11, followed by a pair of Bickett aces. Harris closed out the first with another rocket.
“It’s pretty amazing,” Cawley said about Canton’s performance. “Obviously Taylor Harris is an amazing player and we’re riding her back, but everybody else contributes and does her job. If everybody does their job, then the sky’s the limit really.”
The second set was a carbon copy of the first. Canton jumped out to an early lead and never looked back. Harris was instrumental again on the outside, but the Bulldogs remained balanced thanks to the passing of setter Jackie Morrissey (21 assists and 12 digs). The Bulldogs never allowed the visitors to build any momentum in a 25-12 set.
North Middlesex stayed much closer in the third set, hanging around to the final point. Canton never led by more than five points in the third, until the final point of the match. Harris was unstoppable on the outside, with four kills in the set.
Canton (19-3) will face No. 4 seed Westboro in the Central final on Saturday at Wellesley High. The two teams last met in the 2015 final, which the Rangers won 3-0.
“We seem to run into them a lot. Westboro is a great team. They’re very well-coached, they have a lot of strong athletes, and they play a really tough schedule. They’re a fine-tuned machine. We’ll see what we can do on Saturday.”
Today’s games are listed below.
#11 Franklin, 1 @ #6 Natick, 0 – Final – Franklin scored an early goal and the defense had a great game to earn a 1-0 upset of #6 Natick. Lucas Moura scored on an assist from Donny Tappin to put the visitors ahead. Jack Rudolph was outstanding in net in the shutout for Franklin. The Panthers will play the winner of #3 Brockton and #14 Braintree.
#2 Milford, 6 vs. #15 Catholic Memorial, 0 – Final – Milford’s offense exploded for five goals inside an 11-minute span in the first half to earn a first round win over Catholic Memorial. Junior Lucas Da Silva opened the scoring in the 14th minute and the floodgates opened up for the Hawks’ offense. Jordan Borges (from Leo Coelho) doubled the lead less than one minute later, and Joao Pedro Da Silva got in on the scoring action with a goal in the 21st minute. Joao Pedro Da Silva grabbed his second two minutes later off a cross from Pedro Araujo, who then scored himself off a header (from Eduardo Castro) in the 25th minute. Castro converted a fast break for his first career goal in the 34th minute to make it 6-0. Chris Tocci, Gabriel Godoy, and Carlos Terrinha played well defensively for Milford.
#12 North Attleboro, 1 @ #5 Somerset-Berkley, 0 – Final – Click here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.
#1 King Philip, 6 vs. #16 Hingham, 2 – Final – Click here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.
#9 Franklin, 0 @ #8 Oliver Ames, 1 – Final (OT) – Click here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.
#5 Franklin, 0 @ #4 Westwood, 1 – Final
#15 Mansfield, 0 @ #7 Notre Dame, 4 – Final
#3 King Philip, 3 vs. #6 Revere, 0 – Final – King Philip opened its tournament run in impressive fashion with a dominant 3-0 (25-10, 25-16, 25-9) win over Revere. Nicole Coughlan (11 kills, two aces) and Catherine Waldeck (nine kills, three blocks) led the charge offensively for the Warriors while Kristen Masse (three kills, two aces) also had a strong match. The Warriors advance to the D1 Central/West Semifinals to play at #2 Quincy (19-2) on Wednesday at 6:00.
#6 Franklin, 1 @ #3 Algonquin, 3 – Final
#4 Oliver Ames, 3 vs. #5 Brockton, 2 – Final – Click here for a Photo Gallery from this match. – Oliver Ames pulled out a close win in a see-saw battle between the Tigers and Boxers in a rubber match this season. After splitting the regular season series, the Tigers earned bragging rights with a 3-2 (25-9, 19-25, 25-22, 23-25, 15-7) win in the tournament opener for both teams. Senior Allie Kemp with dished out 34 assists, senior Alison Barth had 39 digs, and senior Jordan Bosse and junior Caroline Flynn paced the offense with 15 kills apiece. #4 Oliver Ames will play #1 Dartmouth on Wednesday at 6:30 at Greater New Bedford Voke.
#2 Canton, 3 vs. #10 Tantasqua, 0 – Final – Canton took care of business in its tournament opener, knocking off visiting Tantasqua, 3-0 (25-13, 25-15, 25-14). Taylor Harris was the catalyst for the Bulldogs offense with 16 kills, while Claire Quinn, Shannon Malloy, Liz Bickett (six aces, 10digs), and Angie Elias all played great at the net. Nikki Desjardins and Steph Trendell played solid defense, and Jackie Morrissey added 17 assists and 12 digs. #2 Canton advances to the D2 Central Semifinal and will host the winner of #3 North Middlesex and #6 Medfield on Thursday.
Today’s games are listed below.
Franklin, 1 @ Attleboro, 3 – Final – Attleboro used a strong second half to earn its third straight win. Mike Russo scored a pair of goals and Jackson Singer found the back of the net once for the Bombardiers. Ethan Cain scored for Franklin on an assist from Donny Tappin.
Canton, 0 @ Milford, 3 – Final – Milford senior Pedro Araujo scored his league-leading 25th goal of the season and added a pair of second half assists to help the Hawks finish undefeated in the regular season (14-0-2) for the first time in school history. Araujo set up Jordan Borges and Lucas Da Silva for second half strikes.
King Philip, 0 @ Oliver Ames, 2 – Final – Click here for a recap and photo gallery of this game.
Mansfield, 1 @ Taunton, 0 – Final – Mansfield won its fourth straight and extended its unbeaten streak to seven to keep its postseason hopes alive heading into the final game of the season. Sophomore Matt Hyland scored the lone goal of the game in the 37th minute while Anthony Salisbury had the shutout in net. Hyland took a feed from Dan Rowe, who originally handled a long throw in from Cam Eddy.
Stoughton, 0 @ Sharon, 3 – Final – Sharon took the lead midway through the first half and added a pair of second half goals to keep its postseason hopes alive. Viktor Schneider set up Brian Higgins for the opening goal just before the midway point of the first half. Schneider then assisted on a goal from Michael Baur in the second half to make it 2-0. Rhys Davis secured the win by making it 3-0 off an assist from Ben Nathan.
Attleboro, 0 @ Franklin, 2 – Final – Click here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.
Milford, 0 @ Canton, 1 – Final
North Attleboro, 0 @ Foxboro, 3 – Final – Jordan Sullivan, Lydia Hershey, Lily Adams, and Abi Slaney played well for the Rocketeers.
Oliver Ames, 0 @ King Philip, 3 – Final – King Philip completed its undefeated season (18-0-0) behind three second half goals at home against OA. Chloe Layne scored the opening goal in the 55th minute, finishing off a ball over the top from Jenna Hitchen. Layne returned the favor six minutes later, linking up with Hitchen for a one-timer inside the area to make it 2-0. Makenzie Shandley capped the scoring with a blast from 25 yards out in the 65th minute with Layne getting the assist.
Taunton, 0 @ Mansfield, 3 – Final – Tarynn Smith scored twice and assisted on the third Mansfield goal to put the Hornets within two points of tournament qualification with one game remaining in the regular season. Meg Krone had the third goal for the Hornets and Olivia Salisbury made three saves to secure her eighth clean sheet of the season.
Sharon, 2 @ Stoughton, 6 – Final – Stoughton ended its season on a high note with a big win at home over visiting Sharon. Junior Mackenzie Manning and freshman Shayla Ford each had three goals in the win. Hannah Papagno, Rebeca Desousa, Isabella Rodrigues, Sabrina Rodrigues, and Maggie Veliotis each registered an assist in the win.
Canton, 3 @ Quincy, 0 – Final – Canton picked up its 17th win in its regular season finale, picking up a 3-0 (25-13, 25-18, 25-21) sweep on the road at Quincy. Taylor Harris led Canton with 18 kills and five digs, Liz Bickett had 11 kills and 10 digs, and Jackie Morrissey added 32 assists, nine digs and a pair of aces. Angie Elias, Shannon Malloy and Claire Quinn were strong at the net while Steph Trendell and Nikki Desjardins played great defense for the Bulldogs.
Milford vs. Hopedale, 5:00
Sharon vs. Norwood, 5:00
Today’s games are listed below.
Game of the Week – Football
Foxboro, 21 @ Milford, 10 – Final – Click here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.
1st Quarter: (F) Shayne Kerrigan 55-yard pass to Elijah Lewis, Cam Prescott XP good.
2nd Quarter: (M) Luke Rosa 2-yard rush, CJ Cerrella XP good; (M) C. Cerrella 37-yard field goal.
3rd Quarter: (F) S. Kerrigan 1-yard rush, C. Prescott XP good.
4th Quarter: (F) S. Kerrigan 44-yard rush, C. Prescott XP good.
Canton, 35 @ Sharon, 7 – Final
1st Quarter: (C) Kyle Fitzgerald 2-yard rush, Owen Lehane XP good; (C) Johnny Hagan 42-yard pass to David Allen, O. Lehane XP good; (C) K. Fitzgerald 8-yard rush, O. Lehane XP good; (C) Nick Cushman 10-yard fumble return, O. Lehane XP good; (C) Johnny Hagan 18-yard pass to Jace Emma, O. Lehane XP.
2nd Quarter: No scoring.
3rd Quarter: No scoring.
4th Quarter: (S) Kiran Chandrasekaran 12-yard pass to Conor McLaughlin, Alec Filipkowski XP good.
Taunton, 0 @ Franklin, 28 – Final
1st Quarter: No scoring.
2nd Quarter: (F) Thomas Gasbarro 5-yard pass to Jake Davis, Parker Cheuvront XP good; (F) T. Gasbarro 63-yard pass to Jack Nally, P. Cheuvront XP good; (F) T. Gasbarro 32-yard pass to J. Davis, P. Cheuvront XP good.
3rd Quarter: (F) J. Nally 5-yard rush, P. Cheuvront XP good.
4th Quarter: No scoring.
Oliver Ames, 0 @ King Philip, 28 – Final
North Attleboro, 0 @ Stoughton, 35 – Final – Click here for a recap and photo gallery of this game
1st Quarter: (S) Clayton Rahaman 20-yard pass to Christian Ais, Anthony Girolamo XP good.
2nd Quarter: (S) Christopher Ais 22-yard rush, A. Girolamo XP good.
3rd Quarter: (S) Christian Ais 36-yard fumble return, A. Girolamo XP good; (S) Christian Ais 27-yard rush, A. Girolamo XP good.
4th Quarter: (S) Christian Georges 48-yard fumble return, A. Girolamo XP good.
Milford, 3 vs. Walpole, 3 – Final – Milford trailed 3-1 with under 10 minutes play but scored a pair of goals in a three-minute span to earn a draw against visiting Walpole. Carly Ferreira was outstanding in goal for the Hawks while Ashleigh Starks, Juliana France, and Maddie Boyle each scored.
Taunton, 2 @ Stoughton, 2 – Final – Click here for a photo gallery from this game – Stoughton took a lead in each half but Taunton answered each time to split the points in a draw. Emma McSweeney put the Black Knights up with a shot from atop the 18-yard box but Kayla Botelho answered minutes later to make it 1-1 heading into halftime. Mackenzie Manning put the hosts back in front in the 46th minute but Morgan Zakrzewski converted a shot from 20 yards out in the 67th minute to level the scoring.
Franklin, 3 @ Attleboro, 3 – Final – Attleboro’s Hannah Webster scored the lone goal of the second half to help the Bombardiers earn an impressive draw against the Kelley-Rex champions Franklin. The Panthers jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first half behind goals from Hanna Richardson and Stephanie Bell (assisted by Amanda Lewandowski) but Attleboro’s Madison Ellis and Anna Beck scored back-to-back goals to tie it 2-2. Richardson (from Lewandowski) scored her second of the half to put Franklin back ahead, 3-2, at halftime. Neilee Hess had 10 saves in net for the Panthers while Olivia Curreri and Molly Collins each had great defensive saves today to help Franklin preserve the tie.
Canton, 4 @ Milford, 0 – Final – Click here for a Photo Gallery from this game.
Foxboro @ North Attleboro, 4:45
Sharon @ Norwell, 4:00
Mansfield @ Taunton, 3:45
King Philip, 1 @ Oliver Ames, 2 – Final – Oliver Ames scored a pair of second half goals to rally for a win, earning a spot in the state tournament in the final game of the season. KP freshman Lauren Barreiro scored midway through the first half, a 1-0 advantage that the Warriors took into halftime. Cassie Gennis scored a pair of second half goals to help the Tigers rally for the win. Gennis struck in the 41st minute on an assist from Maura Kiernan, and then scored again four minutes later from Georgia Costello to put the hosts in front.
Franklin, 3 @ Attleboro, 0 – Final – Franklin went on the road and earned a 3-0 (25-13, 25-20, 25-12) sweep, earning a share of the Kelley-Rex division title with a win combined with OA’s win over KP. Allyson Bonnet-Eymard had 10 kills and seven digs, Cailyn Mackintosh handed out 17 assists, and Jill Benoit had seven digs for the Panthers.
Canton, 3 @ Milford, 0 – Final – Canton earned a 3-0 (25-16, 25-17, 25-13) win on the road to secure sole possession of the Davenport division title. Taylor Harris has 17 kills, two aces and eight digs to pace the Bulldogs while Liz Bickett (13 digs, four aces), Shannon Malloy, Claire Quinn and Angie Elias were solid at the net. Nikki Desjardins and Steph Trendell played great defense, and Katie Lynch came in and served well for Canton.
Foxboro, 1 @ North Attleboro, 3 – Final – Foxboro won the first set on the road at North Attleboro but the hosts rallied to win three straight to pick up a 3-1 (20-25, 25-21, 25-20, 25-13) win over the Warriors. For Foxboro, Kelsey Treweek (20 digs) and Pam Nelson (16 digs) played well defensively, Shakirah Ketant added four blocks and three kills, and Grace Boudreau had 16 kills and four total blocks.
King Philip, 1 @ Oliver Ames, 3 – Final – After splitting the first two sets, Oliver Ames won two straight to secure a 3-1 (25-22, 23-25, 25-13, 25-21) win over King Philip. With the win, Oliver Ames earns a share of the Kelley-Rex division title alongside the Warriors and Franklin. Senior Jordan Bosse helped pace the offense with 16 kills and 14 digs, Allie Kemp handed out 30 assists, and Alison Barth finished with 22 digs. Junior Jordan Bennett added six kills, two blocks, and three aces in the win. For King Philip, Nicole Coughlan (14 kills, two blocks) and Catherine Waldeck (seven kills, two blocks) had strong games at the net, Ali McNamara added seven kills and two digs, and Kiley Sullivan dished out 19 assists.
Mansfield, 3 @ Taunton, 0 – Final – Mansfield pulled out a pair of tight wins in the first two sets and then finished off a 3-0 (25-23, 27-25, 25-12) sweep on the road. Julia Buiser had 15 service points and five digs, Sam Sternburg added 10 service points and eight digs, and Emily Dardinski had a strong game offensively with five kills for the Hornets.
Stoughton, 1 @ Sharon, 3 – Final
CANTON, Mass. – While Canton had already secured at least a share of its 15th league title in 17 seasons, there was still a chance that North Attleboro could split and make it two titles in three years for Big Red, but that would require beating the Bulldogs for a second time this season.
North dropped the first set on Wednesday night, battled to win two close sets in a row, and was forced to a decisive fifth set before securing a 3-2 (18-25, 25-23, 26-24, 18-25, 15-7) victory and a season sweep over its Davenport rival.
“When the energy is up, we thrive,” said North coach Kim Hallahan. “So, it’s nice to play against great competition. They’re a great team and we like that competition, it boosts us and gives us a lot of energy. Luckily, they did it twice.”
The first set was back-and-forth at the start with North building a 16-13 lead behind strong play at the net from its front line, including Kylie Melanson, Joanna Collins-Bilyeu, and Grace Munley. Canton called a timeout to reset and whatever was said in the huddle worked because the Bulldogs rolled off seven straight points and finished the first on a 12-2 run.
After being largely held in check for most of the set, senior hitter Taylor Harris (20 kills) got going for the Bulldogs with three straight kills and then a block for a point. Claire Quinn closed out the set with a kill to put the hosts ahead 1-0 in the match.
“We’ve been fighting through a lot of injuries all year and we’ve been fighting back in matches,” said Canton coach Pat Cawley. “We’ve had a lot of different lineups and we find ourselves down a lot until they kind of get used to each other and come back.”
The momentum carried over to the start of the second, with Canton jumping out to a 4-0 lead, but North came storming back to take the lead. The lead switched hands five times and the score was tied 13 times in the set, as neither team managed to get any separation. Riding the hot hand of Munley (20 kills) and a big ace from setter Hayley Gaskin that gave them set point, North edged out a 25-23 win in the second.
North took charge in the third set, with Munley continuing to be tough to slow down and Melanson and Abby Gallagher adding alternatives on the outside. It seemed like all the bounces were going North’s way as well, with Munley getting a point on a hit that rolled down the top of the net and dropped into an unoccupied space and then following up a remarkable dig by Canton’s Angie Elias by smashing another kill that made it 20-15.
Just when it looked like the Rocketeers might roll into the lead in the match, Canton came storming back, eventually tying the set at 24-24. With the match on the brink, Gallagher had back-to-back kills to close out the third.
“These girls put in all the time, all the practice, they put in 110 percent and that’s all I’ve ever asked for as a coach,” said Hallahan. “When we go into timeouts, whether we’re down or up, I tell them you have this and you have to believe in yourselves the way I believe in you. They definitely did tonight.”
“We did get some points in the middle when we got our passing where we needed it to be,” Cawley explained. “I thought Liz had a great match blocking and hitting and she’s a six-position player for us, so she’s played well all the way around.”
North had the chance to seal the win, leading 16-14 in the fourth, but again Canton managed to rally. This time the Bulldogs scored 11 of the final 13 points in the set, including a seven-point series with Nikki Desjardins at the service line. Fittingly, it was Bickett that rose up with a blast to close it out and force a fifth and deciding set.
In the fifth, the Rocketeers stormed out of the gate, winning five of the first six points. Canton got as close as three on two occasions but North had the answer. Munley was immense in the final set, recording seven kills, and Melanson closed out the match with a blast.
“She was unreal,” Hallahan said about Munley. “She has grown tremendously. She has been the most improved out of any kid that I’ve coached before. She had so much fun tonight, so it’s really great to see that.”
Cawley was glad to see her team continue to fight back in the match and get the chance to perform in a playoff-like atmosphere. “It’s tough losing a match like that,” she said, “but I told the kids, this is what we want to do, this is the volleyball we want to play and unfortunately we couldn’t pull it out. We battled, it’s all I can ask for.”
Despite the loss, Canton (15-3, 12-3) will have the chance to win the title outright when it travels to Milford on Friday.
When Cawley was asked about maintaining the consistent level of success over the past 17 years, she replied, “People look at it because we put the Canton shirts on, we’re going to win, but many, many years it’s a puzzle until midseason and we don’t know how we’re going to do. I keep telling the kids that winning a league title is hard, it’s not expected, and you should enjoy it.”
North Attleboro (12-5, 11-4) will be rooting for Milford on Friday but to have a shot at splitting the title will also have to beat Foxboro in the regular season finale.
Today’s games are listed below.
Taunton, 2 @ Attleboro, 2 – Final – Taunton took a lead in the first half but needed a second half strike to equalize and earn a draw on the road. Hunter Cabral put the Tigers up on an assist from Colton Madeira. Alec Nunes scored on a penalty kick in the second half to bring the visitors level.
Foxboro, 2 @ Walpole, 0 – Final – Foxboro scored once in each half to earn a win on the road at Walpole. Kendra Wentling put the visitors up 1-0 with a goal in the 34th minute on an assist from Alyssa Vandenboom. Jordyn Collins secured the win with a goal in the 75th minute, finishing off a cross from Katelyn Mollica.
Attleboro, 3 @ Taunton, 0 – Final – The Bombardiers scored twice in the first half to take control and keep their hopes of making the playoffs alive with four games remaining. Meghan Panzer opened the scoring after just five minutes, finishing off an Emily Dunlea assist. Briley Harnois added a second before the break, assisted by Ashley Dame. Attleboro sealed the win late on with a goal by Ashley Macia, assisted by Cassondra Stuger.
Attleboro, 2 @ King Philip, 2 – Final – Attleboro held a 1-0 lead at halftime but needed a late goal to earn a tie on the road at King Philip. Anna Beck put the visitors up in the first half but King Philip freshman Lauren Barriero (from Christina Gifun) and junior Abby Nixon each scored in the second half to put KP ahead. Beck scored her second of the game to make it 2-2. Grace May made seven saves in net for KP.
Canton, 5 @ Sharon, 0 – Final
Stoughton @ Foxboro, 3:45
Taunton, 2 @ Franklin, 4 – Final – Taunton took a 2-1 just before the midway point of the first half but Franklin answered with two goals before the break, and added an insurance tally in the second half. Alana Tavares put Taunton up 1-0 before Stephanie Bell pulled the Panthers level 27 seconds later. Sophomore Ashley Amarao put the Tigers back in front in the 13th minute but Franklin answered with two goals to take the lead. Kaitlyn Carney tied it on an assist from Amanda Lewandowski, and Bell grabbed her second with Hanna Richardson getting the assist. Molly Collins (from Maeve Ledwith) added an insurance goal in the second half.
Oliver Ames, 2 @ Mansfield, 1 – Final – Click here for a Photo Gallery from this game. OA rallied from a goal down to secure a critical road win that moves the Tigers within two points of qualifying for the state tournament. Gabby Devlin gave the Hornets the lead with a goal just five minutes into the game, finishing off a scramble after a quick break. OA tied the game off a corner midway through the first half. Ellie Waters fired a shot from the top of the circle that was redirected into the goal by Sofia Anestam. Both teams had a number of chances to grab the lead, only to be denied by goalies Kayla Hunter (Mansfield) and Kara Ostrander (OA). The Tigers took the lead in the second half when another Waters blast off a corner was controlled on the post and finished by Cassie Gennis.
North Attleboro, 2 @ Milford, 0 – Final
Attleboro, 0 @ King Philip, 3 – Final – King Philip took care of business with a 3-0 (25-6, 25-9, 25-18) sweep at home over Attleboro. Senior Alison Hitchen had nine service points, including five aces, and four digs, classmate Kristen Masse added four aces and three kills, and Kiley Sullivan chipped in with three aces. Catherine Waldeck finished with four kills, three aces, and two blocks, and Nicole Coughlan added nine kills and five aces in the win.
Canton, 3 @ Sharon, 0 – Final – Canton’s Nikki Desjardins played great defense and the Bulldogs’ received a handful of strong performances at the net to pick up a 3-0 (25-16, 25-18, 25-17) win over Sharon. Taylor Harris led the way with 11 kills and three aces while Liz Bickett, Claire Quinn, Angie Elias, and Kiara Cerruti played well at the net combining for 18 kills.
Foxboro, 3 @ Stoughton, 0 – Final – Foxboro earned a win on the road to punch its ticket to the postseason for the first time since 2012. Grace Boudreau led the way offensively with 14 kills and two blocks to help the Warriors earn a 3-0 (25-18, 25-12, 25-12) win on the road. Maddie O’Brien dished out 18 assists while Kelsey Treweek (eight digs) and Pam Nelson (nine digs, three kills) anchored the defense. Grace Fortune (14 service points, four aces) and Shakirah Ketant (nine service points, three aces) both had strong games serving.
Taunton, 0 @ Franklin, 3 – Final – Franklin defended home court with a 3-0 (25-11, 25-23, 25-13) win at home over Taunton. Mikayla Raffin had a team-high eight kills along with two aces to lead the way, Sarah Jackson added seven kills, Bridget Jackson chipped in with five kills and four aces, and Cailyn Mackintosh had 22 assists in the win.
Oliver Ames, 3 @ Mansfield, 0 – Final – Oliver Ames picked up a key division win on the road, earning a 3-0 (25-16, 25-11, 25-18) sweep on the road. Jordan Bosse did it all for the Tigers with 14 kills, 10 digs, and three aces while Ryley McNeeley added nine kills and three aces. Allie Kemp had 31 assists while Alison Barth finished with 29 digs. Mansfield’s Kacey Veiking had five kills and three blocks, Sam Sternburg added 14 digs, and Olivia Fernando finished with eight service points.
North Attleboro, 3 @ Milford, 0 – Final – North Attleboro stayed in the hunt for the Davenport title with a 3-0 (25-12, 25-8, 25-21) sweep on the road at Milford. Kylie Melanson had 11 kills, Brooke Street added nine digs, Eliza Dion chipped in with four blocks, and Hayley Gaskin had 18 assists.