Attleboro’s Daggett Twins Leap Into Season at Stonehill

Daggett Twins
Attleboro twins Ashley and Courtney Daggett (with Stonehill coach Dan Schwartz) started high jumping together in middle school and are now in the midst of their final season as college jumpers. (Stonehill College Athletics)

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In middle school, twin sisters Ashley and Courtney Daggett took part in an after-school track program run by the Attleboro YMCA. At one of the sessions, they were given the opportunity to try high jumping for the first time. Nearly a decade later, they are still jumping together.

The Attleboro High grads are entering their final indoor and outdoor seasons at Stonehill College looking to extend the program’s dominance in the NE-10 (six straight conference championship meet titles) and taking advantage of a few more months competing with each other.

“It can get pretty competitive at times,” Courtney said in a phone call during their winter break, “but we’ve basically had now seven, going into our eighth year, competing at the same event. It’s changed into a respect for each other…to be better. Between Ashley and I, the competition just keeps pushing us to clear another bar and pushes us to improve our jumping.”

Ashley added, “We’re teammates but we’re also sisters, so to have the memories to look back on and we have each other to lean on when we have bad meets or good meets because we know everything we’ve been through to get to this point.”

High jump is definitely a family affair for the Daggetts. Their father Tim was also a jumper at Attleboro High and their grandfather competed at North Attleboro. So, when the YMCA offered the twins a chance to learn the event in the summer before freshman year of high school it was only natural that they jumped right in and, as it turned out, it was a perfect fit.

“It’s a very unique event and I think with all the sports I played growing up I never found that one I loved,” Ashley explained. The twins took part in gymnastics, softball, and dance. High jump combined aspects of each of those sports and the sisters were instantly hooked. “it was something that just came to us so easily that it would’ve been a missed opportunity if we didn’t see it through and see what we could do with it.”

She continued, “The feeling of going over the bar and landing on the mat and having the bar still be up is just indescribable. Everything just clicks in the moment and that’s the best feeling ever.”

The sisters joined the Bombardiers and became standouts. While Ashley was out with a stress fracture during their sophomore season, Courtney cleared four feet, 11 inches “out of nowhere,” breaking her personal record (PR) by three inches. It was the moment that she realized collegiate high jump was a possibility.

“That was the moment, for me, that I was like, ‘wow, I’m pretty good at this,’ and it started clicking,” she said. “It sort of gave me that confidence to give me the confidence to keep on going and know that there’s something in you to keep working towards.”

In their senior season, the duo finished one-two at the Hockomock League Track and Field Championships. “That was the icing for our careers in high school because that’s a really cool thing to do,” Courtney said. “Everything just happened perfectly.”

As would be expected for identical twins, there are a lot of similarities between their jumping styles. Ashley said, “We’re like a lot of power jumpers, using the speed to get up and then once our hips are over the bar we don’t have a lot of arch and snap. Courtney has more of a pop and is more fluid, but I have a little more arch and snap just not as much as most jumpers.”

When it came time to pick colleges, the twins didn’t initially plan to attend the same school but both wanted to compete in the NE-10 and Ashley explained, “We also thought that it wouldn’t be the best being in the same conference but on other teams. We’re as competitive as it is being on the same team, working towards the same goal, but being on separate teams would be a change.”

While the styles are the same, how the sisters have gotten to their results has been very different.

As she did in high school, Courtney makes massive gains on her PR and then works to get back up to that level. She landed five feet, 5.25 inches during the indoor season and then hit five feet, 7.25 inches during outdoor. Both stand as program records. Ashley is more of a consistent performer, who gradually builds up her PR (five feet, 4.25 inches for indoor and five feet, three inches for outdoor) at smaller increments.

Ashley said, “I challenge her to be more consistent and have confidence in each height and she challenges me not to underestimate myself and how high I could potentially go.”

The sibling rivalry is still there, but years of competing together (and as part of a team of six jumpers at Stonehill) has added perspective on how important it has been to go through this journey together.

“It’s made our bond a lot stronger,” Ashley reflected. “We’re a lot better understanding each other’s perspective. You’re part of their process in some way to help make them better.” A good example is that teammates typically avoid Courtney when she is preparing for her next jump. Ashley is the lone exception. She said, “Being twins, we really understand each other and when you need something the other one is there to give that confidence boost.”

Stonehill will be seeking two more NE-10 track titles in the coming months and the twins are focused on staying unbeaten in championship meets to close out their careers. Courtney said, “At Attleboro we weren’t really competitive as a team, so that’s been different having people depend on you to get points and to place and I’m just really grateful to have been a part of it.”

Through all their success, including being named to the USTFCCCA All-East Region teams last year (Ashley for indoor and Courtney for outdoor), all the struggles when jumps weren’t landed, or the injuries that slowed them down at various points in their careers, both sisters insist everything has been better because they have accomplished it together.

“We’ve been on this ride together since we learned to high jump,” Courtney explained. “So we can say things to each other that teammates wouldn’t be able to say. We can be brutally honest with each other but it just makes it all worth it. We’ve pushed each other to our limits.”

Stonehill will be back in action on Jan. 12 at the Beantown Challenge hosted by Harvard at the Gordon Indoor Track.

The Campus Report: A Review of Spring 2018

Campus Report
The HockomockSports.com Campus Report is an update on former Hockomock League athletes currently competing in collegiate sports. If you would like to submit an update, please e-mail info@HockomockSports.com.

By Brian Hines, HockomockSports.com Contributor

Former Attleboro standout Nate Tellier had a standout season for UMass Dartmouth. The sophomore appeared in all 40 games for the Corsairs, leading the team in almost every offensive statistic category, including runs scored (34), hits (63), triples (three), runs batted in (37), runs (34), stolen bases (19), batting average (.382), on-base percentage (.464), slugging percentage (.570). The offensive outburst was good enough for Tellier to be named to the LEC Second-Team, and the D3 Baseball All-New England Second Team.

Tellier wasn’t the only former Attleboro Bombardier to standout on the diamond. MIT senior Max Lancaster finished his senior season with a career-high .325 batting average. Lancaster tied his career high with 38 hits, and set career-best with 11 doubles, 28 runs batted in and 11 stolen bases. The senior’s best series of the year came in a three-game matchup against Emerson, where he recorded eight hits, six runs scored, two home runs and nine runs batted in. Lancaster landed a spot on the New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) All-Conference Second Team for his performance this season.

Former two-time HockomockSports.com Girl’s Lacrosse Player of the Year Marta Versprille had an impressive senior season at Saint Anselm. The former Franklin midfielder started all 18 games for the Hawks, recording 26 goals and seven assists. Her 33 total points were the sixth most on the team, while she ranked third on the team in ground balls (39) and draw controls (59).

Framingham State sophomore, and former North Attleboro Red Rocketeer, Mycala Moody helped the Rams reach the 2018 NCAA Division III Softball Tournament this season. Moody batted .379 with five doubles, two triples, and 18 RBI during her sophomore campaign. After earning the 2017 MASCAC Rookie of the Year, Moody earned second team All-MASCAC honors this season.

Meg Colleran, another North Attleboro alumni and the 2014 HockomockSports.com Softball Player of the Year, wrapped up her senior season at UMass Amherst in impressive fashion. Colleran started 22 games of the 27 she appeared in for the 35-win Minutewomen, going an impressive 14-6 with a 2.99 ERA. Colleran was a perfect 9-0 in Atlantic 10 conference games, boasting an impressive 1.97 ERA in 12 appearances. She finishes her UMass career as one of 10 Minutewomen in program history to eclipse the 20-win mark in 2016, while becoming one of five to reach that mark in multiple seasons in 2017.

A pair of former Hockomock standouts helped Springfield College Lacrosse to a 13-6 record. Franklin’s Jack Vail started 17 games this season at attack, scoring 26 goals and leading the team with 30 assists. Connor Eschmann of King Philip helped man Springfield’s defense, appearing in all 18 games. Eschmann racked up the third most ground balls by any defender with 30, and was tied for the team lead in caused turnovers with 21.

Taunton’s Connor Johnson was one of three Maine Black Bears to land on the America East All-Academic team. On the field, Johnson led Maine with 28 appearances on the mound and carried the third-best earned run average on the team (3.71).

Former King Phillip standout and current Endicott Gull, Jen Lacroix, had a breakout sophomore season in 2018. Lacroix led the 14-win Gulls with 70 goals and 87 points. Her 70 goals were also enough to lead the entire Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) and rank 28th in the nation. Her impressive season allowed the attack to move into the Endicott record books, as she is tied for first in game-winning goals (6), second in goals (70), and fourth in points (87). Lacroix was also named to the 2018 All-CCC First Team along with the 2018 IWLCA Division III All-Pilgrim Region Second Team. She was also a two-time CCC Offensive Player of the Week (03/12/18, 03/26/18).

Luc Valenza’s senior season at UMass Amherst was a successful one. He former Foxboro Warrior appeared in all 17 games on defense for the Minuteman, starting 14. Valenza finished the year with 24 groundballs and caused 15 turnovers. He also recorded his first ever goal and second ever collegiate point earlier this season versus Hofstra. Valenza’s efforts were rewarded with selection to the All-CAA First Team and USILA North-South All-Star Game Selection.

At Central Connecticut, King Phillip’s Tori Constantin wrapped up her senior season with the Blue Devils by playing 47 games and setting career-high in runs, hits, home runs, runs batted in, batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage. Her strong season was rewarded with a spot on the 2018 NEC Women’s Softball Second Team All-Conference.

Maria Woodall started all 21 games in goal for the Westfield State University Owls. In those 21 games, Woodall led Westfield to an 18-3 record, along with winning the MASCAC regular season and tournament titles. After leading the league in goals against average (8.26), save percentage (.565) and total saves (183), Woodall was named the 2018 MASCAC women’s lacrosse player of the year. She also earned honors on the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association’ all-region team and was a second-team choice in the IWLCA’s “Berkshire” Region.

Former Mansfield Hornet Will Kelleher provided a valuable bat for the Stonehill Skyhawks this season. Kelleher recorded the third-most at-bats for the team (144), and was second on the team in doubles (12) and runs batted in (20). The junior’s season also saw new career highs in games played (39), runs scored (20) and slugging percentage (.347).

Over at Lyndon State, Sharon’s former attack Spencer Aubin had the second most points (34) on the Hornets in 16 games. Aubin’s 20 goals were third most on the club and his 14 assists ranked second. Aubin ended the season recording points in six of his final nine games, including back-to-back hat tricks against Green Mountain and Albertus Magnus.

Attleboro’s Kayla Merritt finished with 14 points during her sophomore season with the Curry Women’s Lacrosse Team. Merritt scored 11 goals in 12 games played and added 14 assists and 11 ground balls. Merritt was named a captain for her junior season.

At Penn State, King Philip alumni Christa Wagner earned the starting right field spot for the Nittany Lions. She started 17 games in right during her sophomore season, recording 11 hits, six runs and four runs batted in. Wagner also was able to steal bases and notched 15 putouts in right field.

A pair of former Hockomock athletes provided valuable contributions to the Fitchburg State softball team. King Philip’s Melissa DiPhilippo had a career season, posting a career high in nearly every single offensive category. Her 24 hits ranked fourth best on the team, and her .343 batting average ranked third. Former Attleboro Bombardier Mikayla Harnois started 12 games for the Falcons, posting a team-high 79 innings pitched. Harnois’ best game of the season came against Mount Ida, where the sophomore went seven innings without allowing a run.

Junior Mike Ferrara posted impressive numbers in his most recent season at Worcester State. The former Oliver Ames standout led the Lancers in at-bats (135), home runs (four), runs batted in (31), and slugging percentage (.496). Ferrara also set new personal career highs in batting average (.348) and on-base percentage (.384).

The Western New England Golden Bears women’s lacrosse team saw a pair of Hockomock athletes patrolling the defensive unit, both former Franklin Panthers. Rebecca Allen started 16 of the 18 games she appeared in, setting career high for goals (three), assists (nine) and points (12). Olivia Truenow started all 17 games she appeared in, while also setting a career high in goals (five), assists (two) and points (seven). Both Allen and Truenow led the entire Golden Bears defense in ground balls with 30 and 35 respectively.

Another former Franklin Panther provided the New Haven women’s lacrosse team with a strong season. Julia Jette recorded the fourth most points on the Chargers, with 42 (28 goals, 14 assists) – a new career high. Jette wasn’t the only Hockomock athlete to impact the Chargers, as Mansfield’s Caroline Maher posted 40 goals and 26 assists.

Saint Joseph’s College of Maine’s goalie Connor Trainor had a strong senior season in net for the Monks. Trainor posted a 9.59 goals-against average with a .505 save percentage while being named to the All-Great Northeast Athletic Conference Third Team. The former Franklin Panther led the conference in wins (10), ranked second in games (19) and minutes (1000:32), and fourth in goals-against average this spring. As his career ends, Trainor ranks second in team history in goalkeeper games (60), minutes (2,906), saves (527), wins (23), and shots faced (1679) and third in goals-against average (9.81) and save percentage (.526). He was also one of two Monks to be selected to play in the 2018 New England Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (NEILA) East-West Senior All-Star Game.

Attleboro’s Hannah Smith and King Philip’s Maddie O’Gryzek helped pace the UMass Dartmouth’s pitching staff and lineup respectively. Smith started a career-high 24-games for the Corsairs with 131.1 innings of work. She collected 13 wins while finished inside the top-three for wins and earned run average (1.97) while coming top-five for strikeouts (93) and innings pitched. Smith earned her second straight selection to the Little East Conference Second Team. O’Gryzek appeared in all but two games for the Corsairs, recording the second most at-bats on the team (126). She showcased her speed, leading the Corsairs in triples (four) and stolen bases (11). O’Gryzek also set a new career high .389 slugging percentage.

Senior attack Sam Sullivan led Plymouth State with 60 goals while starting all 18 games. The 60 goals were a career high for the former Canton Bulldog, while she also broke career highs in assists (16) and points scored (76). The new marks carried Sullivan to her second straight selection to the All-LEC First Team. She leaves the program as the second player to record three 50-goals. She also ranks in the top ten in the LEC with her 73 points (sixth) and 16 assists (ninth). The co-captain was a two-time Player of the Week selection and is currently fourth all-time in career goals (163) and eighth in program history with 194 career points.

Another former Bulldog saw success on the baseball diamond. Drew Blake belted a team and career-high with eight home runs during his senior season at Fairfield University. Blake led his team with a .477 slugging percentage while starting 40 games for the Stags. Blake was also selected to the All-MAAC Academic Team.

Over at Clark University, Brandon King was named to the NEWMAC All-Conference first team. The former King Phillip standout led the Cougars with 43 goals, which ranked third in the entire NEWMAC. He also added six assists and a team-high 49 points. King twice posted a season-high six goals in Clark’s victories over Salve Regina and Saint John Fisher.

Aimee Kistner had a strong season on the hill for the Western New England Golden Bears. The sophomore appeared in 22 games, starting 15, while recording 11 wins in 113.2 innings of work. Kistner led her team with 119 strikeouts and posted a career-best 2.46 earned run average. Her best performance of the season came against Curry College, where the Taunton graduate threw seven scoreless innings while striking out 10.

At Colorado Mesa, Brian Buckner was named to the Second Team All-Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC). Buckner started 13 games while appearing in 18 as a long stick midfielder, piling up 21 ground balls and causing eight turnovers. Buckner also put up two points on the season while scoring his first career goal.

A pair of Hockomock alums played a role in Framingham State’s 16-3 season. Former Canton Bulldog Casey Bradley started all 19 games on defense for the Rams, which marks the second straight season in which she has done so. Bradley posted a career-high 32 ground balls and 18 caused turnovers, the most out of any Ram defender. Mansfield graduate Kim Foley earned her third first team All-MASCAC honors after scoring 46 goals and 34 assists for 80 points during her senior season. Foley finishes her career with 156 goals, 71 assists and 227 career points which ranks her first all-time in career assists and second all-time in points and goals in program history.

Katie Notarangelo was named the NEWMAC Co-Defensive Athlete of the Year while earning a spot on the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) All-Region Second Team. Notarangelo scored 60 goals on the season, finishing her career with the sixth most goals in the Institute’s history (145). She also finished with a record for draw controls in a game (15) and in program history ranked third in draw controls (239), tied for fourth in groundballs (127), fifth in caused turnovers (77), and 10th in points (170). In addition, she is currently seventh in the country in free-position percentage (.733).

Former Mansfield Hornet Sabrina Pray qualified seventh in the 100-meter hurdles for the Westfield State University Owls. Pray’s seed time is 14.29 seconds, which was faster than her mark at last year’s NCAA meet. She entered the meet as the 22nd seed and advanced to the finals, where she placed seventh to earn All-America Honors.

A trio of Hockomock athletes helped Bridgewater State University men’s outdoor track and field team capture the meet title at the 11th Annual Eastern Invitational. Cameron Williamson (OA) grabbed top honors in the triple jump with 46’8″/14.22m mark. John Chretien (Taunton) finished third in the javelin, throwing 168’4’’/51.30m. Senior Austin James (Mansfield) placed second in both shot put (46’8″/14.22m) and the discus (137’3″/41.84m). All three posted Division III New England Championships qualifying marks.

On the Bridgewater State women’s track and field team, Milford’s Jenise Madden was one of three team members to earn All-New England honors at the Division III New England Women’s Outdoor Track & Field Championships. Madden placed fifth in the 5,000-meter run with a time of 18:10.48 to qualify.

Courtney Daggett earned All-East Region honors from the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). Competing as a jumper for Stonehill College, the former Attleboro Bombardier posted her third-career regional honor. She cleared the bar at 5 feet, 4.5 inches at the Silfen Invitational, which marked a season best for the junior as she took home second from the meet.

Ben Chaffee became a regular in the WPI men’s baseball team lineup for the second half of the season, and the Franklin alum answered the bell. Chaffe slashed .386/.474/.482 and drove in 11 runs in his 24 games. The junior ended his season recording hits in 18 of his last 20 games played, including four three-hit games.