MILFORD, Mass. – There wasn’t much that could separate the Mansfield and Milford volleyball teams on Wednesday evening.
Entering the contest with identical 3-1 records, the Hawks and Hornets split the first four sets evenly, with the hosts grabbing the first and third while the visitors came back to level things twice, forcing a winner-take-all fifth set.
And even then, the two sides were nearly even. After a back-and-forth start, Milford went on an 8-1 run that put them a point away from one point away from clinching the game. That final point didn’t come easy, though, as Mansfield recorded four straight points to half the deficit.
But in the end, the Hawks got that final point to earn a hard-fought 3-2 (25-19, 19-25, 25-17, 21-25, 15-10) win over the Hornets.
“I just told them to keep playing their game, and to take care of themselves,” said Milford coach Tammy Webber of her message to her team as Mansfield battled back late. “Obviously it’s a team game but if they all took care of their own jobs, things would work out and we were able to end it.”
While the Hawks didn’t register an ace in the fifth set, their serving proved to be a vital asset and a key to the win. After service errors on their first two chances, Milford put Mansfield under a lot of pressure with strong serving.
After taking a 6-5 lead on a block from Allison Corsini (nine kills, seven blocks), Mansfield’s defense had a hard time dealing with a strong serve from Elise Fauerbach. Two more strong serves from Fauerbach led to easy kills from Corsini as she slammed down a pair of open looks that popped up from the Hornets’ serve receive, putting the Hawks up 9-5.
Corsini and Alyssa Williamson (12 kills, two aces) had back-to-back kills coming out of a Hornet timeout, and a Mansfield hitting error combined with another Corsini kill (off another loose receive from Mansfield) put the Hawks on the verge of the win at 14-6.
Mansfield picked up some momentum when Olivia McGrath (13 kills, eight service points) put down a kill and registered an ace, and Julia Kelly slammed down a kill to make it 14-10 before a play error gave Milford the final point for the win.
“We picked up our serving in that fifth set,” Webber said. “Our serving is our first line of offense and we depend on it a lot. When it’s off, we feel it, you could see if some of the first sets. But it was on in that tight situation which was good.
We talked about [Allison] making her presence known at the net and taking control, between her and her sister [Lauren] at the net.”
The first game set the tone for the rest of the match, as neither side was able to generate a large lead. Milford had a 5-0 burst that featured a back row kill from Fauerbach to take a 16-11 lead but Mansfield battled back to make it a two-point game at 18-16 on a nice tip from Alina Nowakowski (11 kills) after a nice dig from Sam Sternburg (19 digs, 10 service points).
Milford sophomore Sarah Brogioli (five kills, seven aces) landed back-to-back aces while Williamson landed two big kills down the stretch to give the Hawks a 1-0 lead.
Mansfield used a 7-1 run early in the second set to take its largest lead of the match. Nowakowski had back-to-back kills, McGrath landed a big kill from the middle, and Julia Busier had an ace to put the Hornets ahead 13-7. The run continued with two aces from McGrath and one from Olivia Fernando to make it 19-10. Milford made a mini-run but McGrath grabbed another kill to make it 1-1.
“In our last game, we weren’t talking consistently so I was really happy about being better at that today, I was really proud of that,” said Mansfield coach Melissa Heeden. “This is the first time we went to a fifth set, and I feel having back-to-back challenging games and another on Friday, it will benefit us. We just switched the rotation and it’s starting to gel. The girls are upset but I’m thrilled with where we are at.
“It’s still early in the season and I’m happy with where we are at. Of course I wish we won but I’m happy with how they fought back and how they played, it was a good team effort.”
Williamson had a pair of big kills in succession and Lauren Corsini (five kills, four blocks) added one of her own on a nice set from Julia Riordan (20 assists) to highlight a quick 7-2 burst in the third set for the Hawks. That little run made the difference and Brogioli landed a kill late to give Milford a 2-1 lead.
Mansfield used a similar run in the fourth set as it had in the second, creating separation early. A pair of aces from Brogioli closed the game and two Hornet errors made it a tie game at 19-19. Mansfield kept the advantage thanks to two kills from McGrath and a key block from Emily Dardinski on a hit that would have tied the game. Kelly clinched the fourth set win with a nicely placed tip.
“I can’t believe how evenly matched that entire match was,” Webber said. “They had their ups, we had our ups, they had their downs, we had our downs, it was crazy. The fifth set started with two missed serves and it was just a matter of who was going to react better after that and we responded much better than we usually do.”
Milford volleyball (4-1 Hockomock, 4-1 overall) will look to make it three straight wins when it travels to North Attleboro on Friday. Mansfield (3-2, 3-2) will try and get back into the win column when it travels to Oliver Ames on Friday.
2018 Record: 2-17 2018 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Courtney Durocher
The Attleboro Bombardiers are determined to improve on last year’s season and are planning to use a lot of effort and hard work to do so.
Attleboro has key pieces back in key spots for head coach Courtney Durocher to use. It all starts with junior setter Ana Leonardo, who enters her third year playing at the varsity level. After splitting time as a freshman, Leonardo shined as the lone setter for the Bombardiers last year. Having that experience in such an important position will help the Bombardiers offensively. Durocher is looking for Emily McGovern to get a lot of swings at the outside hitter position while Hailey Thake should get opportunities on the right side. The defense will be anchored by libero Jessica Matheson.
“I feel we could have a breakout season this year with the group of girls we have,” Durocher said. “It will take effort and time, but know we can do it.”
2018 Record: 19-3 (Davenport Division Champions) 2018 Finish: Reached D2 Central Final Coach: Pat Cawley
After missing out on the playoffs in 2017, the Bulldogs were back with a vengeance last year with a terrific season that resulted in a division title and a trip to the sectional final.
The Bulldogs were back atop the Davenport after a one-year hiatus, picking up 19 wins overall. Canton graduated a lot of key pieces from last year’s successful squad, but expectations are still high for 2019 as the Bulldogs look to defend their Davenport title. Senior Taylor Harris will give the Bulldogs a lot of power at the net as one the league’s best hitters, and she will also be a key piece of the defense. Junior Liz Bickett is back as one of the middle blockers, and junior Olivia Chinsen will be tasked with some of the setting duties as well as an attacking option on the right side. Junior Angie Elias will be another option on the outside while junior Shannon Malloy has stepped up to take on the other middle spot for the Bulldogs. Head coach Pat Cawley is looking for seniors Emily Morrison and Rosana Cho to anchor a relatively inexperienced group of defensive players to try and fill the void left by last year’s libero Meghan McDonough. Junior Jackie Morrissey and sophomore Taylor Reynolds are also in the mix for the setter spot.
“While we have a totally new look this year, the preseason has shown there is great potential,” Cawley said. “We have several good defensive candidates and I am excited to see who steps up and wins the starting roles. Our setting is inexperienced but hardworking and improving every day. I am fortunate to work with a great group of fun, determined and dedicated athletes looking to elevate their game!”
Former Canton standout Vicki Santana takes over as head coach of the Foxboro Warriors and is aiming to help her team improve over the course of the season.
The Warriors are hoping 2019 will be a turnaround year after just one win last season. O’Brien brings a wealth of playing experience, winning multiple Hockomock League championships with the Bulldogs and setting multiple records while at Worcester State. She holds two single-season records for digs and is second in program history in total digs (1,271). Santana has a strong core of players back to work within her first year including senior captains Grace Boudreau, Sara Addeche, and Maddie O’Brien. Boudreau gives the Warriors experience at the net as an attacking option while Addeche and O’Brien both provide strong leadership on and off the court. Junior Kelsey Treweek will anchor the defense as the libero while newcomer Shakirah Ketant should factor in defensively at the net.
“We are focused on developing the team as a whole and strengthening the camaraderie on and off the court,” Santana said. “Volleyball is a mental game and building our team culture around trust, positivity, and motivation is a priority for the year.”
It’s going to be a completely new look Franklin squad this fall, but second-year head coach Kelsey Weymouth is still expecting a strong season from the Panthers.
Coming off the best season in program history which featured an undefeated regular season, a D1 Central West sectional title, and a trip to the D1 State Semifinals, the Panthers will look to new faces to try and orchestrate another successful season. Allyson Bonnett-Eymard picked up valuable experience last season, registering 102 kills, and will be one of the go-to options on offense for Franklin this year. Weymouth also expects Bonnett-Eymard to be involved in the setting game as well. Other returners include Bridget Jackson and Emma Chase, both of which will play in the middle. Weymouth expects Chase to hit from various spots at the net this year. Sophomore Cailyn Macintosh had a strong offseason and will be in the mix for setting duties, junior Jill Benoit will be a key piece of the back row defense as the libero, and senior Sarah Jackson will see an expanded role at the net this season. The Panthers will be relying on their height to lead the defense at the net.
“We are more of a younger team this season but each player has made huge improvements,” Weymouth said. “Most of the team has not played together before, so our chemistry will be key. I love having a lot of variety on my team because that means I can move a lot of people around playing different positions.”
After an up and down season in 2018, King Philip is looking to compete for the Kelley-Rex title again this year.
The Warriors have a strong mix of starters and experienced players due back this season so there is a lot of potential for this season. The heart of the offense returns with both senior Catherine Waldeck and junior Nicole Coughlan (the 2018 HockomockSports Underclassman of the Year) back as the team’s middle blockers. Both had over 130 kills last season and combined for 77 blocks so the Warriors will certainly be strong up the middle again this year. Senior Kristen Masse will complement them as one of the outside hitters, the Warriors having their top three attack options back this season. Senior Kiley Sullivan and junior Lauren Peterson (both over 100 assists last year) are back to run the offense from the setter position. Juniors Lily Carlow and Emma Brooks bring experience to the back row defensive unit. Head coach Kristen Geuss expects juniors Ali McNamara, Paige Kannally, and Tori Claypoole to all factor in as well.
“There is a great deal of potential on the team,” Geuss said. “Many have put in the time in the offseason to improving their game. They are working hard in practice and are improving each day.”
There is a lot of excitement surrounding the 2019 version of the Mansfield Hornets, and for good reason with a lot of returning players back this season.
While the Hornets missed out on the playoffs a year ago, there is a lot of talent back that gained valuable experience and will be looking to compete for a division title this season. Last year’s inexperienced group is now ready to show off what they learned last season. There are five seniors that will lead the charge for Mansfield: outside hitter/defensive specialist Julia Busier, outside hitter Emily Dardinski, setter Olivia Fernando, libero Sam Sternburg, and setter Stephanie Walker. Having a senior at almost every position gives Mansfield an edge in both leadership and experience. Junior Olivia McGrath, sophomore Julia Kelly, junior Alina Nowakowski, and junior Ashley Santos all saw valuable match time last year and will be looking to take the next step this season. With such a well-rounded team, head coach Melissa Heeden has been moving the pieces around looking for the right combination heading into the season. Heeden is hoping that the combination of more experience and a balanced team will translate into success on the court.
“I am really excited about our team this year,” Heeden said. “The girls have worked really hard and we have a lot more experience this year than we did last year. We have a great team with a lot of energy and enthusiasm. We are well balanced and I am really looking forward to seeing what they can do!”
2018 Record: 9-10 2018 Finish: Reached D2 Central First Round Coach: Tammy Webber
After just making it into the state tournament a year ago, the Scarlet Hawks return an experienced group that is aiming to compete for the Davenport division title.
Milford has been in the mix before, their best chance at the division coming in 2016, but should be a serious contender in 2019. The Hawks bring back two talented middles in Allison and Lauren Corsini, Julia Riordan returns as the starting setter, Alyssa Williamson is back at the outside hitter spot, and right side hitter Elise Faurerbach has solid varsity experience. Sophomore Sarah Brogioli should see an expanded role as an outside hitter after getting some swings last year as a freshman. The Corsini sisters combined for over 200 kills and over 100 blocks and should give Milford an edge both offensively and defensively. Riordan dished out 420 assists a year ago and has plenty of weapons at her disposal, including Williamson (108 kills in 2018). The challenge early on will be replacing defensive specialists Sydney Sutton and Nina Pinto, who combined for the majority of the team’s digs and serve receives last year.
“We have the offensive pieces, but are working on the consistency we will need, especially in our passing, to be in the running for a Hockomock championship,” said head coach Tammy Webber.
2018 Record: 10-9 2018 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round Coach: Kim Hallahan
With 10 seniors on the roster, North Attleboro coach Kim Hallahan is excited for upcoming season.
It all starts with the two senior captains for the Rocketeers, with seniors Hayley Gaskin and Brook Street leading the way for North Attleboro. Gaskin returns as the starting setter after a very strong junior campaign in which North Attleboro qualified for the state tournament. Street will step in to anchor the defensive line in the back row as the libero while Gaskin, who had 416 assists last year with just 10 ball handling errors, will have a lot of the same options back again this year. One of those options will be senior Kylie Melanson, who was second on the team last year with 124 kills, and junior Joanna Collins-Bilyeu, who is set to see an expanded role at the net this year. With a strong group of well-rounded players, the challenge now for Hallahan is finding the right combination of players and the right rotations heading into the season.
“I have a really good feeling about this year,” Hallahan said. “The girls all have good spirits and work really, really hard, but most importantly work really well together. I’m really excited for this season.”
2018 Record: 14-8 2018 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinals Coach: Chelsea Cunningham
Oliver Ames is riding a three-year streak of qualifying for the state tournament and is looking to make it four this season.
Head coach Chelsea Cunningham has two of her top players back from last year’s 14-win squad in senior outside hitter Jordan Bosse and setter Allie Kemp. Bosse was one of the top hitters in the league and led the Tigers with 240 kills, so having a strong, experienced player back at the outside hitter position will be a big boost early on. And on top of that, Kemp (the 2017 HockomockSports Underclassman of the Year) is back to distribute the ball so there should be an early connection between the two. Cunningham is also looking for senior Alison Barth to step into the libero role, Ryley McNeeley to get some swings both in the middle and right side, junior Caroline Flynn to play the other outside hitter role, and sophomore Hadley Rhodes (setter/opposite) to play a variety of roles.
“We are hoping to learn from every practice, game, and everything in between,” Cunningham said. “The girls are flexible in their roles and all have something to offer on and off the court. Offensively, we have many options this year and hope to utilize everyone on the roster. Defensively, we have some holes to fill but continue to adjust to each team we face. With this particular group, expectations have been set, and they have to work for everything. With all the different factors that play a role, I could not have asked for a better group of student-athletes to work with.”
2018 Record: 7-12 2018 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Andrea Lovett
Sharon has a lot of returning players with experience at the varsity level which has head coach Andrea Lovett excited for the upcoming season.
The Eagles will look to use their strength and experience at the front row to pace the offense. Juniors Sara Fandel and Leah Fandel are back after picking up good experience a year ago, and senior Jada Johnson returns after one year off. Johnson had a terrific sophomore campaign and could be a big difference-maker for the Eagles. Senior captain Maya Aidlin-Perlman and junior Brynne Aidlin-Perlman will provide the power from the outside hitter spots. Senior captain Ally Brown brings quickness and intelligence to the setter spot and will be a leader for the Eagles both on and off the court.
“Over the last several years, Sharon has been gaining skills, experience, and a renewed drive to win,” Lovett said. “We are looking forward to carrying that trend into the season.”
The Black Knights have put together back-to-back 16 win seasons and have graduated two straight strong classes, so expectations are high for the upcoming season.
With some key losses to graduation, the Black Knights will be changing up some tactics and strategies this year to best take advantage of the players they do have returning. There will be a lot of focus on the defensive side of the ball, with a strong emphasis on hustle and eliminating unforced errors. Senior Alexa Quinones will be changing positions to take over as the setter. Her experience as an attacking option makes her a dual-threat alongside middle blocker Amaya Morris. Morris had a strong season a year ago and will be a key piece of the net defense this season. Senior Sasha Hyacinthe will be one of the main offensive options after a breakout junior campaign. Stoughton will be turning to senior Veronica Noe to anchor the defense in the back row, junior Shanice Landrum will be stepping into one of the middle roles, and junior Camille Firmin will give the Black Knights an attacking option as both an outside hitter and on the right side.
“We have strong players filling gaps from last year,” said head coach Erica Batchelder. “I am excited for this season for Stoughton to show other teams not to ever count us out. We have a lot of heart, hustle, communication, and talent to back it up.”
There will be a learning curve this season for Taunton, which features an overall young team with limited varsity experience.
Head coach Toby Chaperon had a busy preseason with over 100 girls trying out for the program. Senior Alyssa Turcotte, an outside hitter and a middle hitter, will see a lot of time at the net for the Tigers this year as well as senior outside hitter Hailey Sullivan, who has “a tremendous feel for the game” according to Chaperon. Junior Ella Dunderdale brings a strong skill set so she can play in a variety of roles during the season while classmates Sonya Fernandez (middle) and Jaelyn Fernandez (setter) could emerge as top players this season. Fabian Pereira will be in the mix in the back row while sophomore Mikayla Clearly is likely to factor in in some capacity for the Tigers.
Attleboro, 4 vs. Bishop Feehan, 3 – Final – Bishop Feehan loaded the bases in the top of the sixth with the chance to take the lead but Attleboro senior Ryan Morry came on in relief and escaped the jam and set the Shamrocks down in order in the seventh to earn the save, securing the Bombardiers win. Junior Max Amaral pitched five innings for Attleboro, scattering three hits with one run allowed in his first varsity start. Senior Mason Houle paced the offense, going 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored. Troy Gamache (RBI), Bailey Camacho (double, run), Tim Callahan, and Robbie Furtado each had a hit for Attleboro.
Canton, 2 @ Franklin, 3 – Final (8 inn.) – Franklin senior Cooper Ross drove in the game-winning in the bottom of the eighth inning, his second RBI of the game, to give the Panthers a walkoff win over Canton. Ross singled in classmate Alex Haba, who singled and stole second to get in scoring position. Canton scored in the first inning off an RBI double from Matt Pigeon but Franklin took the lead away with two runs in the bottom of the inning. Scott Elliott drew a one-out walk and moved to third on a double from Haba. Jake Macchi brought the first run home with a sacrifice fly, and Haba scored when Ross reached on an error. Brennan Rivera earned the win for the Panthers, striking out eight in a complete game effort. Rivera walked just one batter (the first of the game) and scattered four hits.
Sharon, 0 @ Mansfield, 13 – Final – Leading 1-0 through two innings, Mansfield plated five runs in the third, three more in the fourth, and four in the fifth to earn a win over visiting Sharon. Hornet senior Jake Gerraughty had a pair of hits, two walks, three runs scored and an RBI to pace Mansfield’s offense, which totaled 11 hits. Dan Saraceno, Eric Longley, and Nick Dumouchel each knocked in two runs for Mansfield. Gerraughty earned the win on the mound, allowing just one hit and three walks in six innings of work, striking out five. Sharon sophomore Justin Brown reached base three times, getting one hit and walking twice
Attleboro, 0 @ Bishop Feehan, 13 – Final
Sharon, 11 @ Ursuline Academy, 10 – Final – Sharon freshman Trinity Payne launched a three-run home run to help the Eagles earn a win on the road.
Milford, 14 vs. Framingham, 2 – Final (6 inn.) – Milford’s April Swain made her season debut starting in the circle and also had a strong day at the plate to help the Scarlet Hawks break into the win column. Swain struck out five in a complete game effort, and then went 3-for-4 at the plate (double, triple) with four RBI and two runs scored. Lucy Creedon added three hits, including a double and a triple, and two RBI, Amanda Wenckus added a triple, an RBI, and two runs scored, and Elise Fauerbach went 3-for-3 with two RBI and two runs scored.
Oliver Ames, 3 vs. Brockton, 2 – Final – Oliver Ames freshman Kylah Ganesh prevailed in a tight match at first singles, earning a 6-4, 7-5 win to help the Tigers get their first win of the season. Junior Yusaf Hameed picked up a 6-0, 6-4 win at second singles for OA.
Milford, 1 vs. Medway. 4 – Final
Taunton, 4 @ Durfee, 1 – Final – Taunton picked up a non-league win on the road over Durfee. Brett Beaulieu won 6-1, 6-0 at first singles while Charlie Fiske earned a comeback win at second singles, 2-6, 6-2, 6-4. The team of Ryan Hebert and Alex Pugh didn’t lose a game in a 6-0, 6-0 win at first doubles while Barrett Hodgson and Tyler Goddard prevailed 6-1, 7-6 at second doubles.
Franklin, 4 @ Canton, 1 – Final – Franklin swept doubles play and won two more matches in singles action to pick up a win on the road. Sophomore Liam Marr won 6-3, 6-2 at first singles and junior Rohan Herur won 6-2, 6-1 at second singles. The team of Saketh Saripalli and Vayshnav Malhotra won 6-0, 6-0 at first doubles while Shoumik Sompally teamed up with Shoyaib Shaik for a 6-2, 6-0 win at second doubles. Canton’s Ethan Nguyen 2-6, 6-4, 7-5 at third singles.
Mansfield, 3 @ Sharon, 2 – Final – Mansfield earned one win in singles action and swept doubles play to stun a shorthanded Eagles squad. Luke Nickerson won 4-1, injury/ret. at first singles, the team of Max Bank and Sethu Odayappan won 6-1, 6-3 at first doubles, and Nilay Pangrekar and Sam Donellan earned a 6-3, 6-3 win at second doubles. Sharon’s Rueman Bhattacharyya won 6-0, 6-1 at second singles and Max Brody picked up a 6-4, 7-5 win at third singles.
Taunton, 5 vs. Durfee, 0 – Final – Taunton won all five matches in straight sets, defending home court against Durfee. Jillian Pagliuca won 6-0, 6-1 at first singles, McKenzie Lucie earned a 6-2, 6-1 win at second singles, and Jocelyn Pagliuca emerged with a 6-0, 6-1 win from third singles. Sam Martin and Brian Fevrier picked up a 6-1, 6-0 win at first doubles while Ogechi Ariguzo and Cayeesha Charles-Marc secured a 6-1, 6-3 win at second doubles.
Canton, 5 @ Franklin, 0 – Final – Canton lost a total of just one game in singles action on its way to a sweep on the road over Franklin. Rachel Kuperfman (first singles) and Natalie Keppler (second) each won 6-0, 6-0 while Sarah Hernandez earned a 6-1, 6-0 win at third singles. The team of Stelina Michaelidis and Jamie Cree pulled out a 6-3, 3-6, 12-10 win at first doubles while Alexis Newton and Simela Donovan won 6-0, 6-1 at second doubles.
Sharon, 5 @ Bishop Feehan, 0 – Final – The Eagles dropped just four games total in the entire match, dominating the Shamrocks for a win. Nupur Shukla (first) and Valeria Barajas (second) each won 6-0, 6-0 in singles action while Charlie Martinez earned a 6-0, 6-1 win at third singles. The team of Sophia Fein and Sachi Basin won 6-0, 6-1 at first doubles, and Lauren Glass and Makaila Cheung teamed up for a 6-2, 2-0 (ret.) win at second doubles.
Boys Outdoor Track
Oliver Ames, 78 @ Taunton, 58 – Final – Zane Reservitz and Aaron MacDonald each had a pair of first place finishes to pace Oliver Ames to a win over Taunton. Reservitz took first in the 800M (2:05.0) and the 1 Mile (4:58.0) while MacDonal crossed first in the 400M (52.0) and won the long jump (20’3′). Other first place finishes for the road Tigers included Sean Flaherty (110M hurdles, 17.8), Kyle Sarney (2 mile, 10:34.8), Ryan Hilliard (triple jump, 41’0″), Jared Mileika (javelin, 139’0″), and Anthony DeCosta (discus, 108’1″).
Girls Outdoor Track
Oliver Ames, 57 @ Taunton, 79 – Final
Taunton, 2 @ King Philip, 3 – Final – King Philip rallied from an 0-2 deficit to stun the visiting Tigers with a 3-2 (23-25, 20-25, 25-19, 25-17, 15-12) win. “It was such a great game to watch I’m so proud of the boys,” said KP head coach Emily Tkowski. “The team had great chemistry and never gave up, as a coach I couldn’t ask for anything else.” Max Armour had 14 digs and added five kills while Kyle Desrochers paced the defense with 19 digs.
2018 Record: 9-12 2018 Finish: Reached D1 South Preliminary Round Coach: Mark Homer
After back-to-back playoff appearances, the expectations are high around the Attleboro program this spring. The Bombardiers return eight of nine starters from last year’s team and the lineup should be loaded with good hitters, as well as multiple players who can step into the circle and produce a good start. With the depth on the roster this season, Attleboro will be eyeing another postseason berth.
Senior McKenzie Bergdoll is one of the top power hitters in the league and will be back for another spring in the heart of the Attleboro lineup. She will be joined by classmates Jordyn Lako and Kayla Battisti as starters. Junior Makenzie Killough will be back at shortstop and also batting cleanup and providing protection for Bergdoll in the order. Sophomore Lora Woyton returns behind the plate, sophomore Autumn O’Connell will be in center and batting second and junior Ashley Macia will be out in left. Sophomore Brenna Morse will be taking over in rightfield. In the circle, Attleboro has plenty of depth with juniors Emily and Jenna Gittle and Bergdoll all able to step in. The Bombardiers will try to take advantage of their overall team speed and head coach Mark Homer said there are a few freshmen who may see playing time right away.
“The bar was set high from last season,” said Homer. “So the girls are onboard to perform well again this season with high hopes of competing in every game they play. They have set some goals to achieve one a\t a time. I am cautiously optimistic with our chances of winning more games this season than we have in the past. Knowing that there are no easy games on our schedule so we have to come to play every night.”
2018 Record: 8-13 2018 Finish: Reached D2 South Quarterfinal Coach: Dave Bohane
Canton had quite the turnaround in 2018 under second-year head coach Jennifer Robillard, winning eight games, seven more than in 2017, and making a return to the state tournament. Robillard, last season’s HockomockSports.com Coach of the Year, has moved on to a position at Bentley and football coach Dave Bohane has taken over a team that has seen an influx of young talent and has momentum on its side heading into the spring.
Junior pitcher Caroline Hughes is one of the reasons for optimism in the program, as she is looking to build off a strong sophomore season in which she pitched almost every inning. Hughes was also one of the team’s top hitters and she will be at the heart of the lineup along with sophomore outfielder Liz Bickett, who batted .409 last season. Bickett is just one of several sophomores who the Bulldogs will be counting on, including infielders Olivia Lanci and Sarah Kelly, catchers Steph Trendell and Amanda Vrabel. Junior catcher Jackie Howard and seniors Haley Donovan and Ally Chin will provide leadership for this young group to try and get the Bulldogs right back into the state tournament mix.
“I am very excited to be coaching this team,” said Bohane, who has previously served the program as an assistant coach. “They are extremely hard working and devoted to the program. I think they will set the standard for our future players who come through the program. It’s a very tough league, but we will take it one game at a time and try to improve each game”.
2018 Record: 11-12 2018 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South Quarterfinal Coach: Mark Maguire
Foxboro made a run in the Div. 2 tournament last season, winning a pair of games before being knocked out in the quarterfinals, and the Warriors will hope to build on that exciting finish to 2018 by making a run at the Davenport crown this spring. Even with the loss of catcher Hannah Davis, who was instrumental in the team’s playoff run, Foxboro has a strong returning core and some talented young players stepping in to give head coach Mark Maguire confidence ahead of the new season.
Senior Emma Rohan will be back in the circle for her fourth year as the Foxboro starter and she has the experience of pitching in a number of big games and against the top teams in the league. Senior Cam Willis will play first this season, but can also step in and pitch if needed along with junior Amelia Stowell. The pitchers will have a rookie to throw to, as freshman Allie Willis will be stepping in behind the plate. Sophomore Morgan Sylvestre returns at shortstop after a strong first season on varsity and will be one of the leaders of the infield. Senior Chelsea Gibbons is at third base and freshman Peyton Feldman takes over at second. Sophomore Nicole Theriault will be in centerfield but can play a number of positions, senior Riley Martignetti gives the team pop from the right side of the plate, and senior Jill Finn can play all three outfield positions.
“Preseason is going great as the girls are working very hard to be ready for the season,” said Maguire. “We have a group of girls who work hard. I think team defense should be good with our senior leadership, and the younger players who aggressively look to make plays in the field. I have high expectations for this team, as we look to compete for a Davenport title and gain a state tournament berth.”
2018 Record: 9-11 2018 Finish: Missed Playoffs Coach: Kate Fallon
Franklin has consistently been right behind perennial league leaders Taunton and King Philip in the Kelley-Rex division standings but has narrowly missed out on the playoffs by a single win in each of the past two seasons. This year, the Panthers have eight seniors coming back with the goal of getting the team back into the postseason and use a typically tough schedule to prep for a tournament run.
Pitching will be a strength for the Panthers this year with seniors Jackie Cherry and Emily Valentino giving the team depth and different options in the circle. Throwing strikes will be the key for both and limiting opposition base runners. Behind the plate, Franklin has plenty of experience as well with seniors Ally Shea and Maggie Hobby both capable of stepping in and handling the pitchers as well as providing power at the plate. Senior Tara Hartnett will be back at shortstop and provides strong defense up the middle. Junior Anna Balkus will be in centerfield and will set the table for the offense as the lead-off hitter. Junior Maddy White will be at third base and joins Shea and senior Kylie-Jade Bouzan as the team’s primary run producers.
“We are excited to see the Panther players on the field again,” said Franklin coach Kate Fallon-Comeau. “Overall our tough league and non-league schedule will keep us focused for tournament and we will rely on our solid pitching and defense.”
2018 Record: 21-4 2018 Finish: Reached D1 South Final Coach: Norm Beauchemin
Every season King Philip loses important players and every season the Warriors seem to be right back in the mix for the league title. This spring should be no different. KP will have several important players to replace in the lineup, but it expects to challenge for a 12th title in the past 13 seasons and also make another tournament run, following last year’s South final loss to Kelley-Rex rival Taunton.
Meghan Gorman is the player to watch for the Warriors this season, as the senior shortstop is one of the top defensive players in the state and also the spark plug at the top of the lineup. Senior Faith Turinese will move from the outfield into the circle and will split time with classmate Heather Nix as the top pitchers for the Warriors. Turinese also batted over .400 last year and will be an important bat in the middle of the order. Junior Destiny Goyco will step in behind the plate, after overcoming an injury from basketball season, and fellow junior Liliana Rolfe will take over at third. Grace Kelley will be at second base and Anna Bradley will be at first. The outfield will be filled with speed, including Kara McWhinnie in left, sophomore Paige Berdos in center, and either Ryan Stagg or junior Reaegan Simeone in right.
“One to nine, everyone hits the ball,” said KP coach Norm Beauchemin. “I’m looking forward to another solid season. The league overall is going to be very competitive, so it should be fun.”
2018 Record: 7-13 2018 Finish: Missed Playoffs Coach: Lori Letendre
Mansfield is looking to bounce back from a tough 2018 season in which the Hornets struggled in the Hockomock (going 4-12 in league play) and missed the playoffs. This year, Mansfield hopes for a quick turnaround and return to the state tournament with an experienced roster that brings back 11 players, seven starters, and seven seniors from last season.
The battery of senior pitcher Sarah Cahill and senior catcher Caty DeMassi is back and should give the Hornets a good foundation on which to build on this season. Seniors Megan Letendre and Kara Bendanillo will hold down the left side of the infield and provide pop in the middle of the lineup, while Mady Bendanillo returns in centerfield to give Mansfield a dynamic defensive player and another strong bat. There is an influx of youth as well with two sophomores and a freshman jumping into varsity and having the chance to contribute right away.
“Our goal is to make it back to the tournament this year and with strong leadership from our captains and our seniors, I think we will have a good shot at it!” said Mansfield coach Lori Letendre.
2018 Record: 18-3 2018 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round Coach: Steve DiVitto
The biggest question for Milford is how do the Hawks move on from a group of 10 seniors that won a combined 79 games, four league titles, and the 2017 state championship? Milford has been the team to beat in the Davenport division for six years and a relatively inexperienced group will have to face a season in which the target for every team in the league is squarely on their backs.
Junior Megan Hart is one of the primary options to replace Kelley Reichert in the circle to start the season, with freshman Olivia Morelli showing potential to step in and contribute innings right away. Senior Lucy Creedon can step in at first or in the outfield. Junior April Swain will jump into the outfield along with classmate Taylor Waldrup, while junior Amanda Wenckus can play either position on the left side of the infield and sophomore Carly Ferreira can play either corner infield spot. Sophomore Elise Fauerbach can play behind the plate or in the outfield, while her classmate Natalie Casilli will take an outfield spot. There are a lot of spots to fill this year, but head coach Steve DiVitto is talking about that as an opportunity for a new group of players to step into.
“We understand that lack of experience is something that we will need to combat with, however the bar will continue to be set high!” DiVitto said. “Each year a new page is turned over, and as always the focus is: what’s your legacy going to be? Keeping our awesome team chemistry will be an important part of this season. We’re excited for the challenges of playing in the best league in the state!”
2018 Record: 16-5 2018 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round Coach: Bill Wallace
Two seasons ago, North Attleboro was a young team that made a surprise trip to the South semifinal, but this year the Rocketeers will have much higher expectations. North is now the experienced team in the Davenport division and has aspirations of unseating Milford and winning a first league title since 1990 and adding to the league’s recent history of strong tournament performances with another deep run.
Junior pitcher Bella Erti will be one of the league’s top pitchers again this season, after a 15-5 sophomore season in which she struck out 137 batters. She also hit .357. Junior Ashley Cangiano is also back for her third year as a starter and is one of the top catchers in the league. Abby Gallagher returns to the North outfield after hitting .500 last season as a sophomore and senior Olivia Capobianco will be back in centerfield and the middle of the North lineup. Freshman Mandi Hanewich and sophomores Emma Bailey and Belle Clarkin will compete for the third outfield spot after impressive preseasons. Senior Katie Daby is at first, while sophomore Emily Nardelli moves from shortstop to second base. Junior Alex Moulson takes over at short and her classmate Annabelle Hebard will be at third. Emily Bedard and Makenzie Nardelli add to North’s infield depth and Alivia Byrne will give Erti a rest in the circle and is another big bat in the lineup.
“We will need to be more multi-dimensional, as late in the year we couldn’t sustain our offensive start to the season,” said North coach Bill Wallace. “This group really wants to make their mark on the league and they know how much work that is going to take.”
Last season was a struggle for the Tigers, with only three wins and head coach Lindsey Allison is hoping that a group of younger players can add to the returning core and make a push to get Oliver Ames back into the state tournament. Allison is confident that the offense will get into the swing of things for the Tigers after scoring only 66 runs last season, second-lowest in the league.
Senior Kayla Georgeu will be back in the circle for OA and in the heart of the lineup. The Tigers will count on sophomore Emma Varella to provide some innings at pitcher, as well as playing in the infield. Senior first baseman Katie Mills is a big bat for the Tigers and junior Katie Abreu can step in at either shortstop or centerfield depending on the game to provide vocal leadership. Sophomore Grace Simone will be behind the plate this season.
“Every spot is open for the taking and there are many young players who are hungry to be on the field,” said Allison. “This group of players seem like a team – not just a group of individuals. They compete with one another for positions, but also support each other. They hold each other accountable and communicate. I am excited to see what hard work can accomplish this season.”
It was definitely a rough debut season for Sharon coach Heather Poliferno, but it was also a chance for a number of young players to get experience at the varsity level. This spring, there is renewed enthusiasm with a crop of underclassmen joining the experienced players to give Poliferno and the Eagles confidence for a much better spring.
Freshman Trinity Payne is the player to watch for the Eagles this season as she takes over as the starting pitcher and has already drawn the attention of coaches in the Davenport division. She will be used at a couple of different positions and gives the Eagles versatility in the lineup. Senior Alli Small will be back at shortstop this season, while classmate Jody Goldenberg is back at first, and senior Rebecca Clayman will be the leader of the outfield group. As the program is growing, Sharon is hoping for much different results this season.
“We are very excited for this season!” said Poliferno. “We have many returning players leading our varsity team, as well as the addition of a very talented freshman class. Though we have only had a handful of practices, one of our clear strengths is our desire to be the best on the field.”
2018 Record: 7-13 2018 Finish: Missed Playoffs Coach: Deb Parker
Stoughton struggled to find a groove in 2018 and ended up missing the playoffs under first-year head coach Deb Parker, who had made the switch from Sharon before last season. This year, the Black Knights bring back starters in key positions and once again have the potential to make a run at a state tournament berth and even challenge for the Davenport title.
Seniors Nikki Coppola (second base) and Jordan Lyons (shortstop) give Stoughton a strong combination up the middle and senior Karly Estremera brings plenty of experience at third base. Sophomore pitcher Nicole Baker will take over full-time in the circle this season and Parker is impressed by the work that she put in during the off-season to get ready. Baker will be throwing to an experienced catcher, as senior Brianna Ferrandiz is back behind the plate for the Black Knights. Junior Lexi Baptista will lead the outfield crew in center and could also be one of Stoughton’s top hitters this season. Freshmen Melody Casna and Sydney Menz will give the Black Knights versatility by playing multiple positions.
“This team has come together so quickly, it is a real tribute to the leadership of our captains,” said Parker. “This team knows what they are playing for this year and we have high expectations going into the season. Softball in the Hockomock League is incredibly competitive but if we continue to work hard, we should have a great season.”
2018 Record: 26-2 2018 Finish: Won D1 State Championship Coach: Dave Lewry
How do you follow up a state championship? For Taunton, it just may be to make a run at a repeat. The Tigers lost the second, third, and fourth hitters in the lineup (including league MVP and HockomockSports.com Player of the Year Kya Enos), who combined for 88 RBI, but there is a ton of talent coming back from last season, all of whom contributed at one point or another during Taunton’s run to the title.
It starts in the circle where sophomore Kelsey White will be the starter again this season after going 16-2 as a freshman and pitching every inning during the playoff run (not to mention batting .418). Her sister Alexa will also see time at pitcher, along with freshman Olyvia Mendonca, but will also play most of the season in centerfield. The infield will be a strength for the Tigers, with all four players back. Senior Jaime Brown (batted .469) is back for her fifth year at third base and is one of the top hitters in the league, sophomore Hanna Aldrich (.385 average with four homers and 30 RBI) is in her third year at shortstop and was this site’s Underclassman of the Year in 2018, sophomore McKenzie McAloon returns at second base for her third season, and junior Paige Silvia is back at first. Silvia and junior Riley Murphy are also in the running to replace Enos behind the plate, while junior Abbie McDonough takes over in left and eighth-grader Ava Venturelli could start the season in right.
“While we lost three outstanding players to graduation, I am excited about the potential of this year’s team,” said Taunton coach Dave Lewry. “We have a good nucleus of returning players looking to defend our D1 state championship.”
2017 Record: 4-16 2017 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Courtney Durocher
A year after joining the Bombardiers as an assistant coach, Courtney Durocher takes over an Attleboro program hungry to make a splash in the Hockomock League. Attleboro lost four-year player and all-league selection Lexi Pereira to graduation but Durocher has a strong group of players to work with in her first year. Amanda Kadisevskis will be a vital part on both offense and defense, having led the Hock in blocks last season. Kadisevskis is a tri-captain along with senior Chelsea Calcagni and Faith Hindy (right side). Ana Leonardo had a strong year last year and will be relied upon to set the offense in motion while juniors Jessica Matheson (defensive specialist) and Emily McGovern (outside hitter) will be called upon to step up this season for the Bombardiers.
“I am excited for this season as I am now the head coach,” Durocher said. “I believe the team will have a good season and work well together.”
2017 Record: 7-12 2017 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Pat Cawley
Canton’s decade-long run as league champion came to a close last season but head coach Pat Cawley is hoping the lessons learned last year will pay off in 2018. The Bulldogs only had a couple of players with varsity experience last year so a lot of new faces were able to gain experience throughout the year. Senior captain Nicole Brown is back for her second year as the team’s setter. Her athleticism and speed allow her to get around the court to get in position to make plays. Middle Erin Devine will be one of Brown’s main targets along with outside hitting Taylor Harris. Devine has impressed through the preseason and Harris brings an aggressive edge to the Dogs’ attack. Senior libero Meghan McDonough is one of the players Cawley expects to take the next step this season after getting a year of experience under her belt last season. Setter/opposite Olivia Chinsen and outside hitter Angie Elias are also in the mix for Canton this year.
“Canton volleyball is looking to turn it around this season,” Cawley said. “We have 10 seniors, many of whom saw a lot of playing time last year. We are hoping this experience leads to more aggressive and confident play.”
2017 Record: 1-17 2017 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Dan Damish
The 2018 version of the Foxboro Warriors will rely heavily on its four captains while a handful of new faces get acclimated to the varsity level. Senior captain Paulette Palomares will set the tone defensively as the libero and will be joined by fellow captains Brynn Gilbert and Shaelyn McCarthy as defensive specialists. Grace Boudreau, a junior captain, will be a main piece of the offense from her outside hitter spot. Boudreau will be joined on the outside by Calvi Goodard while first-year players Ashelyn Moniz and Meg McDonald will be in the middle. First-year player Madison O’Brien will take over as the team’s setter.
“This year’s team will have to play great defense, serve well, serve receive well and play great team volleyball in order to have a successful season,” said Foxboro head coach Dan Damish.
Former North Attleboro standout Kelsey Weymouth takes over as head coach of the Franklin Panthers and she has a lot of talent to work with right away.
The Panthers have Lauren McGrath, Ellie Wiesniewski, Riley Marino, Maggie Doyle, and Hailey Sanders back, all of whom either starter or played in plenty of sets last season. McGrath is in her third year as the starting setting and is a vocal leader for the team while Marino is a standout defensive specialist as the libero. Doyle is a tall presence in the middle that will be a big part of the defense as well as Sanders, who plays on the right side. Wisniewski and sophomore Allyson Bonnet-Eymard will be the main focuses on the outside for the Panthers.
“I am extremely excited to be apart of this Franklin program and coach these girls into being successful volleyball players,” Weymouth said. “I am going to do everything in my power to continue the previous success of this program. My girls have been extremely welcoming and that’s a good feeling coming in a new head coach.”
2017 Record: 20-3 (Kelley-Rex Division Champions) 2017 Finish: Reached D1 Central/East Final Coach: Kristen Geuss
King Philip claimed its second straight Kelley-Rex title last season and fourth in the past five years. Now the focus turns to 2018 and the Warriors will be looking to compete for yet another division crown. Gone is two-time Hockomock MVP Sydney Phillips and four other starters but the Warriors bring back a solid core of players that will try to make their own mark this season. It starts with senior captains Livvie Atkins and Kat Kmetz, two of the more experienced players on the squad. Atkins is one of the top defensive players on the team and Kmetz will step into an outside hitter spot. Head coach Kristen Guess is relying on seniors Shayla Weitzman (defensive specialist), Caroline Robertson (opposite), Jessie Kornfeld (defensive specialist) and Kristen Masse (defensive specialist) to step up this season. Junior Kiley Sullivan steps in as an option at setter while classmates Grace Ely and Catherine Waldeck will handle the middle blocker spots. Guess also expects sophomores Emma Brooks (Setting), Nicole Coughlin (middle), and Lillian Carlow (defensive specialist) to see substantial time this year.
“Our strength will be our ability to distribute the ball to all of our hitters,” Guess said. “We are working hard each practice and I see us improving every day.”
There will be a lot of new faces in Mansfield’s lineup this season after losing seven seniors to graduation. The Hornets graduated their leader in kills and blocks (Meg Hill), assists (Emma Ascoli), and top two players in digs (Julia Harrison and Jolie O’Neil) so there is plenty of space for new players to step up and make a name for themselves. One key piece returning to the lineup is middle Greenly Kelly, who was among the best in the league at blocking. Her net defense will be key for a Hornet squad putting an emphasis on defense. Senior captain Katie Dardinski is a defensive specialist and will be another key piece on the back line. Sophomore Alina Nowakowski will take over as the other middle while sophomore Olivia McGrath will step into an outside hitter role.
“We will be a very different team this year in which I am hoping to be a little more defensive minded,” said Mansfield head coach Melissa Heeden. “While we are young and have a lot of work to do, they are ready for the challenge.”
The Hawks will need some new players to step up in 2018 after graduating the core of its team from last season, including eight seniors. Head coach Tammy Webber believes that her team is only going to get better the more they play. Seniors Briana Maiette, Sydney Sutton, and Nina Pinto will be relied upon for their leadership this season while Webber is looking for contributions out of juniors Julia Riordan and Alyssa Williamson. Middles Allison Corsini and Lauren Corsini could give the Hawks a boost at the net while sophomore Elise Fauerbach figures to get some time on the court right away. Senior defensive specialist and Ana Alvarenga and juniors Abbey Reichert and April Swain are also in the mix for playing time this season.
“Right now we are just working on consistency and confidence in our play,” Webber said. “We are working on finding the best combinations of players to be competitive and win games.”
2017 Record: 18-3 (Davenport Division Champions) 2017 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinal Coach: Kim Hallahan
Not many teams lost as much talent as the Rocketeers, who boasted a very senior-heavy roster last season that won its first-ever Davenport title. And on top of that, Kim Hallahan takes over as head coach after Jeff Crins stepped down after a lengthy run as the leader of the Rocketeers. Seniors Emma Gunn and Tatiana Sotelo are the two returning players this season and will be joined by 11 juniors. Sotelo will be counted on to be a main piece in Big Red’s offense while Hayley Gaskin and Joanna Collins-Bilyeu give North Attleboro options at the setter position. Hallahan said there are a lot of solid defensive players on the team but need to figure out which spots work best.
“We do have a young team, but after we get the season started, and some of the nerves out, I don’t think that it will affect us too much,” CHllahan said. “We have many hardworking, talented, versatile girls.”
2017 Record: 11-10 2017 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round Coach: Chelsea Cunningham
While Oliver Ames is in a good spot with its defense and setter, the Tigers are in need of players to step up on the offensive end after the graduation of six talented seniors. Senior captain Sadie Homer is a four-year varsity player and returns as the team’s libero. She’s been a defensive specialist for the Tigers for all four years and will be one of the most seasoned and skilled players in the back row in the Hock this season. Junior setter Allie Kemp is also back and is the reigning HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year after helping the Tigers win 11 of their final 14 games to qualify for the state tournament. One option OA has at the net will be junior Jordan Bosse. After serving as a defensive specialist last season, Bosse will be an offensive option at outside hitter this season.
“I see lots of potential with this group,” said OA head coach Chelsea Cunningham. “We have big shoes to fill after losing six seniors, all of offensive positions. We have a roster full of athleticism and commitment and I hope the girls come ready to play every day and grow as a team. If they play to their potential, this could be a great season for the OA Volleyball program.”
2017 Record: 6-12 2017 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Andrea Lovett
After improving its win total each of the last two seasons, the Sharon volleyball program will be relying on its eight seniors to continue that upward trend. The Eagles’ offense will run mostly through its two captains with Abby Fine acting as the engine for the attack. From her setter position, the offense will flow through her while one of her main targets will be fellow captain Jody Goldenberg. Goldenberg will also be key on the defensive side as a middle blocker. Ally Brown will also see time at setter and will have senior Jade Veth and sophomore Brynne Aidlin-Perlman to work with on the outside.
“Sharon’s program is building from the ground up,” said head coach Andrea Lovett. “As more and more talented younger players come up through the ranks, we are looking forward to seeing many more wins this season. The Eagles are a tough, tenacious group of players who I believe are going to surprise some teams this season.”
2017 Record: 16-5 2017 Finish: Reached D2 South First Round Coach: Erica Batchelder
Last year was certainly a season to remember for the Black Knights and a big reason why was the two-way play of seniors Val Whalen and Jordan Motley. Both Whalen and Motley played significant roles on offense and defense for the Knights, who set a program record for wins in a season. While those two weapons are gone, the Black Knights bring two other important pieces from their offense from last year. Setters Molly Turner (278) and Hanna Holden (179) are both back and will the engines of the team. Juniors Sasha Hyacinthe and Alexa Quinones have worked hard in the summer and will be two offensive options for Stoughton. Another key returner for Stoughton is senior Mia Bennett, who is back for her third year as the team’s libero.
“We may have a lot of new faces but we are taking the same approach to the game: become better players, coaches, and people every day and the wins will come,” said Stoughton head coach Erica Batchelder. “We have so much untapped potential in this team that is going to surprise the rest of the league. We will always try our hardest and have fun while doing it.”
After missing out on the state tournament the past two seasons, the Tigers are looking to get back into playoff contention on the backs of nine seniors. Everything will run through three-year starter Kayli Fagan, who is inching closer and closer to 1,000 assists as the team’s primary setter. Another key returner is senior Mckenzie Lucie, who will continue to handle libero duties and stabilize the back line. Middle Kamila Cuevas has taken a big step forward while Sam Silveira is back as an option on the outside. Other seniors that head coach Toby Chaperon is expecting to contribute include Sam Martin (opposite), Aliyah Gillenwater (outside), Michaela Felici (outside), Jaime Brown (defensive specialist), and Elaine Bodemer (defensive specialist).
“We will be integrating many new players and are hoping that gelling process will happen quickly as there are no let-ups in our schedule as we get started right away with a strong New Bedford team,” Chaperon said.