Canton Defeats Danvers To Claim First State Title

Canton volleyball
The Canton volleyball team poses with its newly won D2 State Championship trophy at Worcester State. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
WORCESTER, Mass. – The most decorated volleyball program in the Hockomock League is adding a new trophy and a new banner to its collection.

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.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“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.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“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.

Thursday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 10/17/19

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Soccer
Foxboro, 2 @ Milton, 0 – Final

Girls Soccer
Sharon, 1 @ Milton Academy, 1 – Final

Field Hockey
Attleboro, 3 @ Bishop Feehan, 0 – Final

Stoughton, 0 @ Canton, 6 – FinalCanton’s Kaitlyn Goyetch scored a hat trick to pace the Bulldogs to a win at home over visiting Stoughton.

Milford, 0 @ Foxboro, 1 – FinalFoxboro’s Lauren Foster scored the only goal of the game to help the host Warriors earn a close win over Milford.

Franklin, 1 @ Mansfield, 1 – FinalFranklin’s Amanda Lewandowski scored an unassisted goal with just over five minutes left to help the Panthers grab a tie on the road and stay undefeated in league play. Mansfield’s Grace Danehy scored in the first half to put the hosts ahead. Neilee Hess made four saves in for for Franklin.

Taunton, 1 @ King Philip, 2 – FinalKing Philip scored its second goal of the game just before halftime and held on in the second half to earn a win and post its ticket to the postseason. Raegan Simeone put the Warriors ahead before Taunton’s Jocelyn Pagliuca tied the game midway through the first half. Abby Nixon scored with two seconds left in the first half to regain the lead.

North Attleboro, 2 @ Sharon, 0 – Final

Volleyball
Stoughton, 0 @ Canton, 3 – FinalCanton celebrated senior night with a 3-0 (25-15, 25-14, 25-21) sweep over visiting Stoughton. “The seniors played great and led us to victory tonight,” said Canton head coach Pat Cawley. Taylor Harris (16 kills) and Claire Quinn (eight kills) paced the Bulldogs’ offense while Emily Morrison had a strong showing serving with five aces. Katie Lynch added two kills and played great defense in the win. Jenna Larson played well at the net and Rosana Cho (10 service points) had a great game defensively for the Bulldogs.

Milford, 2 @ Foxboro, 3 – FinalFoxboro pulled out a close win in the fifth set to earn a key 3-2 (25-19, 17-25, 25-22, 19-25, 15-13) win over division foe Milford. Maddie O’Brien dished out 34 assists with Grace Boudreau (13 kills) and Shakirah Ketant (nine kills, five blocks) leading the charge at the net. Kelsey Treweek (28 digs) and Pam Nelson (21 digs) shined defensively for the Warriors.

Franklin, 3 @ Mansfield, 1 – FinalMansfield pushed the Panthers to the brink in the fourth set, nearly forcing a fifth game before Franklin earned a 3-1 (19-25, 25-17, 25-17, 30-28) win. Allyson Bonnet-Eymard led the charge offensively for Franklin with 19 kills and nine digs, Sophie Lyons had a strong game with 12 kills and 10 digs, and Bridget Jackson added nine kills and five aces. Sophomore Cailyn Mackintosh continued to play well with 45 assists, seven digs, and three blocks. Mansfield’s Sam Sternburg registered 11 digs and 11 service points while Julia Kelly added nine kills and 13 digs.

Taunton, 0 @ King Philip, 3 – FinalKing Philip bounced back from a league loss on Tuesday with a 3-0 (25-12, 25-10, 25-13) sweep at home over Taunton. Catherine Waldeck had another strong game with 15 kills, Nicole Coughlan added eight kills and two aces, Kiley Sullivan chipped in with eight service points, and Emma Brooks had a strong all-around game with four aces, five digs, and 15 service points.

North Attleboro, 3 @ Sharon, 0 – Final

Golf
Hockomock League Championships (@ Blue Hill Country Club) – Click here for complete results and over 200 photos from the event.

Thursday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 10/03/19

Today’s games are listed below.

Football
Stoughton, 51 @ Sharon, 6 – FinalClick here for a photo gallery of this game.
1st Quarter: (St) Christian Ais 10-yard rush, Anthony Girolamo XP good; (St) Christopher Ais 17-yard rush, A. Girolamo XP good.
2nd Quarter: (St) Clayton Rahaman 15-yard pass to Christopher Ais, XP no good; (St) Christopher Ais 20-yard rush, A. Girolamo XP good; John Burke 22-yard pass to Jonah Ly, A. Girolamo XP good; (St) Christian Georges 30-yard rush, A. Girolamo XP good; (St) Jake Queeney 50-yard interception return, A. Girolamo XP good.
3rd Quarter: No scoring.
4th Quarter: (St) A. Girolamo 21-yard field goal; (Sh) Ike Ogbonnanze 67-yard rush, XP no good.

Boys Soccer
Mansfield, 1 @ Stoughton, 2 – FinalMansfield took a 1-0 lead into halftime but Stoughton came out and scored a pair of second half goals to earn two points. Sagar Koul put the visitors ahead in the first half, finishing off a through ball from Cam Eddy. Mason Eschleman scored the game-winning goal for Stoughton.

Field Hockey
Attleboro, 2 @ Sharon, 0 – FinalMadison Ellis and Emma Briggs each scored once to lead Attleboro to a win on the road at Sharon.

Taunton, 0 @ Canton, 2 – FinalCanton scored once in each half to grab a win over visiting Taunton. Freshman Ellie Bohane scored the game-winner in the first half while senior Kaitlyn Goyetch added an insurance tally in the second half for the Bulldogs.

Franklin, 3 @ Foxboro, 2 – FinalClick here for a recap and photo gallery from this game.

North Attleboro, 0 @ King Philip, 1 – FinalKing Philip scored the lone goal of the game midway through the first half and goalie Makenzie Manning and the Warriors’ defense posted a shutout to beat North Attleboro. Junior Abby Nixon converted at 14:32 on a feed from Sammy Robison for the lone goal of the game. Manning made four saves for the shutout while senior Raegan Simeone and junior Christina Gifun both played well in the midfield for KP.

Mansfield, 2 @ Stoughton, 0 – FinalStori Rounds and Paige Peterson each scored once to lead Mansfield to a win on the road at Stoughton.

Oliver Ames @ Milford, 4:00

Volleyball
Attleboro @ Sharon, 5:00

Taunton, 0 @ Canton, 3 – FinalCanton defended home court by earning a clean 3-0 sweep (25-13, 25-11, 25-17) of visiting Taunton. Jackie Morrissey ran the Bulldogs’ offense with 16 assists and six digs while Claire Quinn, Taylor Harris, and Liz Bickett combined for 20 kills. The Nikki DesJardins, Stephanie Trendell and Emily Morrison played well defensively for Canton. For Taunton, Ella Dunderdale had 10 kills and two aces, Hailey Sullivan added 10 digs, and Jaelyn Fernandez dished out 18 assists.

Franklin, 3 @ Foxboro, 0 – FinalFranklin went on the road and won 3-0 (25-20, 25-14, 25-19) over a gritty Foxboro side. Allyson Bonnet-Eymard led the way with 14 kills and nine digs while Bridget Jackson added seven kills and Jill Benoit chipped in with 12 digs. Sophomore Cailyn Mackintosh put the offense in motion with 26 assists.

King Philip, 3 @ North Attleboro, 0 – FinalKing Philip earned its second win over North Attleboro, this time in a league match, taking a 3-0 (25-6, 25-8, 25-23) decision. Kristen Masse (four aces) and Emma Brooks (three, seven digs) had strong showings at the service line while Nicole Coughlan (12 kills, three aces) and Catherine Waldeck (seven kills, four blocks) continued to shine at the net for KP.

Mansfield, 3 @ Stoughton, 0 – FinalMansfield got back into the win column with a 3-0 (25-23, 25-19, 25-7) sweep on the road at the new Stoughton High School. Sam Sternburg paced the Hornets with 14 service points and six digs while Julia Kelly also played well with 13 service points and seven kills.

Golf
Foxboro, 166 @ Sharon, 173 – FinalFoxboro’s depth played a big role in a win on the road over Sharon on Thursday afternoon. Luke Davies was the match medalist, firing a match-low round of 40 while Dylan Quinn, Matt Lathrop, and Noah Hicks all finished at 42 to help the Warriors earn a close win. Ethan Skelly led Sharon with a round of 41.

Franklin, 164 @ Oliver Ames, 157 – FinalOliver Ames defended its home course, knocking off the visiting Panthers to avenge a loss from earlier in the season. Senior captain Brad Powers was the medalist for the match with a round of 37. JoJo Gaultier added a 39 for the Tigers and Sam Becker chipped in with a round of 40. Franklin’s Jack Paterson had a team-low round of 38.

King Philip, 169 @ Mansfield, 160 – FinalMansfield’s Ava Haggis earned match medalist honors to help the Hornets knock off KP and clinch at least a share of the division title. Haggis finished with a 39 while Ryan Dow and Cian Goulet each shot 40 for the Hornets. Brian See and Jason See each shot 41 in the win.

North Attleboro, 178 @ Taunton, 194 – Final North Attleboro’s Jillian Barend fired a 40 to earn match medalist honors, helping the Rocketeers earn a win on the road at Taunton.

Stoughton, 184 @ Canton, 142 – FinalCanton’s Thomas Singleton fired off an even-par round of 34 to earn medalist honors and lead the Bulldogs to a win over Stoughton. The Bulldogs clinched at least a share of the Davenport division title with the win. Will Gefteas finished at one-over at 35 while Mike Leonetti (36) and Nate MacDonald (37) also played well for Canton. Stoughton’s Patrick Smith finished with a team-low round of 40.

Boys Cross Country
Franklin, 21 @ Taunton, 37 – FinalFranklin had the top two runners and four of the top six spots to earn a win on the road over Taunton. Tyler Brogan took first place for the Panthers, crossing the finish line in 16:10.

Results: 1. Tyler Brogan, Frank (16:10) 2. Nicholas Calitri, Frank (16:22) 5. Declan Walmsley, Frank (17:19) 6. Joseph Zerice, Frank (17:24) 7. Griffin Sieczkiewicz, Frank (17:27) 9. Clancy Golden, Frank (17:33)

Girls Cross Country
Franklin, 15 @ Taunton, 43 – FinalFranklin had the top five finishers in the race on the 3.1 mile course on the campus of Taunton High School. Sydney Hawkins led the way for the Panthers, taking first in 20:43. Taunton sophomore Nia Mainer-Smith took sixth overall in 21:12.

Volleyball: 2019 Hockomock League Preview

2019 Hockomock Volleyball Preview

By HockomockSports.com Staff

2019 Hockomock Volleyball Preview

Attleboro

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.”

Canton

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!”

Foxboro

2018 Record: 1-19
2018 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Vicki Santana

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.”

Franklin

2018 Record: 20-1 (Kelley-Rex Division Champions)
2018 Finish: Reached D1 State Semifinals
Coach: Kelsey Weymouth

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.”

King Philip

2018 Record: 11-11
2018 Finish: Reached D1 Central/East Quarterfinals
Coach: Kristen Geuss

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.”

Mansfield

2018 Record: 7-13
2018 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Melissa Heeden & Cindy Conquest

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 Buiser, 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!”




Milford

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.

North Attleboro

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.”

Oliver Ames

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.”

Sharon

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.”

Stoughton

2018 Record: 16-5
2018 Finish: Reached D2 South Semifinals
Coach: Erica Batchelder

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.”

Taunton

2018 Record: 5-15
2018 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Toby Chaperon

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.

Thursday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 10/11/18

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Soccer
Canton @ Braintree – Postponed to Monday, 10/15.
Oliver Ames @ Taunton – Postponed to TBD.

Girls Soccer
Taunton @ Oliver Ames – Postponed to TBD.

Field Hockey
Franklin, 2 @ King Philip, 3 – FinalKing Philip built a 2-0 lead by halftime but had to hold off a rally from Franklin to earn the win on a rainy afternoon. Alli Meehan scored twice in the first half, the first set up by Meghan MacDonald in the sixth minute and the second assisted by Abby Nixon with 16:59 left in the half. Franklin’s Ashley Reutlinger opened the scoring in the second half to get within one but MacDonald (assisted by Paige Berdos) answered for KP. Victoria Quinn scored Franklin’s second goal with an assist from Amanda Lewandowski. Makenzie Manning made 11 saves in net for KP while Anna Jardine made eight stops for Franklin. Kate O’Rourke had an outstanding performance defensively for the Panthers.

Attleboro @ Mansfield – Postponed to TBD.
Canton @ Foxboro – Postponed to Friday, 10/12 at Forekicks Taunton.
Milford @ Sharon – Postponed to TBD.
Stoughton @ North Attleboro – Postponed to TBD.
Oliver Ames @ Taunton – Postponed to Friday, 10/12.

Volleyball
Attleboro, 0 @ Mansfield, 3 – FinalMansfield defended home court with a 3-0 sweep (25-15, 25-17, 25-14). Greenly Kelly had 11 kills and eight service points, Emily Dardinski had eight kills, and Abby Sullivan added 12 service points for the Hornets.

Canton, 3 @ Foxboro, 0 – FinalThe Bulldogs had a strong team performance, leading to a 3-0 win on the road at Foxboro (25-12, 25-13, 25-10). For Canton, Julia Minichiello had a great day with 13 digs and three aces. Ally Irons, Emily Morrison, and Bella Touzos played good defense, Sydney Gallery, Nyah Claiborne and Liz Bickett were strong at the net, and Jackie Morrissey distributed the ball well.

Franklin, 3 @ King Philip, 0 – FinalClick here for a recap and photo gallery of this game.

North Attleboro, 1 @ Stoughton, 3 – FinalStoughton took the first two sets and finished the game with a win in the third set to pick up the victory over the visiting Rocketeers (25-18, 25-13, 20-25, 25-17). For Stoughton, Delaney Nagel was strong at the net with 11 kills and six blocks while Molly Turner played impeccable behind the line with 16 kills and a total of 25 service points.

Oliver Ames, 3 @ Taunton, 0 – FinalOliver Ames won a marathon of a third set to complete the sweep at Taunton (25-23, 25-5, 32-30). Jordan Bennett had a strong game defensively for the Tigers, Sadie Homer had 38 digs, Allie Kemp added 28 assists, Caitlin Cavanaugh had 16 kills, and Grace McCallum chipped in with 12 digs and three aces.

Milford, 3 @ Sharon, 2 – Final

Golf
Attleboro @ Foxboro – Postponed to TBD.
Oliver Ames @ Mansfield – Postponed to TBD.

Milford, 180 vs. Nipmuc 187 – FinalJustin Applebee led the way for the Hawks with a low round of 43 and Alex Klosen shot a round of 45.

Sharon @ Taunton – Postponed to TBD.
Stoughton @ Canton – Postponed to Wednesday, 10/17.