Friday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 02/17/17

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Basketball
Taunton, 72 @ Attleboro, 82 – FinalTaunton used a 13-0 run over the end of the third and the beginning of the fourth to cut the deficit to two (59-57) but Attleboro had a response of its own, rattling off a 15-4 run to secure the win. Andrew Milliken hit a pair of threes, Jake Dunkley added four points, Elvin Sam drained a three and freshman Qualeem Charles converted a putback to put Attleboro up 74-63 with just two minutes to go. Dunkley finished with a team-high 21 points, Sam added a career-high 14 points, Milliken had 13 points, Nate Douglas chipped in with 11 points and Charles notched a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Taunton senior Tommy MacLean dropped a game-high 25 points while Malik Charles, Dante Law and Lens Esquil each scored 10 points for the Tigers.

Canton, 66 @ Stoughton, 69 – FinalStoughton junior Cam Andrews hit a deep three pointer with just seven seconds left to lift the Black Knights to a win. Andrews finished with 18 points for Stoughton. Canton sophomore Devin Foster scored a career-high 30 points for the Bulldogs.

Foxboro, 40 @ North Attleboro, 45 – FinalClick here for a recap of this game.

Franklin, 72 @ King Philip, 59 – FinalClick here for a recap of this game.

Oliver Ames, 43 @ Mansfield, 61 – FinalOliver Ames was able to keep pace with the Hornets for 16 minutes, trailing just 29-26 at halftime but Mansfield created separation in the third quarter and never looked back. The Hornets outscored the visitors 16-7 in the third quarter to take a 45-33 lead going into the final period. Mansfield senior Sam Goldberg scored 17 points and hauled in 12 rebounds while classmate Evan Christo was a perfect 6-6 from the field for 13 points. Phil Vigeant added nine points and Max Boen had seven points and seven rebounds. Nick Welch led OA with 16 points and Dylan Mahoney chipped in with 12 points.

Sharon, 78 @ Milford, 65 – FinalAfter a high scoring first quarter (23-22, Sharon), the Eagles took a seven point advantage (42-35) in the locker room at halftime. Sharon extended its lead to double-digits in the third, eventually taking a 61-50 lead into the final quarter. Milford cut the deficit to five, 65-60, with 4:40 to play but Sharon closed the game with a 13-5 run. Senior Ricardo Ripley connected on a three in the run, Tommy Modelevsky came up with a timely steal and Sharon was efficient at the free throw line down the stretch. Ripley finished with a team-high 20 points, junior Malik Lorquet had 17 points and 15 rebounds and sophomore Alex Kaufmann chipped in with 15 points.

Girls Basketball
Attleboro, 71 @ Taunton, 44 – FinalJordyn Lako scored a career-high 24 points for the Bombardiers.

Stoughton, 74 @ Canton, 62 – Final (OT)Freshman Shyanne Trinh scored 22 of her career-high 32 points in the second half and overtime to lead the Black Knights. Senior Lili Njiem added 14 points, Val Whalen added 12 points, and freshman Aliyah Wright chipped in with 10 points. Junior Jordan Motley added 13 rebounds and seven blocks. Canton’s Emma Murphy and Jess Powers each had 12 points.

North Attleboro, 39 @ Foxboro, 65 – FinalClick here for a recap of this game.

King Philip, 52 @ Franklin, 58 – FinalFranklin rallied from 10 points down to start the fourth quarter with a 27-11 run to close out the game. Ali Brigham led the way for the Panthers with 17 points to help Franklin move within one game of tournament qualification. Shannon O’Connor was the top scorer for KP with 14 points.

Mansfield, 61 @ Oliver Ames, 49 – FinalThe Hornets scored 40 points in the second half to close out the league campaign with a win. Jen Peel paced Mansfield with 17 points, while Meg Hill chipped in with eight points in the second half and pulled down 11 rebounds. Brenna Burkett was OA’s top scorer with 10 points and Niyera Mitchell had nine.

Milford, 38 @ Sharon, 41 – FinalEmma Eberhardt scored a team-high 15 points and added five steal and three blocks for the Eagles. She also went 3-of-4 from the line in the final 30 seconds to seal the win. Shira Stoller had 12 points and 10 rebounds in the win.

Wednesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 02/08/17

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Basketball
Taunton, 80 @ Stoughton, 61 – FinalClick here for a recap of this game.

Girls Basketball
Canton, 38 @ Cohasset, 44 – FinalJunior forward Hannah Jerrier set a new career-high with 28 of the Bulldogs’ 38 points in the non-league defeat.

King Philip, 38 vs. Fontbonne, 59 – FinalClick here for a recap from this game.

Stoughton, 57 @ Taunton, 44 – FinalStoughton junior Jordan Motley led the Knights with 18 points and 12 rebounds while freshman Shyanne Trinh added 16 points and junior Val Whalen finished the night with 13 points. Taunton was led by sophomore Lily Patnaude’s 14 points.

Hockey
Attleboro, 0 @ Oliver Ames, 1 – FinalOliver Ames senior Jared Costello scored the lone goal in the first period and sophomore goalie Matt Mullaley made his first career start in net, turning aside 10 shots to earn the win for the Tigers.

Canton, 3 @ Franklin, 2 – FinalCanton senior Tommy Kilduff scored early in the first period to give the Bulldogs the lead and then broke a 2-2 late in the third period to hand the Bulldogs two points. Bubba McNeice also scored a goal in the first period to give Canton a 2-0 lead after one. Franklin cut the deficit in half in the second period and tied the game in the third period.

King Philip, 6 @ Foxboro, 1 – FinalKing Philip had 11 different players register a point in the win, with five different players finding the back of the net. Junior Collin Cooke scored a pair of goals while Jacob Kelly had two assists and Gavin Maxwell had a goal and an assist. After a 1-1 first period, KP tacked on three goals in the second period and then two more in the fourth. Jack Coulter, Richie Lucente and Mitch Cormier also scored for KP while Jeremy Smith, Luke Damico, Sam Colella, Tim Hanson and Joe Boselli each had an assist.

Stoughton, 0 @ Taunton, 3 – FinalTaunton’s Mike Volkmann scored twice and Cam Snead added a goal as the Tigers qualified for the state tournament for the second straight season.

Wrestling
Franklin @ Bridgewater-Raynham, 7:00
Mansfield vs. New Bedford, 7:00
Oliver Ames, 12 @ North Attleboro, 51 – Final

Girls Hockey
Canton, 3 vs. Falmouth, 0 – FinalCanton’s Colleen Kelleher made 31 saves in net to earn shut out and help the Bulldogs qualify for the state tournament.

Franklin, 0 vs. Westwood, 6 – Final
King Philip, 2 vs. Medfield, 3 – Final

Tuesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 01/17/17

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Basketball
Attleboro, 51 @ Franklin, 63 – FinalClick here for a recap of this game.

Canton, 51 @ Foxboro, 55 – FinalClick here for a recap of this game.

King Philip, 39 @ Mansfield, 58 – FinalClick here for a recap of this game.

Taunton, 62 @ Oliver Ames, 59 – FinalClick here for a recap of this game.

Stoughton, 68 @ Sharon, 61 – FinalStoughton junior Cam Andrews scored a career-high 28 points to pace the Black Knights to their first win over Sharon since January 2013. Stoughton held a double-digit lead at halftime (35-23) but Sharon cut it to five (49-44) entering the fourth quarter. The Black Knights outscored Sharon 7-3 over the final two minutes of play. Ricardo Ripley led the Eagles with 19 points while Malik Lorquet added 13 points and Jimmy Fitzhenry had 12 points.

Girls Basketball
Franklin, 38 @ Attleboro, 49 – Final

Foxboro, 69 @ Canton, 31 – FinalAshley Sampson scored a game-high 20 points for the Warriors. Hailey Maling added 15 and Grace Tamulionis had 10 for Foxboro. Hannah Jerrier scored 11 points and Emma Murphy added 10 for the Bulldogs.

Mansfield, 60 @ King Philip, 28 – FinalJen Peel was the top scorer with 18 points in the win. Ann Maher and Maggie Danehy each chipped in with nine points apiece and Meg Hill had six points and 12 rebounds for the Hornets. KP was led by Julia Leroux and Christina Hathaway, who both scored eight points.

Milford, 45 @ North Attleboro, 51 – FinalClick here for a recap from this game.

Oliver Ames, 57 @ Taunton, 20 – FinalOliver Ames build a 24-6 lead at halftime and never looked back. Kayla Raymond led OA with 15 points and seven rebounds while Abby Reardon added eight points and four assists.

Sharon, 29 @ Stoughton, 43 – FinalJordan Motley and Val Whalen each had double-doubles for the Black Knights. Motley had 11 points and 23 rebounds and Whalen scored 12 points and pulled down 18 boards. Sharon sophomore Emma Eberhardt scored a team-high 15 points for the Eagles.

Boys Gymnastics
Attleboro @ Braintree, 7:00

Experienced Rocketeers Hold Off Stoughton

“North
North Attleboro senior Ashley Ahern (13) scored a team-high 17 points, including 10 in the second half as North pulled out a win at Stoughton. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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STOUGHTON, Mass. – The home team just would not go away. Despite trailing by double digits in the fourth quarter against Davenport division-leading North Attleboro, which came in with only one loss on the season, Stoughton continued to fight and twice cut the lead to as little as six points.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

There was no panic on the North bench. With four seniors in the starting lineup and eight players returning from last season’s trip to the state title, the Rocketeers have plenty of experience in close games on the road.

Senior Ashley Ahern scored five of her team-high 17 points and dished out an assist for a Julia Feid three, as North went on a 10-0 run to put the game away late. The Rocketeers continued their unbeaten start to the league campaign with a 59-47 and extended their lead in the division to 1-1/2 games over Milford and Foxboro.

“We had a lot of these games last year and they’ve learned from them,” said North coach Derek Herber. “They’ve learned all the bad things that can happen and they persevere and hit the tough shots, get the big rebounds and go from there.”

North led 43-34 heading into the fourth quarter, but after Feid knocked down a pair of free throws to put the Rocketeers ahead by double digits freshman Shyanne Trinh (six points) drilled a three off a Val Whalen assist. On the next possession, Lili Njiem, Stoughton’s lone senior in the regular rotation, snagged an offensive rebound (her 12th rebound of the game) and laid it in to cut the lead to six.

Caroline Collard (12 points, 10 rebounds) hit a pair from the line, but freshman Aliyah Wright (11 points, nine rebounds) answered right back for the Black Knights with a drive to the basket. After a turnover, Jordan Motley (19 rebounds) had a chance to cut it to four, but her free throws would not fall.

North got the rebound and took control. Samantha Taggart hit Collard on a roll to the basket for a layup, then Ahern drew the defense and kicked out to Feid for a three in front of the North bench. Julia Santos kicked out to Ahern for a deep three and then she added a pair from the line to push the advantage back to 16.

“They are veteran and they’re solid and they’re tough and they win close games,” said Stoughton coach Charmaine Steele Jordan about North. “They got it done.”

There was plenty for the Stoughton coach to be proud of on Friday night. The Black Knights played with intensity from the opening tip, dominated on the glass, and kept the Rocketeers off-balance on the offensive end of the floor.

Steele Jordan said, “I as impressed with their effort and their intensity. They really played hard. There’s a lot of winnable games in the Hock and we just have to believe that we can get it done.”

North jumped out to a lead in the first quarter, showing off the team’s depth. The Rocketeers would have eight players on the scoresheet in the game, including junior Emily Haskell, who scored all four of her points in the first to help out North ahead 14-8. Trinh hit a three at the buzzer to cut the lead in half going to the second.

Thanks to four points apiece from Ahern and Collard and contributions off the bench from Santos and senior Liz Morehouse (six points), North extended the lead to 10 by halftime.

“She brings energy all the time,” said Herber of Morehouse. “She does so many little things for us, the rebounding, the boxing out, the taking a charge. She’s one of those kids who knows what we need to get out of her and she knows her role and plays it the best.”

Stoughton hung around in the third and kept the deficit to single digits thanks largely to the play of Whalen. The junior forward put in a monster performance, pulling down 23 rebounds on the night and scoring 15 of her game-high 20 points after the break, including nine in the third quarter alone.

“She just goes so hard,” said Steele Jordan of Whalen. “She’s a workhorse and she gives me effort every night. She’s definitely progressed a lot from last year to this year. She’s got that mentality that I can compete in the Hock and I’m one of the best post players. I love that about her.”

Njiem added a three in the third and Wright had four points in the quarter, but North kept a solid lead thanks to its seniors. Ahern had five, Collard had four and Morehouse and Emily Schromm each had three in the period.

Stoughton never backed down, but in the end North made the plays to come out with the win. Herber explained, “We knew going in that it was going to be one of those games. We play the same style of basketball they do, slow it down, make it a little ugly, play good defense, rebound and get opportunistic offense.

“We were able to get some offensive looks off our press and pull it out.”

Steele Jordan added about the Black Knights, “I couldn’t be prouder to coach them and I keep telling them we can do this. There’s still a ton of season left. They’re starting to buy into it and that’s important when you’re young.”

North Attleboro (8-1) travels to Cranston East on Saturday and then will take on the two teams tied for second in the Davenport, starting with Milford on Tuesday. Stoughton (1-7) will look for its first league win of the season on Tuesday against Sharon.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Strong Start Helps Irwin, Milford Run Past Stoughton

Milford girls basketball
Milford’s Kate Irwin drives to the basket in the second half against Stoughton. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
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STOUGHTON, Mass. – There are a lot of things that TJ Dolliver wants his Scarlet Hawks to accomplish over the course of a game. Getting off to a strong start is near the top of that list.

Milford did just that, limiting Stoughton to just four points in the opening quarter and built on that advantage over the next three quarters for a 51-37 win on the road.

“We definitely started out strong…on the road, that’s the best you can ask for,” Dolliver said. “Honestly, in any game, if you have a great start that’s what you want. There’s been times when we haven’t started strong and the confidence level goes down. The girls can lose sight that it’s a 32 minute game. It’s nice when you can start strong and get that early lead.”

Christine Pye got things going early for the Scarlet Hawks, netting six of her seven points in the opening quarter. Kate Irwin, who had a four point play in the first quarter, paced Milford with a career-high 27 points.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Scoring from Pye and Irwin paced Milford’s offense early on while its defense blanked Stoughton for over six minutes. The Black Knights were able to finally break through with a free throw from Val Whalen (11 points, 10 rebounds) but the Scarlet Hawks held a 12-4 lead after eight minutes.

Stoughton got within six points halfway through the second quarter after a pair of free throws from Jordan Motley (15 rebounds) but Milford came back with an answer. Over the next four minutes, the Scarlet Hawks hit a trio of trifectas – one each from Nicole Dahlgren (six points, seven rebounds), Irwin and Jess Tomaso – and scored 12 points total to take a 27-16 lead into halftime.

Milford kept its 10 point cushion throughout the third quarter, coming back with an answer anytime Stoughton scored. Stoughton freshman Aliyah Wright (12 points) drained a three late in the third to cut it to eight but Milford’s Emily Piergustavo converted an offensive rebound on the ensuing possession. Wright scored again to make it single digits but a traditional three point play from Irwin put the lead back to 11.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“We seemed to have an answer each time,” Dolliver said. “Stoughton’s a very physical team, I really like that team a lot. They play so strong, they rebound very well and they’re hard to play against. Luckily our offense, when Stoughton went on a run here or there, we just found a way to get a bucket.”

Irwin scored nine of her 27 points in the third quarter and added five more in the final frame to help the Scarlet Hawks ice the game.

“She’s done a really good job of increasing her intensity,” Dolliver said of Irwin. “She’s evolved as a point guard over the last two years. One big focus point was getting her to take better shots. She’s taking less shots this year but averaging twice as many points this year.

“She’s making good decisions for us. If she has a good shot, we want her to take it but if it’s not a great shot, she moves the ball. She’s been very coachable about it and I love watching her play.”

Milford girls basketball (5-1 overall, 3-1 Hockomock) is back in action next week when it travels to Canton on Tuesday. Stoughton (1-5, 0-4) will be back in action on the same day with a trip to Foxboro.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Balanced Bombardiers Put Knights Away In Second Half

Attleboro girls basketball
Senior forward Julia Strachan (20) scored a game-high 14 points to lead four Bombardiers in double figures in a 30-point win for Attleboro against Stoughton. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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ATTLEBORO, Mass. – Before Friday night’s game, last year’s league MVP Emily Houle was honored for reaching the 1,000-point plateau and had her name added to the gym’s banner. Once the game tipped off all eyes were a current MVP candidate as she went in search of the same milestone.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

While much of the focus from the fans, and from the Stoughton defense, was on Attleboro senior forward Sarah Deyo, who came into the game needing 36 points to reach 1,000 for her career, the Bombardiers showed that they have other weapons to give opponents problems.

Led by a game-high 14 points from senior Julia Strachan, Attleboro had four players reach double digits and saw 10 players record at least a single point in an emphatic 65-35 victory over Stoughton. Deyo finished with 10 points and 20 rebounds on the night, leaving her 26 points short of the milestone.

“Even last year, we had the ‘big three’ and this year people are saying the ‘big three’ again but we think we have another three that can do that on any given night,” said Attleboro coach Rick Patch. He added, “We don’t even play polished basketball and we still win by 30.”

Stoughton jumped out to a 3-0 lead on early free throws and after a Jordan Motley layup led again at 5-3, but Attleboro took over and went on a 24-2 run to seemingly take control of the game. The Bombardiers knocked down four shots from beyond the arc in the opening quarter with Jordyn Lako (11 points and eight rebounds), Mish Logie (six points and six assists), Sam Pierce (11 points and six rebounds) and Strachan each knocking down one.

“For us it’s mentally we have to decide that we’re not going to let anyone outwork us,” said second-year Stoughton coach Charmaine Steele Jordan. “The threes they got early were uncontested. Our hands were down and we’ve got to keep improving being long on defense.”

The Attleboro run continued in the second with Lako scoring off a Logie assist then feeding freshman Nyah Thomas for a layup. A Deyo putback and another Strachan three had the Bombardiers ahead 27-7 and forced a Stoughton timeout.

The Black Knights got themselves back into it after the breather. Motley (four points and 11 rebounds) got a putback basket and freshman Aliyah Wrightdrilled a three. Another three from senior Lili Njiem and a layup for freshman Shyanne Trinh (team-high 12 points) cut the lead to just 12. Deyo hit a corner three to stem the comeback, but the Black Knights were down just 13 heading into halftime.

“We were disappointed with the last three- or 3-1/2-minute stretch,” said Patch. “We made an emphasis at that point to call out the entire team for the effort and having the bench more engaged. When they’re in you really can’t skip a beat.”

The Bombardiers heeded the coaching staff’s message and put the game away in a dominant third quarter. Attleboro outscored Stoughton 19-2 in the third, held the Black Knights without a point for the first 6:30 of the half and extended the lead to 30 points heading to the fourth.

“We kept them to one-and-done and kind of dictated the play and put them in positions not to get great looks,” Patch explained. “None of them were layups.”

While the trapping defense of Attleboro certainly played its part against a very young Stoughton lineup that features three freshmen, four sophomores, and just two seniors, Steele Jordan also saw the Black Knights miss some looks that could have kept them in the game.

“We missed a lot of shots,” she said. “We had open threes that didn’t fall for us. We’ve just got to keep getting to the rim.”

Deyo got another rebound and putback to start it and then Strachan, who transferred from North Attleboro last winter but injured her knee in the third game and missed the rest of the 2015-16 season, knocked down a jumper. Pierce buried a three and freshman Liv McCall hit one as well to help Attleboro pull away. Lauren Berteletti had the lone bucket in the third for Stoughton.

In the fourth, Attleboro continued to pile on, eventually getting the lead to as many as 36 points. One of the question marks for the Bombardiers coming into the season was who would run the point for them and Patch credited Logie for working hard to make that position hers.

“This year she’s in much better shape,” he said. “We’ve demanded of her to shoot her shot. Last year she was very tentative but she’s much more confident.”

Stoughton’s biggest bright spot on Friday was the play of Trinh. Despite missing a large portion of the game due to foul trouble, she stepped up in the fourth quarter with seven of her 12 points, including a three and a runner in the lane. Steele Jordan admits it will be a steep learning curve for her young roster (especially with Oliver Ames and Attleboro as the opening two games) but she is still confident in the Black Knights’ potential.

“I’m excited for my whole team,” she said. “Everyone brings something different. Shyanne was bright spot and she works hard for us. There’s a lot of season left and we’re just going to keep grinding it out.”

Attleboro (2-0) will travel to Sharon on Tuesday night, while Stoughton (0-2) continues its very difficult stretch by hosting Mansfield.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Girls Basketball: Ten Players to Watch for 2016-2017

Players to Watch
Meg Hill (31) of Mansfield and Sarah Deyo (32) of Attleboro are two of the players to watch in Hockomock girls’ basketball this winter. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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Players are listed alphabetically

Ashley Ahern, Senior – North Attleboro

The senior guard helped North Attleboro reach the tournament last year and with a deeper roster around her will be eyeing a run at a league title in the Rocketeers’ first winter in the Davenport division. Ahern, who was named to the HockomockSports.com Third Team last year, was North’s leading scorer with 10.6 points, 3.3 assists and three steals per game. She was also third on the team with 3.7 rebounds per game and recorded five blocks, a sign of the tenacity she displays every game on both ends of the court. When her shot is falling, Ahern can score from just about anywhere and when defenses step out to watch for the three, she can get into the lane to finish or create openings for her teammates. It’s not unusual to see Ahern grab a defensive rebound on one end and take the ball up court to create an open look for a teammate at the other. North has good balance of paint and perimeter scorers and when shots start to drop then the Rocketeers can put up points in a hurry, with Ahern typically in the middle of it all.

Sarah Deyo, Senior – Attleboro

The senior forward was an honorable mention for Player of the Year last season and is one of the favorites for MVP coming into this winter. Deyo’s versatility makes her difficult for any team to matchup against, as on one possession she will battle on the block or grab an offensive rebound for an easy basket and the next she can step back and knock down a three (she made 14 last season). Deyo, who was the Underclassman of the Year in 2014-15, averaged a double-double of 16.3 points and 10.6 rebounds per game and added 55 blocks on the defensive side while guarding anyone from guards to centers. With the graduation of Emily Houle, even more of the scoring load could fall on Deyo’s shoulders, but the Southern New Hampshire-commit seems prepared for that responsibility, as she showed last year when Houle and fellow senior Julia Strachan were injured and Deyo recorded a triple-double in a win over North Attleboro.

Emma Eberhardt, Sophomore – Sharon

The sophomore guard/forward will be one of the go-to offensive players for the Eagles this season after an impressive rookie campaign in which she showed flashes of being the type of wing scorer that Sharon had been missing for a couple of seasons. Eberhardt, despite her youth, was the third leading scorer for the Eagles last year and is continuing to improve her outside shot, which will be a great addition to the solid mid-range game that she already possesses. Her partnership with junior point guard Shira Stoller will be instrumental in Sharon improving on the offensive end of the floor even with the loss of Alyssa Piazza to graduation. Eberhardt will also be counted on to defend multiple positions on the wing and in the post, as the Eagles try to find the right balance in the lineup. Sharon has youth and talent and Eberhardt will be an important piece, if the Eagles are going to make a return to the postseason.

Meg Hill, Junior – Mansfeild

The junior 6-foot-3 center continues to develop her game and will be a major factor in Mansfield’s attempt to try and follow up its first league title with a second one this winter. Hill feeds off senior point guard Jen Peel, who seems to have an innate sense of how to get the ball to her near the basket. Hill can finish over anyone but at times does not look for her shot first. As her confidence grows, so will her scoring numbers and Hill has already proven that she can dominate a game, including a 15-rebound game in the title-clincher against Attleboro. Last year, Hill led Mansfield with 9.7 points per game on 56 percent shooting from the floor. She also pulled down 9.5 rebounds and had 4.7 blocks per game. After being named to the HockomockSports.com Second Team last year, Hill has the opportunity to be in the running for Player of the Year, if she continues to develop as a dominant low-post threat on both ends of the floor.

Kate Irwin, Junior – Milford

The junior guard is the spark plug of the Milford offense and had a stellar sophomore campaign, being named to the HockomockSports.com All-Underclassman Team. Expectations are even higher for a young Hawks roster in head coach T.J. Dolliver’s second season and Irwin is one of the primary reasons why. The southpaw gives defenses fits with her speed and her craftiness, almost always finding that sliver of space to squeeze into the lane and get to the rim. Despite not being one of the biggest guards in the league, Irwin is one of the top finishers in the lane and does not shy away from contact. She also has great vision and her ability to draw the defense will provide open looks for her teammates, including Emily Piergustavo, who returns after missing last winter with a shoulder injury. The Hawks are a sleeper team in the Davenport division this year, but teams are well aware of the impact Irwin can have and will be focused on trying to stop her.

Carli Koffinke, Senior – Franklin

The senior shooting guard, who is in her third season on the varsity team, will be asked to take on more responsibility for the Panthers this season with the graduation of leading scorers Lauren Rudolph and Aubrie Kutil. Koffinke has shown the ability to be a dangerous threat for Franklin from beyond the arc but she can also take the ball off the dribble to make things happen going to the basket. As she develops on the defensive end, Koffinke can guard several positions and is a solid rebounder, particularly on the offensive end of the floor, and she will be another ball-handler to help new point guard Margaux Welsh against opponents that like to press high up the court. As one of five seniors on the Franklin roster, Koffinke will have to provide leadership on both ends of the floor but has the potential for a breakout season and could help the Panthers make another trip to the tournament.

Jordan Motley, Junior – Stoughton

The junior forward is one of the key returning players for the Black Knights and will be counted on to provide more scoring punch now that last year’s league-leading scorer Alecia Quinones is putting up points for UMass Boston. Motley is a strong interior defender and rebounder, who at times last season could be dominant in the paint. She also has quick feet and good post moves on the offensive end, but at times finishing could be an issue for her and classmate Val Whalen and that will be a big area for her to improve this winter. Motley’s (and Whalen’s) quickness and ability to get out and run the break could be a huge weapon for Stoughton and her continued development will play a big role in whether or not the Black Knights can get into the playoffs for the first time under second-year head coach Charmaine Steele-Jordan.

Samantha Pierce, Junior – Attleboro

The junior forward had a breakout season last year, being named to the HockomockSports.com Third Team and All-Underclassman Team. Pierce gave Emily Houle and Sarah Deyo that all-important third scorer and was always in solid position to grab rebounds, which is why she nearly averaged a double-double as a sophomore. Last season, Pierce averaged 10.6 points and 9.3 rebounds per game, while adding nearly two assists, a steal, and a block per game and shooting 82 percent from the free throw line. Pierce’s game stretches from the basket out beyond the three-point line, meaning teams can’t sink off her to help on Deyo in the paint or send her defender for a double-team. Pierce’s development helped Attleboro overcome early season injuries and stay in the league title hunt until the final day and also made the Bombardiers one of the hardest teams in the Hock to try and match up with.

Kayla Raymond, Junior – Oliver Ames

The junior forward will be the go-to player for the Tigers on offense this season, particularly after an injury ruled Francesca Calabraro out for the season. Raymond is coming off a stellar sophomore season in which she was named to the HockomockSports.com First Team and led the team with 10.7 points and 7.5 rebounds per game, while shooting 41 percent from the floor, 37 percent from three and 79 percent from the line. Raymond also came through in big moments, like her game-winning drive to beat North Attleboro in the tournament. Her length and athleticism allows her to finish in the lane and be one of the top rim protectors in the league, while playing anywhere across the front line. OA won a league title and reached the TD Garden last year and for the Tigers to repeat that again this winter, Raymond will have to continue her development as one of the top players in the Hock.

Ashley Sampson, Junior – Foxboro

The junior guard, who was named this site’s Underclassman of the Year in 2015-16, took over primary ball-handling duties last season and ran the show for the Warriors with her ability to create, score, and defend. Sampson joined Kayla Raymond as one of two sophomores on the HockomockSports.com First Team last year and she continues to grow in stature and confidence heading into her third year on varsity. Sampson averaged more than 15 points, six rebounds, and three assists per game and shot 70 percent from the line last winter, reaching double figures in almost every game. The Warriors are loaded with youth, something that somehow seems to be said of them each season, and those players will be counting on Sampson to get the ball to the right spots and make sure that the Foxboro offense is clicking. She also adds rebounding, for a team that continues to lack size in the paint, and is a solid on-the-ball defender.

Girls Basketball: 2016-17 Davenport Division Preview

2016-2017 Davenport Girls Basketball Preview
Shannon Smally (15) of Foxboro and Val Whalen (14) of Stoughton battle in the post in one of last season’s Davenport division meetings. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

By HockomockSports.com Staff

2016-2017 Davenport Girls Basketball Preview

CANTON

2015-16 Record: 6-14 (3-13)
2015-16 Finish: Missed playoffs
Head Coach: Jim Choquette

The Bulldogs continue to add to the program both on the court and on the bench with former Canton and UMass Boston star Olivia Murphy joining the coaching staff this season to help out with the freshman team. It is a sign of the continued growth of the program under head coach Jim Choquette, who is hoping that the momentum built at the end of last season will carry over to this year.

Senior forward Emma Murphy returns after a league all-star season and will be joined on the front line by returning starters senior Casey Shea and juniorHannah Jerrier, who was an honorable mention for all-star last winter. Adding depth on the front line will be sophomore forwards Molly Ludwig and Erin Devine, who lacks inexperience but adds significant height.

Jess Powers is recovering from an injury suffered during lacrosse season and her return will add more scoring punch to a deep and quick backcourt group. Sophomore Julia Hamilton is back to run the point for the Bulldogs and will be joined by classmate Maggie Connolly, junior Lindsey Barrett, senior Taylor Carrington, and junior twins Lillian and Evelyn Carrington. This group will allow Canton to keep defensive pressure high all game long.

“Our strengths will be scrappy defense and rebounding on both ends,” said Choquette. “our goal is to improve each game and be playing our best headed into the last part of the season…the faster we find chemistry the faster we’ll find the win column.”

FOXBORO

2015-16 Record: 15-7 (11-5)
2015-16 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South quarterfinal
Head Coach: Lisa Downs

Despite a lot of youth in the lineup, Foxboro has been one of the top teams in the Davenport division for several seasons and this year should be no different, as the Warriors enter the winter with very high expectations and as one of the favorites for the league title.

A lot of the interest in the Warriors stems from the continued development of junior point guard Ashley Sampson, who has turned into one of the best all-around guards in the Hockomock and is the player that the Foxboro offense flows through. Sampson has plenty of help in the backcourt with classmate Lily Sykes, who offers scoring from the perimeter, and seniors Lauren Flahive, Riley Collins (back after an injury), and Hailey Maling, who are all strong on the ball defenders.

In the front court, Kristen Bortolotti is back after missing last year with an injury and will add speed and a strong mid-range game. Junior Grace Tamulionis is another matchup nightmare for the opposition with her size on the boards and on defense and her ability to step outside and shoot the three. Junior Shannon Smally continues to improve and gives the Warriors an inside presence, while newcomers Chelsea Gibbons and Abby Hassmancould make big contributions for the Warriors.

“The girls have been playing together throughout the summer and fall and this familiarity should work to our benefit this season,” said head coach Lisa Downs. “We will continue to focus on our running game and our defensive efforts and I am fortunate to have the players that not only buy into this system, but, also appreciate this pace.”

MILFORD

2015-16 Record: 9-11 (5-11)
2015-16 Finish: Missed playoffs
Head Coach: T.J. Dolliver

After missing out on a playoff spot by one game a season ago under first-year head coach T.J. Dolliver, Milford enters this winter with high hopes of making the leap into the postseason with a deep and versatile roster that has gained a lot of experience together over the past few seasons.

The enthusiasm for the Hawks begins with dynamic junior point guard Kate Irwin, who has shown the ability to get to the basket at will, draw defenses to get open looks for her teammates and also be a pesky on the ball defender. With Irwin creating open shots, junior Emily Piergustavo’s return after missing last year with an injury will be a big boost on the perimeter along with senior guard Jill Burley.

Milford will also have plenty of players to contribute on the glass and in the paint. Senior Nicole Dahlgren, a two-year captain, is a strong rebounder but can also step out and hit threes as can junior Jess Tomaso. Five-foot-8 senior Christine Pye, 5-foot-11 junior Gillian Valanzola, 5-foot-8 senior Emma Liskov, and 5-foot-10 Juliana Tracy give Milford an imposing group of front line players.

“These girls have been playing together for a while and their team chemistry is amazing,” said Dolliver. “We are starting to learn the minor details of offense and defense in order to give our team a better chance of success.”

NORTH ATTLEBORO

2015-16 Record: 11-10 (9-7)
2015-16 Finish: Reached Div. 2 South tournament
Head Coach: Derek Herber

The Rocketeers head into their first season in the Davenport division with eight returning players from last year’s team that was two points away from a first round victory in the Div. 2 South tournament against Hock rival Oliver Ames.

Senior Ashley Ahern is a three-year starter at guard and was the team’s leading scorer last winter. Ahern will be the player that gets the offense going, but she will get plenty of help from her classmates, Emily Schromm and Samantha Taggart. Schromm was one of the top defenders in the league and can stretch a defense with her outside shooting and Taggart can play all three guard positions and led North in assists last year. In the paint, senior Caroline Collard is the team’s leading rebounder and showed a soft touch around the basket.

North can also look for improvements from sophomore Julia Feid, who got valuable minutes as a rookie last year, senior Liz Morehouse, who adds depth in the post, and juniors Julia Santos, who both brought athleticism off the bench at the wing positions. Sophomore forward Mackenzie Roberts is a newcomer who adds size and outside shooting and junior Emily Pastore can step in at all three guard positions.

The Rocketeers have plenty of experience on the roster and will be one of the favorites for the league title at the beginning of the season. While head coach Derek Herber can count on a number of returning players, he hopes to “mix in a few new faces into the lineup to help with depth.”

SHARON

2015-16 Record: 5-15 (3-13)
2015-16 Finish: Missed playoffs
Head Coach: Cliff Tomassian

Sharon is another team that has been building with youth and has created a lot of depth on its roster and, despite losing three of its top four scorers from last winter, has garnered preseason hype as a potential sleeper to make a return to the postseason for the first time since the Eagles made a run to the Div. 2 South final in 2013.

The Eagles will be hoping for an improvement on the offensive side of the ball, which was a challenge at times last winter. Junior point guard Shira Stoller, a three-year starter, is continuing to improve at limiting turnovers and looking for her own shot as well as setting up teammates. One of the players that benefits from Stoller’s ability to get into the lane is sophomore Emma Eberhardt, who was third on the team in points as a rookie and continues to develop into a consistent wing scorer.

Sophomore Veronica Wallace has emerged as one of the top backcourt defenders during the preseason and is one of the fastest players on the Sharon roster. Senior Ana Crosby, who is also a standout on the soccer and lacrosse fields, is another player that is continuing to improve and will have an increased role this season. Freshman Kaitlyn Wallace is a newcomer to watch and could have a bigger role to play over the course of the year.

“Our defense is going to have to be our key in order to compete, and our girls know that,” said third-year coach Cliff Tomassian. “We get our best looks on offense off of great defensive stands. Our girls are going to have to be patient and vigilant on both ends and be ready to take chances.”

STOUGHTON

2015-16 Record: 7-11 (7-9)
2015-16 Finish: Missed playoffs
Head Coach: Charmaine Steele Jordan

The Black Knights lost six seniors to graduation but this offers plenty of opportunities for a new crop of younger players to get playing time and learn the system of second-year head coach, and former Stoughton star, Charmaine Steele Jordan.

Two of the players that will be counted on most this season are junior forwards Val Whalen and Jordan Motley, who are two of the best rebounders in the league and can also get out on the break and score in transition. Their development in the half-court offense will be a key for Stoughton making a playoff push in the Davenport division this season. Senior Lili Njiem is another player that could make a big impact, as one of the team’s three captains.

The Black Knights will have as many senior as freshmen on this year’s roster (three) along with four sophomores and three juniors, so the foundation for the future is in place. Shyanne Trinh, Lexi Baptista, and Aliyah Wright are the three newcomers to the program who will be hoping to make an instant impact.

“So excited for the upcoming season,” said Steele Jordan. “We lost six seniors so there is lots of opportunity for our players to step up. Our returnees from last year will contribute for us despite being pretty young.”

Wednesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 10/19/16

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Soccer
Mansfield, 1 @ Attleboro, 1 – FinalMansfield’s Sam Hyland scored the tying goal with 10 minutes left in the game. Hyland scored on an assist from James Chotkowski, who got a touch off of Max Gurnon’s throw in.

Canton, 1 @ Milford, 1 – FinalFreshman Jordan Borges scored his second career goal to put Milford ahead early in the second half but Canton leveled the match with a penalty kick with six minutes to go. Milford head coach Brian Edwards said Zachary Browne and Marcello Panna both put in great performances.

Stoughton, 0 @ Foxboro, 2 – FinalFoxboro’s Hussein Kafel scored the game winning goal midway through the first half for the Warriors while Anthony Barreira iced the game with a goal in the final minutes.

North Attleboro, 0 @ Sharon, 0 – FinalShawn Watters notched his second straight shutout and fourth overall in net for the Rocketeers.

King Philip, 0 @ Oliver Ames, 3 – FinalOliver Ames scored three goals in the second half to hand King Philip its first loss of the season. Nathaniel Cardoza set up Thomas McCormick for a shot from just outside the area to put OA up 1-0. Matt Campbell finished off a cross from Matt Alvarado to make it 2-0 and then Alvarado scored one of his own, putting home a flick from James Gillespie off a throw from Chris Lawrence. Jack Carroll recorded his seventh shutout of the season with the help of Lawrence, Mason Galbato, Nick Bloumbas, Cam Johnson and Michael Braga. “We had an early opportunity in the second half but wasn’t able to finish,” KP head coach Nick Gale said. “After that, OA played very well and scored first which set the tone – they didn’t look back. I take responsibility for my team being unprepared.”

Taunton, 1 @ Franklin, 1 – FinalFarley Asmath opened the scoring in the 39th minute off a feed from freshman Sam Stowell to put Franklin up 1-0 but Taunton’s Daeshawn Duffie answered a minute later to level the match just before half.

Girls Soccer
Attleboro, 0 @ Mansfield, 4 – FinalStephanie Kemp and Amanda Mangano each recorded two points as Mansfield stayed unbeaten on the season. Kemp scored once and had an assist while Mangano had two helpers. Bryn Anderson, Emma Goulet and Emily Vigeant each scored once for Mansfield.

Canton, 3 @ Milford, 6 – Final

Foxboro, 7 @ Stoughton, 0 – Final

Sharon, 0 @ North Attleboro, 6 – FinalNorth Attleboro’s Haley Guertin tied a school record with five goals in the Rocketeers’ big win. Emma Gaulin scored the other goal for Big Red. Rachel LaBonte had two assists while Emily Chiasson, Sam Hawkins, Ashlyn Gaulin and Britta MacDonald each had one assist. Head coach Bill Wallace said Grace McGoldrick and Julianna DiRenzo played exception in midfield.

Oliver Ames, 1 @ King Philip, 0 – FinalOliver Ames junior Abby Reardon netted the game winner in the first half to lift the Tigers. OA head coach Britt Sellmayer said Regan Benton had a strong game in goal to earn the shutout and said both Lauren Wright and Dana Lowney played well for the Tigers.

Franklin, 2 @ Taunton, 0 – Final

Volleyball
Mansfield, 3 @ Attleboro, 0 – FinalMansfield picked up a 25-9, 25-15, 25-18 sweep on the road. Jess Haradon had 10 service points and 15 digs, Jacey Anderson had 10 digs and Anna Kemp added 14 service points for the Hornets.

Stoughton, 3 @ Foxboro, 2 – FinalJuniors Jordan Motley and Val Whalen combined for over 30 kills for Stoughton while senior Riley Bagley and sophomore Mia Bennett kept the defense strong with over 80 digs.

North Attleboro @ Sharon, 5:00

King Philip, 3 @ Oliver Ames, 1 – FinalKing Philip picked up the 25-17, 23-25, 25-15, 25-18 win on the road. Angela Vellante had 19 service points, three aces and four digs for King Philip while Sydney Phillips added 17 kills and 19 service points and Liv Balduf chipped in with 11 service points and three kills. KP head coach Kristen Geuss said Molly Croke had an excellent defensive game. Oliver Ames’ Bridget McCarthy had 20 assists and three aces.

Taunton, 0 @ Franklin, 3 – FinalErin Skidmore led the Panthers with 10 kills, eight digs and two aces while Maddie Kuzio added 19 digs, two aces and a kill and Meaghan Maguire finished with four kills and three blocks.

Field Hockey
Mansfield, 6 @ Attleboro, 1 – Final

Milford, 0 @ Canton, 3 – Final

Stoughton, 1 @ Foxboro, 4 – Final

North Attleboro @ Sharon, 3:45

King Philip, 2 @ Oliver Ames, 1 – Final

Taunton, 0 @ Franklin, 5 – FinalFranklin senior Nicole Denommee scored her first varsity goal on the while Annie Walsh, Alex Sullivan, Cassi Ronan and Caroline Lounsbury each scored once. Senior Samantha Hertzberg got the shutout in goal making three saves.

Golf
Foxboro, 173 @ Attleboro, 169 – FinalEthan Johnson led Attleboro, earning co-medalist honors with a round of 40. Brian Houle shot a 42, Corey McKenna shot a 43 and Taron Mills carded a 45 to pace the Bombardiers. Foxboro’s Colby Nickerson shared medalist honors, shooting a 40 as well.

Oliver Ames, 147 @ Canton, 151 – FinalOliver Ames completed the regular season undefeated at 16-0 with a win at Canton. Ryan McGarry and Nolan Donze both shot 35 earn match medalist honors for the Tigers. Brady Allbritton shot a 38 and Tate Hadges carded a 39 for the Tigers. Matt Minichiello and Danny Powers each each shot 37 to pace Canton while Tommy Dimock carded a round of 38

Taunton, 166 @ Franklin, 164 – FinalMatt D’Errico led Franklin with a 38 while Bryan Woelfel carded a 39 for the Panthers. Taunton’s Mike Volkmann and Justin Proto shared match medalist honors, shooting 36 on the day.

Volleyball: 2016 Hockomock League Preview

Canton volleyball
Canton volleyball will look to continue its dominant stretch in the Hockomock this season. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

By HockomockSports.com Staff

2016 Hockomock Volleyball Preview

Attleboro

2015 Record: 2-18
2015 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Lindsey McDonald

The Bombardiers are hoping to take a step forward and make a dent in the very competitive Kelley-Rex Division. Attleboro picked up a pair of non-league wins last season and is hoping that success can start to translate to league play. Head coach Lindsey McDonald noted the offseason work of juniors Lexi Pereira and Sarah Lynch. Both Pereira and Lynch will play as outside hitters and McDonald said she expects both to bring a lot of power to the attack. Liz Howe, a captain, will be in charge of getting the attack going from the setter position while captain Julya Carlson will anchor the defensive effort for the Bombardiers.

“I am anticipating an improved season for us,” McDonald said. “[Our] captains are providing solid leadership on and off the court and the team has been gelling nicely.”

Canton

2015 Record: 16-5 (Davenport Division Champions)
2015 Finish: Reached D2 Central Final
Coach: Pat Cawley

Canton has had a dominant run in the Davenport division over the past six years and the Bulldogs are looking to continue that tradition in 2016. Canton has a dozen seniors on the team and will be relying on their experience and leadership to make another run at the division title and in the playoffs. Nicole Poole returns as a second year starter at setter and will be the catalyst for Canton’s offense. Emma Murphy and Casey Shea both have varsity experience and will be important pieces at the middle of the net. One spot that Canton has to fill is at outside hitter and the Bulldogs have a handful of players in the running including seniors Emma Gobbi, Erika Lum, Cassie Loftus, Kelsey Irons, Malia Claiborne and Maria Mackie. Canton is hoping for another year of strong defense with seniors Julia Panico, Kehla Minkin and Emily Lynch all vying for time in the back row.

“We are a senior laden team although most have not seen significant playing time at the varsity level,” head coach Pat Cawley said. “CHS volleyball is a proud tradition and I am confident that this year’s squad will do they can to keep this team competitive and make their senior experience one which they won’t forget.”

Foxboro

2015 Record: 6-12
2015 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Dan Damish

Foxboro is hoping its upward trajectory continues in 2016 after making great strides a season ago. Head coach Dan Damish and the Warriors will rely on its three senior captains – Lindsay Greer, Julia DiCenso and Julie Bridges – to continue to push the program in the right direction. DiCenso will be the starting setter for the fourth straight season and will have Danielle Conlon, the team’s leader in kills last season, at her disposal. DiCenso will also have Greer, Bridges, Ana Sanchez and Molly Crocker as offensive options. Junior Delya Lorquet could emerge as a big threat as a middle hitter as well for Foxboro this season.

“I’m very encouraged with the way the team came into the season in great volleyball shape,” Damish said. “Our top goal is to improve everyday and compete at a high level.”

Franklin

2015 Record: 15-5 (Kelley-Rex Division Champions)
2015 Finish: Reached D1 Central/West Quarterfinal
Coach: Kate Horsmann

Coming off the program’s second Kelley-Rex division title in the past five seasons, Franklin will be relying on youth to stay near the top of arguably the most competitive division in all of the Hockomock League’s sports. Senior Erin Skidmore (28 kills in 2015) is making the transition from the middle to the outside and will be a go-to attacking option at the net. At 6’3, junior Meaghan Maguire saw valuable time last year and will be a defensive leader at the net. The Panthers will look to sophomore setter Lauren McGrath to step in to set up the offense.

“This is the youngest team we have had since I started coaching,” head coach Kate Horsmann said. “We have five sophomores who could all be impact players for us this season. The outcome of our season will really depend on how quickly they adjust to the speed of the varsity game and how quickly we gel as a unit.”

King Philip

2015 Record: 16-6
2015 Finish: Reached D1 Central/East Semifinal
Coach: Kristen Geuss

King Philip had another strong campaign a year ago and are looking to repeat it in 2016. The Warriors have six returning seniors and all are expected to play important roles for KP this season. Senior captain Carly Adams will set the offense in motion from the setter position, senior captain Emma Lopez will be a key piece in the attack from the outside hitter spot and senior captain Angela Vellante will be a defensive specialist in the back row for KP. Senior Amanda Loewen will also be a key piece to the defense as the team’s libero. Senior Liv Balduf will help balance the offense as a rightside hitter while Molly Croke will help bolster the team’s defense. Junior Sydney Phillips, another returner from last year’s squad, will be an attacking option as an outside hitter.

“I expect us to be a strong team once again this year,” head coach Kristen Geuss said. “We have lost significant depth at the outside hitter position from last year but am encouraged by how our returning players have stepped up and progressed during our practices.”

Mansfield

2015 Record: 14-6 (Kelley-Rex Division Champions)
2015 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinal
Coach: Melissa Heeden

The Hornets will look to follow up a historic one with another strong showing and they have some experienced players to do so. It will start with defense for Mansfield, who return one of the top liberos in Jess Haradon and one of the top middle blockers in Meg Hill, the 2015 HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year. Mansfield will have to replace some key pieces but senior Chloe Peters will be tasked with setting up the offense while junior Julia Harrison, who saw some minutes as a sophomore a year ago, will be one of the Hornets’ outside hitters.

“We have five great seniors who have been working hard to lead the team,” head coach Melissa Heeden said. “They are a great group of girls. We have some work to do to fill in from the six seniors who graduated last year, but a are really looking forward to the season.”

Milford

2015 Record: 9-11
2015 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Linda Zacchilli

The Scarlet Hawks just missed out on the playoffs a season ago but with Linda Zacchilli back on the bench, Milford could be right in the mix for the Davenport title. Offensively, Milford will need some need faces to step up after its top three kills leaders graduated. Junior Kelley Reichert is back after 66 kills last season and senior Stefani Chiarelli and junior Juliana Tracy will both factor into the offense as well. Both of Milford’s setters – Lauren Zouranjian (301 assists) and Allie Collins (198) – are back for 2016, which should help the Scarlet Hawks’ offense flow. Libero Kyra Alves is back after being a strong point in the defense last year as well.

North Attleboro

2015 Record: 11-11
2015 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinal
Coach: Jeff Crins

The 2016 season will be a bit different for North Attleboro compared to a year ago. The Red Rocketeers now compete in the Davenport division and their attack has been bolstered by the addition of Amelia Murphy. Murphy was a top offensive player in the league a year ago at KP but has since transferred to North Attleboro. Murphy will be an attacking option along with junior Katie DeMontigny (100 kills last season) and Tori Melanson, who will also be a presence defensively at the net (82 kills, 70 blocks in 2015). North Attleboro will need to fill in the role of setter with Taylin Shultz graduated. Gabby Duva and Lindsay Howlett will be two key defensive players for the Rocketeers this season.

Oliver Ames

2015 Record: 7-12
2015 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Chelsea Correia

Oliver Ames has a strong mix of experienced players returning this Fall and are looking to take a trip back to the postseason after missing out in 2015. Senior captain Bridget McCarthy, in her fourth year on varsity, returns as the starting setter while fellow captain Alyssa Gavin returns as a top defensive option in the back row along with Rachel Foley. Junior Emma Petrillo will be one offensive option for the Tigers as an outside hitter, junior Katherine Flynn will be another as a right side hitter. Juniors Maya Fetcho and Kayla Raymond will rotate as offensive threats from the middle of the net while sophomore Sadie Homer will be the Tigers’ starting libero this season. Other names to keep an eye on include juniors Caroline Cavanaugh, Jacqueline Kander and freshmen Allison Kemp and Jordyn Vella.

“If we commit to it, I think we can rise to many challenges, prepare for all possibilities, and make the most of everything,” head coach Chelsea Correia.

Sharon

2015 Record: 2-16
2015 Finish: Missed playoffs
Coach: Andrea Lovett

New head coach Andrea Lovett is excited about the direction the Sharon volleyball program is headed and is hoping 2016 will be the first step in the right direction. Senior captain Faythe Gomolka returns this year as this the team’s versatile setter and has a great rapport with senior captain and middle hitter Natalie Kane. Seniors Marni Heitin, Luba Korn, Gesi Molla and Jonathan Dickerman will all factor in for the Eagles this season as well. Junior Jess Allan, now in her third year on varsity, will be an attacking option as an outside hitter while classmate Cori Jermyn will be an attacking option from the right side.

“As a new head coach, I am excited to work with the team on developing a more aggressive mindset and working on some more complex offensive systems to raise our level of play and be competitive in the league this year,” Lovett said.

Stoughton

2015 Record: 10-11
2015 Finish: Reached D2 South First Round
Coach: Erica Batchelder

The Black Knights had a handful of talented players graduated from last year’s team but there is hope for optimism because of who is back this year. Stoughton’s kills leader junior Val Whalen is back for her third year of varsity after registering 129 kills a season ago. Junior Jordan Motley and senior Riley Bagley will also be big pieces of Stoughton’s attack this season after slamming 84 and 77 kills, respectively, in 2015. The biggest challenge for Stoughton will be finding players to step up in other areas. The team’s ace and assists leader from last season, Bianca DeSousa, the team’s leader in blocks and digs, Bridget Whalen, and the team’s leader in serve receives, Ava Siegel, all graduated. First year head coach Erica Batchelder will be looking to players to step up into those roles.

Taunton

2015 Record: 15-9
2015 Finish: Reached D1 South Final
Coach: Toby Chaperon

Taunton turned a successful regular season and a fourth place finish in the Kelley-Rex into one of the more memorable seasons in Tigers’ history. Taunton made a run all the way to the D1 South Final before falling to eventual state champion Barnstable. It will be a tough task to repeat with the amount of players that Taunton graduated, but the Tigers are up for the challenge. Taunton will need a new setter to step up after graduating Tatum Speicher, one of the top in the area at the position. Offensively, Emily Moor (team-high 254 kills in 2015) is back for her senior season while junior Sam Reaume (69 kills), senior Abby Waldron (69 kills) and senior Delaney Powell (26 kills) are all back after making an impact at the net a season ago.

Players to Watch

Players are listed alphabetically

Carly Adams, King Philip – King Philip was a dangerous attacking team a season ago and Adams, the team’s setter, was the big reason why. Adams will be a catalyst in getting the Warriors’ offense going this season.

Julia DiCenso, Foxboro – There aren’t many players in the league with the experience that DiCenso has. Now a senior captain, DiCenso is in her fourth year as the starting setter for the Warriors and will be a key piece of the offense this season.

Jess Haradon, Mansfield – Haradon really impressed defensively in her first year on varsity and looks to do the same in 2016. The senior will look to continue as a defensive specialist after leading Mansfield with 264 digs a season ago.

Meg Hill, Mansfield – As just a sophomore, Hill led the Hornets in kills (222), and blocks (74). Now a year older, expect another strong attacking year at the net for the 2015 HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year.

Bridget McCarthy, Oliver Ames – McCarthy is another four year varsity player and will likely eclipse a setting milestone this season. OA has a handful of young attacking options but things will be easier for them with McCarthy as the setter.

Emily Moor, Taunton – Moor had the most kills in 2015 for players returning this season, which is good news for Taunton. As the Tigers look for new names to emerge in other spots, they can rely on the consistent offense of Moor.

Amelia Murphy, North Attleboro –North Attleboro graduated a great attacking threat in Sara Youssef but now have KP transfer Amelia Murphy at the net. Murphy has the ability to hit around the block, which is very difficult for defenses.

Nicole Poole, Canton Canton has been the team to beat in the Hock for a good stretch now, including last season with Poole setting up the offense. Canton will need new names to step up as attacking options but having Poole as the setter will make things easier.

Erin Skidmore, Franklin – Franklin is in need of some players to step up as attacking options and Skidmore is looking to be one option as she moves from the middle to the outside. The Panthers have a good balance this year and Skidmore looks to be one of their top attacking options.

Val Whalen, Stoughton – The junior returns after leading the Black Knights in kills a year ago. If the Black Knights can find a replacement at setter, Whalen could be a tough player to stop this season.