KP Hangs Tough But Falls to Westboro in D2 Final

King Philip Volleyball
KP senior Ahunna James fires a kill in the opening set of the D2 state title game against Westboro at Worcester State. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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WORCESTER, Mass. – Following King Philip’s semifinal win against Melrose, Warriors coach Kristen Geuss commented that she wanted her team to go into its first Div. 2 game and play their style of volleyball. KP matched that expectation on Saturday afternoon at Worcester State, but unfortunately ran into an opponent that was capable of matching it.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Westboro, the unbeaten top seed, showed off its finals pedigree. The Rangers, who finished as runners-up last fall, were buoyed by their traveling support and pulled out a 3-0 (25-19, 25-22, 25-23) victory. KP played well, but Westboro made every point difficult to come by.

“I think we hung with them,” said KP coach Kristen Geuss. “If the first set could’ve gone the other way, then maybe the momentum would’ve gotten us in that direction, but Westboro is strong and they did a great job. Maybe [the hitters] didn’t get into their rhythm the way that they usually do, but also the competition was better.”

The first set was always going to set the tone for the match. KP came into Saturday having won eight straight matches, all without dropping a set. The last time that the Warriors had lost a set was more than a month before in a match with fellow Kelley-Rex champ Attleboro.

Trailing 6-4, KP went on a 5-0 run and looked like it might have the top seed rattled. Ahunna James got it started with a kill and Madison Asprelli delivered three straight aces. When Westboro failed to get another ball over the net, the Rangers quickly called timeout.

James would add a block on the first point after the timeout, but Westboro very quickly regained its composure and then took control of the set. The Rangers went on a 12-1 run, including a couple points on the outside from Georgia Tyrrell and a couple of aces from setter Shannon Clark.

Missy Canning and Olivia O’Neil got blocks and Sami Shore had a nice kill in the middle to keep KP hanging around, but the damage was done. Westboro held on to take the first set and build momentum for the rest of the match.

The second set was close throughout, with the largest lead for either team being four points. Shore again gave KP a spark with a nicely placed tip and then a solid dig that led to a point. Canning went off the block for a kill and setter Kiera Hagen fired an ace to take an 11-10 lead. Clark caught the Warriors a couple times with quick pushes that dropped into the middle of the defense and the Rangers pulled ahead 19-15.

KP rallied. Emily Sawyer came up with a big block for a point and libero Ava Kelley hit a well-placed shot into the back corner that Westboro couldn’t return. The Warriors tied the set at 20 apiece, but again the Rangers had the answer. While Maggie Cardin was the main weapon on the outside, it was Annabelle Semeter in the middle who delivered a critical point to put Westboro on the brink, up 2-0 in the match.

“We tried to tell them that,” Geuss said when asked about battling the energy from a partisan Westboro crowd and not feeling down despite being still right in every set. “We were so close but yet so far. It never felt like we took charge of any set as we went along, but we stayed in it, we hung in there.”

The Warriors wouldn’t give up, as expected from a team filled with senior leaders. They came out strong in the third set and built an early lead. James blasted a pair of hits down the line, continuing her outstanding playoff performances, and Shore added another good hit from the middle.

Sawyer found the court with a tip and O’Neil split the blockers with a swing to put KP ahead 12-8 and force a timeout. As was the case after each timeout, the Rangers settled down and went on a run, this time winning six of the next seven points, led by Cardin’s swings.

Down 19-16, KP was able to stay calm and get back into the set. Shore delivered an ace that tied it and Sawyer came up with a big block to put the Warriors ahead 20-19. Hagen added another ace and KP was up 23-22 and looked ready to keep its season alive for at least another set.

But, Westboro was able to make the plays it needed. The Ranges won the next three points, with Cardin going down the line for a kill, a long back-and-forth rally ending with the ball in the net, and then Cardin blasting another hit off the blockers for the match- and title-deciding point.

“They’re an incredible team,” Guess said about Westboro. “They’ve been here before. They knew what to expect. We did the best we could and that’s all I can ask of them. They gave 100 percent. It’s always hard to have it end in a loss, but I couldn’t be prouder of the way they performed.”

It was a remarkable run for King Philip, which finished with 22 wins, a share of a third straight league title, and the program’s first-ever appearance in the state title game.

“It was just a great season getting this far,” Guess said. “This was the unspoken goal, the unspoken thing we wanted to achieve. It wasn’t about winning the Hock, it was always about going as far as we could in the tournament. I’m so proud of everything they’ve accomplished.”

“They were good games and I’m super proud of the way they performed.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Experience Carries KP to Place In State Title Game

King Philip Volleyball
King Philip swept Melrose, its fourth 3-0 win in the postseason, to secure the program’s first ever spot in the D2 state title game. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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FRAMINGHAM, Mass. – Trailing 7-2 at the start of the second set, King Philip was struggling to find the same energy that they started Wednesday night’s Div. 2 state semifinal with, but the Warriors were hardly going to panic. Instead of rushing and trying to get back into the set on one play, KP stuck to its plan.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Melrose was playing well and led 13-7 in the second, but the Warriors went on an 8-2 run to tie the set. Even after the Redhawks regained the lead with back-to-back points, KP seemed unperturbed and won 10 of the next 13 points to go up 2-0 in the match.

The benefit of having six players who were part of last year’s Final Four run was never more apparent. KP would hold off Melrose in the third set, winning 3-0 (25-18, 25-20, 25-22) at Framingham High to advance to the program’s first ever state championship game.

“I think the six of them who had been here last year definitely came with experience, they knew what expect all along,” said KP coach Kristen Geuss. “It was a total team effort. They have been giving 110 percent since day one. They had their sights set very high, I couldn’t be happier for them to get this far and they’re still working and giving 100 percent in practice every day.”

“We already knew the feeling going into the game and I think that made us want to push even more because of how the game went last year,” said senior hitter Ahunna James. “Reliving all those memories, and even rewatching our game from last year, we were really prepared and knew what we had to fix.”

KP came into the night on a seven-game win streak, having not dropped a set since a loss to Attleboro almost exactly a month ago. In the opening set on Wednesday, the Warriors kept rolling right along.

Emily Sawyer (14 kills) dropped a tip over the block and then had back-to-back kills. Kate O’Neil followed with a block, which forced an early Melrose timeout, and a big swing to put the Warriors in front 7-2. KP wouldn’t allow Melrose any closer than four points for the remainder of the set.

The front line of Sawyer, James, Sami Shore, and Olivia and Kate O’Neil was just too deep for the Redhawks on both sides of the net. KP was creating points with the block and overpowering Melrose at the net. The spark for KP’s fast start on attack was the play of setter Kiera Hagen, whose consistent passing and her defense on the back line (along with libero Ava Kelley) gave the hitters plenty of chances to swing.

Olivia O’Neil served consecutive aces and then won a third service point to extend the lead out to 10. After Melrose cut it back down to six, Kate O’Neil smacked one off the block for a point and Sawyer got a point on her serve. The Redhawks kept battling, but James (seven digs) had a block and a pair of kills to seal the first set.

KP had the momentum and seemed to be in complete control, but the Warriors were sluggish to start the second set and the Redhawks took advantage behind impressive outside hitter Gia Vlajkovic. Melrose led 7-2 and 13-7 and were dominating play at the net, with Chloe Gentile and Anna Shoemaker both getting blocks and points in the middle.

The Warriors never looked bothered by the early deficit, trusting that they would eventually go on a run and pull themselves back into the set. Shore had a kill and Sawyer an ace to cut the lead to just one at 15-14, forcing a Melrose timeout, before another pinpoint Sawyer serve tied things up.

A block from Sadie Jaggers put the Redhawks back up by two, but Shore snuck a swing inside the back line and then also hit one down into the block to tie things at 18-18. James fired an ace and Olivia O’Neil went cross-court with angled swing to go up two. Sawyer would make it a three-point lead with a hit that the officials ruled was tipped. The Sacred Heart-commit added a block and another big swing to close things out and make it 2-0.

“I think we were a lot more fragile last year,” James explained. “During practice we tried yelling at each other when we started serving and just trying to send ourselves into that fragile moment, so when we were in that moment in the match we’d get out of it.”

Geuss said, “To see them come back is phenomenal. They just need to believe in what they can do and I think if they can just keep the pressure on, play their game, I think that’s hugely important.”

KP made sure to get off to a much better start to the third, jumping ahead 7-1. Shore and James went back-to-back with swings to extend the lead to 10-4 and Sawyer ended a long rally with a kill. Hagen dropped in an ace to make it 18-10 and it looked like the Warriors were going to cruise into the final.

Credit to Melrose, the Redhawks made sure to add a little drama to the third set, going on a 9-2 run to cut the lead down to just one. Ava McSorley had a couple of aces and Leah Fowke had one during the run. Shore stepped up in the big moment, recording a block and then a kill to make it 22-19.

When asked about how much fun it is to play with Sawyer and Shore along the front line, James said, “It’s really nice because if one of the three of us is down, we know there’s always someone who can help us get out of that moment. The three of us are always watching each other’s backs.”

After Melrose took the next two points, Missy Canning got into the act with a kill. O’Neil added a swing from the outside and Canning closed out the match with a swing from the right that the Redhawks couldn’t run down, sealing KP’s progress to the final day of the season.

“It’s just so amazing for us,” Shore said. “We really wanted it last year but that gave us more motivation to come out this year and take it.”

She added, “We’re definitely on an upward track right now. It feels amazing to know that we made a little part of KP history and we’re excited for a chance to play for the state championship.”

King Philip (22-2) will play for the Div. 2 state title on Saturday at 12:30 at Worcester State against unbeaten top seed Westboro.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Friday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 11/11/22

Today’s games are listed below.

Football
Division 1

#8 Methuen, 28 @ #1 Franklin, 24 – FinalClick here for a Photo Gallery from this match.
1st Quarter: (M) Shane Eason 2-yard rush, 2-point conversion good.
2nd Quarter: (F) Jase Lyons 35-yard pass to Luke Davis, Garrett Portesi XP good; (F) L. Davis 24-yard interception return, G. Portesi XP good.
3rd Quarter: (F) G. Portesi 30-yard field goal; (M) S. Eason 71-yard rush, XP good.
4th Quarter: (M) Drew Eason 5-yard pass to S. Eason, Conversion failed; (F) J. Lyons 22-yard pass to Derek Dubriske, G. Portesi XP good; (M) D. Eason 2-yard rush, XP good.

Division 2
#8 Mansfield, 21 @ #1 Milford, 27 – Final
1st Quarter: (Ma) Drew Sacco 4-yard rush, Travis Hennessy XP good; (Mi) Evan Cornelius 5-yard rush, Nick Araujo XP good.
2nd Quarter: (Mi) Romeo Holland 42-yard rush, N. Araujo XP good.
3rd Quarter: No scoring.
4th Quarter (Ma) Connor Curtis 40-yard rush, T. Hennessy XP good; (Mi) N. Araujo 31-yard rush, N. Araujo XP good; (Ma) Conner Zukowski 30-yard pass to Trevor Foley, T. Hennessy XP good; (Mi) R. Holland 6-yard rush, XP no good.

#7 Marshfield, 13 @ #2 King Philip, 17 – Final
1st Quarter: (M) Anthony Molander 7-yard rush, XP good.
2nd Quarter: (KP) Tommy McLeish 5-yard pass to Daniel Silveira, Matthew Kelley XP good; (M) A. Molander 87-yard pass to Charlie Carrell, Conversion failed; (KP) M. Kelley 40-yard field goal.
3rd Quarter: No scoring.
4th Quarter: (KP) Rudy Gately 1-yard rush, M. Kelley XP good.

Division 3
#7 Billerica, 6 @ #2 North Attleboro, 34 – Final
1st Quarter: (NA) Nathan Shultz rush, Austin Clemente XP good; (NA) N. Shultz rush, A. Clemente XP good; (NA) Greg Berthiaume rush, A. Clemente XP good.
2nd Quarter: (NA) G. Berthiaume rush, XP no good.
3rd Quarter: No scoring.
4th Quarter: (NA) N. Shultz rush, A. Clemente XP good.

Division 4
#6 Foxboro, 21 @ #3 Bedford, 14 – Final
1st Quarter: No scoring.
2nd Quarter: (F) Mike Marcucella 13-yard pass to Tony Sulham, Sam Carpenter XP good.
3rd Quarter: (F) Lincoln Moore rush, S. Carpenter XP good; Brandon Mazenkas-O’Grady rush, S. Carpenter XP good.
4th Quarter: (B) Blocked punt return, 2-point conversion.

Field Hockey
Division 1

#5 Franklin, 1 @ #4 Wachusett, 2 – Final

#23 King Philip, 1 @ #2 Andover, 4 – FinalKing Philip kept it close with highly-touted Andover for the majority of the game but the Golden Warriors pulled away with two goals in the final quarter for the win. Mara Boldy got KP on the board off of a Kelly Holmes shot and a Lauren Barriero insert, and the game teams finished the opening quarter tied 1-1. Andover took a 2-1 lead in the second, and it stayed that throughout the second and third quarters thanks to a tremendous effort from KP goalie Haley Bright (22 saves). Head coach Kaitlyn Wilder credited Bright for her efforts in net and all of her seniors of their efforts in the game and throughout the season.

Division 3
#5 Foxboro, 0 @ #4 Dover-Sherborn, 1 – Final

Volleyball
Division 2

#7 Westwood, 0 @ #2 King Philip, 3 – FinalClick here for a Photo Gallery from this match. The Warriors controlled the match from start to finish to reach the D2 Final Four for the second straight year, winning 3-0 (25-19, 25-17, 25-17). The front line of Sami Shore, Emily Sawyer, and Ahunna James were too much on both sides of the net. Shore and James went back-to-back on kills in the first and an ace from setter Madison Asprelli put KP up 9-4 in the first set and the Warriors never relented. James had a big hit and then on the following point had a block and the kill to make 18-12. Olivia O’Neil and Missy Canning both got points down the stretch of the first. Westwood got its first lead in the match at 4-3 in the second set, but a Shore kill off the block put KP up 7-6 and the Warriors never relinquished the lead. Sawyer was in charge both in the middle and the outside and setter Kiera Hagen dropped a push into a hole in the Wolverines defense. After a James kill, KP led 21-10. O’Neil would secure the second set with a swing off the block. Things were pretty comfortable in the third, as KP scored five straight, including a block from Canning, to make it 12-7. Again KP never let off the gas, extending the lead to as many as 12 points, with James rising up and blasting a few big kills. KP will face No. 6 Melrose in the state semifinal.

Football
Non-Playoff

Canton, 41 vs. Dennis-Yarmouth, 13 – Final
1Q: (DY) Dennis-Yarmouth pass, conversion failed.
2Q: (C) Owen Lane 6-yard pass to Hayden Rose, H. Rose XP good; (C) Godson Ofonagoro 11-yard rush, H. Rose XP good; G. Ofonagoro 60-yard rush, H. Rose XP good; (C) Josh Richards 34-yard interception return, H. Rose XP good.
3Q: (C) Charlie Cox 7-yard rush, H. Rose XP good.
4Q: (C) O. Lane 7-yard rush, Nathan Levis XP good; (DY) Dennis-Yarmouth pass, XP good.

Wednesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 10/26/22

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Soccer
King Philip, 5 @ Taunton, 0 – FinalKing Philip scored a pair of goals inside the opening 15 minutes, pushed the lead to three by the break, and tacked on two more in the second half to get a win on the road. Matt Crago had a hand in four of the five goals for the Warriors, scoring once and recording three assists while Will Bowen added a goal and two assists. Andrew Seropian, Dermott Amorim, and Brad Lynn each scored once.

Girls Soccer
Mansfield, 1 @ Canton, 1 – FinalCanton scored with two minutes remaining, freshman Alyssa Wong finishing off a free kick that landed in the box, scoring her first varsity goal to secure a point in a battle of teams sitting in the top 10 in Div. 2. Mansfield took the lead when Kara Santos scored off a feed from center back partner Olivia Dunham. Wong equalized in the dying minutes when Gisella Berardi’s cross caused a scramble in the box and Wong was able to knock it home. The Bulldogs close out the regular season against D2 rival Medfield on Saturday. The Hornets are one point back of league leader OA with one league game left for both teams.

King Philip, 0 @ Bishop Feehan, 3 – Final

Field Hockey
Attleboro, 1 @ North Attleboro, 7 – Final

Mansfield, 0 @ Canton, 5 – Final

Milford, 0 @ Franklin, 11 – FinalA second quarter explosion led the Panthers to a big win at home, capping an undefeated (15-0-1) league schedule for Franklin. Shaw Downing scored twice in the first quarter and finished with a hat trick, Kaitlyn Carney and Payten Crandall each had a pair of goals, and Haley Wernig, Kaeley Dubriske, Ella Griffin, and Delaney Hess each scored once.

Oliver Ames, 0 @ Foxboro, 3 – Final

Taunton, 0 @ King Philip, 2 – FinalKing Philip celebrated senior night with a shutout win over visiting Taunton. The Warriors took the lead in the opening quarter but didn’t find an insurance goal until three minutes left in the game. Makenzie McDevitt gave the hosts the lead and senior Lauren Barriero added the second. Seniors Haley Bright and Samantha Sweetman combined for the shutout. Jasmine Lucier made six saves in net for Taunton.

Stoughton, 2 @ Sharon, 0 – FinalClick here for a Photo Gallery from this game.Stoughton went on the road and returned home with a 2-0 shutout win over Sharon. Senior captains Katherine Giroux and Carly Sanda each scored for the Black Knights while Andrea Khouzmani and Cat Melo had strong performances. Stephanie Costeira earned the shutout in net for Stoughton.

Volleyball
Mansfield, 0 @ Canton, 3 – FinalCanton ended the regular season on a high note, earning its 13th win of the season with a 3-0 (25-12, 25-10, 25-15) win over visiting Mansfield. Zoe Scibelli’s precision passing (15 digs, three aces) allowed for Erin Bigham (24 assists) to run the offense. “It was a complete team effort a good end to the regular season,” said Canton head coach Pat Cawley.

Oliver Ames, 3 @ Foxboro, 0 – FinalThe Davenport division champions fended off another test from Foxboro, this time securing a 3-0 (25-23, 25-23, 25-19) win over the Warriors. Maddie Homer (17 digs, 16 serve receptions) and Saia Rivera anchored the defense for the Tigers, Clare Kavolius dished out 30 assists, and Claire O’Rourke (10 kills, two aces) and Addyson Smock (five kills, four blocks) played well at the net.

Milford, 1 @ Franklin, 3 – Final Milford put the Panthers on upset alert with a win in the first set before Franklin fought back and finished off the win, 3-1 (23-25, 25-10, 25-17, 25-7) to clinch a share of the Kelley-Rex division title. It marks Franklin’s fifth straight title. Freshman Makayla Kuykendall followed up her big game on Monday with another strong showing, putting down 16 kills along with 10 digs and three aces while junior Taylor Lacerda had another strong all-around game with 12 kills, 11 digs, and an ace.

Taunton, 0 @ King Philip, 3 – FinalKing Philip earned its fourth straight win to close the season, and third straight league win, to clinch a share of its fourth straight Kelley-Rex title with a 3-0 sweep (25-10, 25-6, 25-8) of Taunton. The Warriors had a dominant showing at the net with Emily Sawyer notching 11 kills, two blocks, and two aces, Sami Shore recording nine kills, and Ahunna James adding seven kills and four digs. Kiera Hagen finished with 10 assists and Ava Kelley had seven digs.

Stoughton, 3 @ Sharon, 2 – FinalClick here for a Photo Gallery from this game.

Attleboro, 3 @ North Attleboro, 0 – FinalAttleboro shook off a pesky North Attleboro squad in the third set to complete a 3-0 sweep (25-18, 25-12, 25-23) and clinch a share of the program’s first ever Kelley-Rex division title. Natalie Brojek dished out 30 assists to go along with three kills and two aces while the Bombardiers used a balanced attack at the net with Julia Leonardo (17 kills, two aces), Addie Shelton (seven kills, two aces), and Ellie Shelton (seven kills) all playing well.

Attleboro Prevails Over King Philip In Five-Set Thriller

Attleboro volleyball
Attleboro players celebrate after clinching the fifth and final set and a win over visiting King Philip. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
 ATTLEBORO, Mass. — The Attleboro volleyball team was on the verge of completing an epic five-set thriller over one of the best teams in the state in King Philip, but in a blink of an eye, the Bombardiers’ six-point lead was gone.

Once holding a 12-6 lead in the deciding final set, Attleboro saw the Warriors rally for six straight points to tie the game and steal the momentum back. On top of that, Attleboro sent a free ball back instead of a swing, and KP was set up for a big attack in the middle.

But a huge double block from senior Tigin Bombardier and junior Natalie Brojek gave Attleboro the edge once again, and after trading points, sophomore Julia Leonardo (29 kills, 21 digs) landed a kill on a back row attack to secure a 3-2 (17-25, 25-17, 12-25, 25-21, 15-13) win.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“Tonight was huge,” said Attleboro head coach Mary Katherine Runey. “We knew going into this was going to be a massive match and I think it really showed the resiliency of our girls, especially being so young. We only have a couple of returners from last year so this was a true test for us, can we make the right plays in a big game? We had some moments where we showed our youth but in the end, we showed we’re capable of playing at this level.”

After splitting the first two sets, King Philip took a 2-1 lead after dominating the third set (25-12). The Bombardiers showed a lot of resolve in the fourth set as they saw a 12-10 lead turn into a 16-12 deficit. But just as quickly as their lead disappeared, it came back as the Bombardiers rattled off five straight points, including an ace from Addie Shelton, a nice push down the line by Leonardo, and an ace from Julia Mondello.

KP’s Emily Sawyer (eight kills, three blocks) traded kills with Leonardo, a service error put the Bombardiers on the brink and Leonardo once again used a back row attack to end it, 25-21.

King Philip came out with the win in the first set after a see-saw battle throughout. The Warriors led by three or four points for the majority of the set but really pulled away after getting a huge block from Kate O’Neil, a block from Sawyer, and an ace from Shore.

The second set played out similarly but it was Attleboro who claimed a three or four-point advantage by the midway point. Ellie Shelton, Addie Shelton, and Leonardo all registered kills off of assists from Brojek (39 assists, 14 digs), who did a great job throughout the match giving the Bombardiers a chance at attacking swings. Sadie Whitmarsh (23 digs) provided strong defense in the win.

“Who isn’t good at the net for [King Philip]?” said Runey. “We had to be strategic with where we were putting the ball on offense, we wanted to try to get them into mistakes passing and try and get their setter off the net which will help us defensively. We’re slowly working on our double block, which is something we want to utilize more throughout the playoffs. Both of their middles and Ahunna can put the ball at the one, and that throws any team off when their setter has to play true defense. I was very proud of the way both Natalie and Julia Mondello played in the back row tonight.”

Attleboro couldn’t have asked for a better start to the final set. Sami Shore (10 kills, six aces, four digs) scored the first point for KP after a nice dig from Ava Kelley (19 digs) but then it was six straight for the hosts: three errors from KP, an ace from Addie Shelton (seven kills, seven digs, four aces), a kill from Ellie Shelton (four kills), and another from Leonardo.

King Philip chipped away with a big block from Sawyer, a couple of Attleboro errors, some terrific defense from Ahunna James (11 kills, 25 digs, two blocks), and a clever dump from senior setter Kiara Hagen on the second touch to catch the defense, making it 12-12 before Attleboro finished it off.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“I think we can learn from this, playing a team like this and this is the first time we’ve gone to five sets all season,” said King Philip head coach Kristen Geuss. “We needed this…we needed to play in this atmosphere, we needed the crowd yelling at us, we needed this going forward. Attleboro played great, they are a great team and I give them total credit. Their program has really turned around which is so good to see. That being said, we made a lot of mistakes. We had a lot of unforced errors that we don’t usually do. But again, this environment was different so I think this is good for us.

“This was a hard loss but it was a well-fought match. What it does is open our eyes. We have to step up and stop the unforced errors. We came back in that fifth set, I was happy about that. That shows we can dig in. But a few points here or there against good teams can change things.”

Attleboro volleyball (12-1 Hockomock, 14-1 overall) takes sole possession of first place in the Kelley-Rex division with three matches to go. The Bombardiers are on the road the rest of the way, starting with a trip to Taunton on Wednesday ahead of a huge showdown with Franklin on Monday. King Philip (11-2, 14-2) will look to bounce back on Wednesday at Milford.

2022 Hockomock League Volleyball Preview

2022 Hockomock League Volleyball Preview
Franklin will be looking for another league title this fall. Check out our team-by-team breakdown of the upcoming Hockomock League volleyball season. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

By HockomockSports.com Staff

2022 Hockomock League Volleyball Preview

2022 Hockomock Volleyball Preview

Attleboro

2021 Record: 9-10
2021 Finish: Reached Div. 1 Round of 32
Coach: Mary Katherine Runey
For the first time in more than a decade, Attleboro got the taste of playoff volleyball and the Bombardiers have younger players stepping into leadership positions that will give them a solid foundation for another tournament run. There is excitement around the program and opening the new gym has added another layer to the fall.

One of the reasons for the energy in the team is sophomore outside hitter Julia Leonardo, who jumped in as a freshman and became one of the most dynamic hitters in the league. Junior setter Natalie Brojek has been an all-around standout for the past two seasons and makes the team click. Senior Tigin Bombardier will give Attleboro experience in the middle.

Those are the only three returning players from last year, but there are several new faces that could make an instant impact. Sophomores Addison and Ellie Shelton are new hitters that will give depth on the outside. Juniors Sadie Whitmarsh and Julia Mondello will provide defensive solidity to the back line.

“The level of success we achieved last season certainly changed the tone of our entire program, and I believe our future is bright,” said Attleboro coach Mary Katherine Runey. “As a young team, we have spent the past two weeks learning how to play together and in the next few weeks, we will need to learn how to win together. As we progress through the season, our goal is to minimize errors in order to efficiently run our offense and showcase the talent within our team.”

Canton

2021 Record: 15-7
2021 Finish: Reached Div. 2 Round of 16
Coach: Pat Cawley
Canton has established itself as one of the perennial powers year in and year out, and one thing that comes with that territory is graduating a handful of talented seniors each year. Last year was no exception, but Hall of Fame coach Pat Cawley has shown time and time again she will have a competitive squad that’s much better by the end of the season than the start.

The Bulldogs graduated all but two starters, bringing back juniors Jess Wright at outside hitter and Fatima Sidibay at middle blocker. Cawley will be leaning heavily on them for their guidance of a young and inexperienced squad. Wright isn’t just one of the best outside hitters, she can play just about anywhere on the court and showed tremendous growth throughout last season. After showing off some great blocking skills last year, the Dogs will look for some more offensive production on swings from the middle from Sidibay. Senior captain Liana Lamparelli and sophomore Sally Hoban will provide depth offensively.

Defensively, Canton is looking at sophomore defensive specialist Zoe Scibelli, who saw meaningful minutes in the back row a year ago. Haley Duhaime, Liz Beale, Neveah Osborne, and Riley Costa round out the senior class and will contribute valuable minutes for Canton this year.

“We have many moving parts at this point but the young, inexperienced group is willing to work hard and anxious to learn,” Cawley said. “Three setters and several defensive players are vying for time on the court. The growth potential is exponential and it will be fun to watch the progression. The extremely competitive Hock will help accelerate the learning curve!”







Foxboro

2021 Record: 4-17
2021 Finish: Reached Div. 3 Round of 32
Coach: Vicki Santana
With 11 seniors returning to the roster this year, Foxboro is looking to have a bounce-back year and return to the state tournament with an improved rating in the MIAA’s statewide system.

The Warriors have key pieces back at all spots on the court and head coach Vicki Santana is optimistic about the season after a strong showing so far this preseason. Sami Sloan led the squad with 111 kills last season and is back as one of the outside hitters along with Juliana Pettigrew (88 kills) and Ava Hill. Foxboro also has both of its middles back with Mallorie Meyer, a Hock all star a year ago with 80 kills and 46 aces, and Ava Kirk both returning.

Defensively, the Warriors have their libero back in the lineup in senior Shannon McElhinney, who had 157 digs last year and was a Hock honorable mention selection.

“All of these players bring a love for the sport and determination to win,” Santana said. “We only graduated two seniors last year so we are hoping that with most of the team being returning varsity players we will have a very competitive season. So far the team has been playing great at our preseason scrimmages so hopefully, we carry that energy into our first game vs Milford!”

2022 Hockomock Volleyball Preview

Franklin

2021 Record: 18-2 (Kelley-Rex co-champion)
2021 Finish: Reached Div. 1 Final Four
Coach: Samantha Redmond
Although Franklin only graduated a small number of seniors from last year’s team that made the Division 1 state semifinals, the Panthers lost a lot of production.

Gone are Caitlyn Mackintosh, last year’s HockomockSports Player of the Year, Lindsey Tarantola, a league all star that led the league in blocks, and Brigid Earley, one of the top middles in the Hock. But this isn’t the first time the Panthers have lost a talented senior class, multiple all stars, or even an MVP – and they’ve always found a way to come back and compete as a top team in the league.

Three-year starter Taylor Lacerda returns to pace the offense, leading the Panthers in kills a year ago as a sophomore with 155. She’s the lone six rotation returner in the group so head coach Samantha Redmond – who picked up a boost on the bench with the addition of former head coach Kelsey Weymouth as an assistant – will be looking for new faces to step into key roles at the net.

There will be some changes along the backline as senior Meghan Linkkila will move from the libero position to take over as the setter, and classmate and fellow captain Georgia Harvey, who was a defensive specialist last year, will take on the libero role.

“Franklin volleyball is really excited to continue our hard work this year,” Redmond said. “We lost a strong four seniors last year but we are confident that this new class of players will bring a lot of diversity to our offense and defense. We look forward to proving ourselves in the Hockomock once again!”




King Philip

2021 Record: 22-2 (Kelley-Rex co-champion)
2021 Finish: Reached Div. 2 Final Four
Coach: Kristen Geuss
King Philip has shared the Kelley-Rex title for the past three seasons and with a senior-laden roster, the Warriors look ready to make a push for another division crown. After a run to the Div. 2 state semifinal. KP has the experience and the depth at the net to be a threat for another deep tournament run.

The Warriors will be strong up front. Senior middle Emily Sawyer made her varsity debut as a junior and immediately became one of the best hitters in the league. The Sacred Heart-commit is an impact player on both sides of the net. Senior Sami Shore gives KP the most dynamic middle pairing in the league and can dominate a match. If teams try to bottle up the middle of the net, then senior Ahunna James can take over on the outside, giving KP great attacking balance. Seniors Olivia O’Neil and Missy Canning add depth at hitter and senior setter Kiera Hagen will run the offense this year.

In addition to the seniors, KP can count on junior right-side Kate O’Neil and juniors Ryann O’Sullivan, Emily Zappala, and Fiona Bailey on the outside. On the back line, juniors Shea Mellman, Ava Kelley, and Meghan Sullivan provide strong defensive play. Sophomore setter Madison Asprelli is a newcomer who could step into a bigger role over the course of the season.

“We are working hard to build on our success from last year,” said KP coach Kristen Geuss. “We have good chemistry and the girls are looking forward to the season.”

2022 Hockomock Volleyball Preview

Mansfield

2021 Record: 9-8
2021 Finish: Reached Div. 2 Round of 32
Coach: Tara DeGirolamo
Making the switch to the Davenport division this season, Mansfield is looking to ride a mix of veterans and new players to some success on the court this year.

Second-year head coach Tara DeGirolamo is excited for the season to get underway as she tries to fit all the right pieces together for her squad. Junior Elyssa Buchanan burst onto the scene as an attacking option last year and will be one of the Hornets’ go-to hitters on the outside along with senior Ella Mahoney. In the middle, Lexie Scibilia will be looking to build on her big season last year (48 blocks) along with senior Lily Campbell.

There are a lot of options at setter with senior captain Isabella Flint (132 assists) back as one of the primary ball handlers with junior Kiera Fitzpatrick and freshman Tessa Blaqueir both in the mix as well. The setters will also have options on the right side with senior captain Lilly Verheggan and junior Anna Goulet taking swings from the opposite side, with senior Savannah Carey and juniors Sophia Capaolupo and Elena O’Keefe providing depth.

Defensively, DeGirolamo will lean on senior libero Jackie Zelic to anchor the defense along with junior defensive specialists Lauren Rubicine and Jocelyn Gibson.

“Our setters have great court awareness and mesh very well with our diverse group of hitters,” DeGirolamo said. “We’re excited for the season.”

Milford

2021 Record: 8-11
2021 Finish: Reached Div. 2 Round of 32
Coach: Tammy Webber
Between a handful of varsity returners and a group of eager new faces ready to make their mark, Milford is looking to challenge in the Kelley-Rex and book a spot in the state tournament.

The heart of the Hawks will be in the middle of the lineup with the team’s leader in kills from a year ago Aliza Syed back to anchor both the offense and the defense. She had a breakout season with 187 kills, 61 aces, and 34 blocks, which were all first on the team. She will be flanked by junior Maeve Driscoll on the outside, who jumps into the starting lineup this year and will play in the back row as well. Senior Molly Hartman provides depth at the outside hitter spot.

“[Aliza] will be counted on to carry us in those categories once again this season,” said Milford head coach Tammy Webber. “She is strong and athletic with a tough serve and can hit with power.”

Milford also returns its starting setter in senior captain Emily Croteau, who finished inside the top five in the league in assists last season. Having a year of experience under her belt, the Hawks will lean on her confidence and skill to spread the ball around and run the offense. Senior defensive specialist Carley Haley will anchor the backline.




2022 Hockomock Volleyball Preview

North Attleboro

2021 Record: 9-10
2021 Finish: Reached Div. 2 Round of 32
Coach: Rachel Gould
After making a push for a playoff spot last season, North Attleboro will make a change on the sidelines as Rachel Gould takes over this fall. The Rocketeers will also be returning to the ultra-competitive Kelley-Rex division and with five varsity players back in the lineup North will be looking to fight for another tournament spot.

The senior class will need to provide leadership for the new faces in this year’s squad. Senior Avery Bitar will give the team a defensive solidity as the libero. Senior Grace Dirschel is the returning setter from last season and senior Sarah Kayata is another strong backline player that should help North keep points alive.

Up front, seniors Haley Carr and Mariah Barbosa are returning middle hitters that can step in and swing and also make an impact on the block. Freshman Lincoln Abramaitys will get the chance to shine right from the start as the team’s main outside hitter. Abramaitys is the only underclassman on the roster this year.

“I have a great group of hard-working talented athletes and I think we are going to have a competitive season this year,” Gould explained.

Oliver Ames

2021 Record: 16-5 (Davenport champion)
2021 Finish: Reached Div. 2 Round of 16
Coach: Chelsea Cunningham
Oliver Ames is ready to get on the court and defend its Davenport division title.

The Tigers know they’ll be challenged by perennial powerhouse Canton, division newcomer Mansfield, a veteran-filled Foxboro squad, and the rest of the division, and they’ll have to overcome the graduation of the versatile Hadley Rhodes, but OA has some top talent returning at almost every position.

Senior Maddie Homer is back for yet another season as the libero to anchor the back line. An All-State selection a year ago, Homer will be joined by junior Rachel Fleischman, another returner, in the back row to give the Tigers an experienced defensive duo.

Offensively, there will be more familiar faces taking swings at the net. Senior captain Courtney Raymond (56 kills, 18 blocks) is back in the middle as one of OA’s primary attackers and she’ll be complemented by a pair of terrific outside hitters in junior Sarah Hilliard (272 kills) and Claire O’Rourke (156 kills). Sophomore Addyson Smock bolsters the middle block while sophomore Clare Kavoulis and junior Paula Romero provide some depth.

“There is something special about this group,” said OA head coach Chelsea Cunningham. “The talent speaks for itself, they’re putting in the work, and they are eager to compete. These girls know everything is “earned not given” – which happens to be our program’s motto this season. With that, they know there’s a lot of work to do to make this the best season yet. If they commit to one another and the goals we set from the start, there’s no doubt in my mind that they’ll do just that.”

2022 Hockomock Volleyball Preview

Sharon

2021 Record: 6-14
2021 Finish: Reached Div. 2 Round of 32
Coach: Andrea Lovett
It has been two straight impressive seasons for the Sharon volleyball program. Two years ago, during Fall II, the Eagles nearly won a league title and would’ve booked a playoff spot if a tournament was held. Last season, Sharon not only reached the state tournament but also won its first-round match against Revere. With a brand new gym and five seniors on the roster, Sharon will be hoping the momentum carries over to this fall.

Sharon will be counting on the development of its senior hitters. Amanda Brown will be the main target on the outside, while Olivia Nau has been impressive on the right side. The middle should be tough on both sides of the net with junior Jasmine Davis stepping up as both a blocker and hitter and senior Sam Dunham adding depth after her move up from the JV team. Junior Sonja Gray will be the main setter for the team again this season with help from classmate Masha Dolienkova.

The Eagles also have experience on the back line and players with athleticism to keep points alive. Senior Emily Coplan and junior Sophia Pandey will share the libero duties and sophomore Sasha Nierenberg and senior Evelina Kravets will support them as defensive specialists.

“Possibly the most important aspect of this team is their love of the game combined with a great work ethic and the tenacity to stay in the game regardless of the score,” said Sharon coach Andrea Lovett, who returns to the sidelines after being an assistant in 2021. “These kids simply love volleyball and it shows on the court.”

2022 Hockomock Volleyball Preview

Stoughton

2021 Record: 1-15
2021 Finish: Missed postseason
Coach: Felicia Baptista
Stoughton is coming off a difficult 2021 season. The Black Knights picked up just one win last fall, but they have several new faces that could step in and get the program heading back into tournament contention. It may be a smaller roster this season, but head coach Felicia Baptista believes the talent and attitude are right to get things kicked off.

Junior Maya Ashu will be one of the primary attacking threats for Stoughton this season. She will be a critical spot in the front row and has developed into a strong hitter. Junior hitter Annalia Eschleman is also back and will give Stoughton more athleticism. Senior Patrik Oliveira has been a standout on the back row and gives the Black Knights all-around play with his quickness and versatility.

Other players that could step into the starting lineup for Stoughton this season are sophomore Reagan Lewis and junior Alyssa Edwards. Both are strong athletes that will give the Black Knights more control of the middle of the net.

“This year our team is much smaller and much more prepared than in past seasons,” said Baptista. “They have been putting in lots of work this year and it shows right from day one.”

2022 Hockomock Volleyball Preview

Taunton

2021 Record: 8-14
2021 Finish: Reached Div. 1 Round of 32
Coach: Toby Chaperon
Taunton boasts a strong group of seniors, and with the addition of some underclassmen and new additions to the program, the Tigers are looking for an improved campaign in 2022.

Senior middle Hayley Krockta will be a force at the net this season but can play at all spots on the court. She will be one of the best servers on the team and can step right in and pass like a defensive specialist. She’ll be swinging at sets off the fingertips of classmate Anna Abouzied, another returner for the Tigers. Abouzied is a terrific passer in the back row and will also run the offense as the setter.

“Hayley will be a force at the net this year,” said Taunton head coach Toby Chaperon. “And Anna can do it all too, she has the ability to hit and pass very well. We’re looking forward to having a good year.”

Senior Mia Fernandes will provide a boost of energy from the back row as the libero, flying all over the court to keep the play alive, and will be joined by classmate Megan Rose as a defensive specialist. Sayla DePina, another senior, will look to give Taunton some swings from the right side and set the block on opposing outside hitters. Rylie Roderick will add some depth at the net and at the service line for Taunton while head coach Toby Chaperon will look to incorporate transfers Morgan Fitzgerald (opposite/DS) and Julia Mitton (setter).

Juniors Jaden Sabina, Janelle Garcia, and Morgan Smith will all get some swings at the net while classmates Caroline Pietnik, Randi MacLeod, and Courtney Martin provide solid depth. Sophomore Adrianna Amaral has impressed early on this season and will get some swings at middle hitter while eighth grader Sadie Herry will be in the mix as a defensive specialist.

KP Remains Unbeaten With Sweep of Canton

King Philip Volleyball
KP junior Emily Sawyer had a career-high 16 kills to power the Warriors to a sweep of Canton and a ninth straight win to start the season. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

Josh PerryFollowJoshPerry


CANTON, Mass. – On Wednesday night at the Masciarelli Gym, in a battle of division leaders and a rematch of last year’s Hock Cup semifinal, King Philip showed not only why its gone the opening nine matches unbeaten and why its in the running for a sixth league title in eight years, but also that it could be a strong contender in the Div. 2 state tournament.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Behind a dominant display at the net by junior hitters Emily Sawyer, Ahunna James, and Sami Shore, the Warriors swept Canton 3-0 (25-14, 25-19, 25-16) to continue its perfect start to the season. KP has lost only one of the 28 sets it has played in nine matches.

“That’s good and bad,” KP coach Kristen Geuss said. “We need to keep working hard. If we want to keep this going, then we need to work hard and I think they know it, I think they get it. I’m hoping that they continue to put the work in at practice and continue to get good results.”

Sawyer (16 kills and three blocks) set the tone from the opening point of the match. Listed at 6-foot-3, she towered over the Bulldogs and smashed home the first two points to put KP in front. Canton answered right back with a tip by Fatima Sidibay and a block and a kill from Jess Wright. James (eight kills) started to find the range on the outside with a pair of kills, including one that ended a long rally. A Shore kill and a pair of aces from James put KP up 10-5.

“We are strong at the net,” said Geuss, “which is great for our setters (Stella Bailey and Kiera Hagen) because they have so many options and not just having to set up one or two people. Having the options makes them more comfortable.”

Right from the opening set a pattern emerged. Both teams were excellent defensively, keeping rallies going on both sides of the net, but when it came time for the decisive swing KP’s attackers were more consistent in finding the open space.

“I’m very proud of the way my team played,” said Canton coach Pat Cawley. “We’re a scrappy defensive team and when we could get a good swing I think we tested their defense. Free balls, tips, they were all over them. We have to hit the ball.”

With Sawyer able to overpower Canton’s defense either on the outside or in the middle, the Warriors started to pull away in the first. Three straight Sawyer kills pushed the lead to 19-8, then James stepped in with a pair and scored a third point with a well-placed bump. Shore and then Olivia Carey closed out the first with kills and KP took the lead in the match.

The second set was far more even, as Canton started to turn its strong play on the back row into points at the net. Again Sawyer put KP up 2-0 with back-to-back kills, but then Wright got a couple of good swings and Talya DeGraw found an opening with a tip. After a Sydney Gallery kill on the outside, the set was tied at 8-8.

KP would rattle off seven of the next eight points and seemed poised to pull away, but the Bulldogs kept scrapping and answered right back with a run of their own, tying the second at 16 apiece. James put KP back in front with a block and Shore smashed a hit off the blocker to regain the advantage.

Canton showed off its defense again, with freshman Zoe Scibelli laying out to keep the play alive and Anna Verille finding a point with a bump inside the line. Momentum for the hosts was short-lived as Shore got a point at the net and then the service line and Sawyer rose up to bury the final point of the second.

“We’re a young team,” Cawley explained. “We had a really slow start, losing our first two [matches], and we changed our lineup making Anna Verille our libero. She’s amazing. Taylor Reynolds, my setter, I can’t say enough about her.”

She added, “We didn’t play well in the first set, but the next two sets I think we gave it everything we had and we’ve got 12 matches left and I think we’re getting better every day. I couldn’t be happier coaching this team, every day we see improvement.”

Trailing by two sets, the Bulldogs came out with extra fight in the third. Amaiah Christian got her first kill, Gallery’s block led to an error, and DeGraw fired in an ace to grab a 10-7 lead. KP has dropped only one set all season (last time out against Milford) and the Warriors were able to stay focused and come right back. Carey’s kill tying the set up at 10-10.

Down by three, Sawyer gave KP a spark when her third attempt at a kill finally eluded the Canton defense. Bailey added an ace and the set was tied again. Bailey (19 service points) would go on a run at the service line, turning a three-point deficit (13-10) into a five-point lead. She had two aces and Sawyer had a pair of blocks in the run.

James would put the final touches on the third set, with two kills and an accurate tip down the line helping the Warriors over the line in a match that felt closer than the final score.

“Canton is always very competitive,” said Geuss. “We have to play our best no matter what against Canton because they never give up. They are scrappy, they are fast, and that was great competition for us.”

Cawley was effusive in her praise for the Warriors. She said, “KP is a legitimate team. I could see them going all the way in D2. They have height, they have strength, they’re a great team. Both middles are legitimate and obviously Ahunna James is amazing.”

King Philip (9-0) will put its perfect record on the line on Friday against a much-improved Attleboro team. Canton (5-3) will try to bounce back on the road against Sharon.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Friday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 09/17/21

Today’s games are listed below.

Football
Attleboro, 0 @ Bishop Feehan, 34 – FinalClick here for a Photo Gallery from this game.

Canton, 10 vs. Norton, 19 – Final

Foxboro, 38 @ Whitman-Hanson, 0 – Final

Franklin, 37 @ Brockton, 7 – Final
1st Quarter: (F) Mack Gulla 2-yard rush, Garrett Portesi XP good; (B) Jason Wonodi 10-yard pass to Cameron Monteiro, XP good.
2nd Quarter: (F) Safety; (F) Jared Arone 7-yard pass to Will Deschenes, G. Portesi XP good; (F) J. Arone 27-yard pass to Shane Kindred, G. Portesi XP good.
3rd Quarter: (F) M. Gulla 77-yard rush, G. Portesi XP good.
4th Quarter: (F) Mike Davide, G. Portesi XP good.

King Philip, 30 @ Needham, 6 – Final

Mansfield, 31 @ North Attleboro, 29 – Final (2 OT)Click here for a recap and photo gallery of this game.
1st Quarter: (M) Conner Zukowski 24-yard pass to Trevor Foley, James Gilleran XP good; (NA) Tyler DeMattio fumble recovery, XP no good.
2nd Quarter: (NA) T. DeMattio 4-yard rush, Conversion no good; (NA) T. DeMattio 18-yard field goal.
3rd Quarter: No scoring.
4th Quarter: (M) C. Zukowski 4-yard pass to T. Foley, C. Zukowski conversion pass to T. Foley.
1st OT: (M) C. Zukowski 10-yard pass to T. Foley, C. Zukowski conversion pass to Drew Sacco; (NA) T. DeMattio 1-yard rush, Chase Frisoli conversion pass to Gavin Wells.
2nd OT: (NA) T. DeMattio 10-yard rush, Conversion no good; (M) C. Zukowski 10-yard pass to Rocco Scarpellini, C. Zukowski conversion pass to T. Foley.

Oliver Ames, 13 @ Quincy, 21 – Final

Stoughton, 27 vs. Braintree, 26 – Final

Taunton, 26 @ Durfee, 20 – Final
1st Quarter: No scoring.
2nd Quarter: (D) Jevon Holley 61-yard rush, XP good.
3rd Quarter: (T) Jacob Leonard 54-yard pass to Trent Santos, Nathan Keenan XP good; (T) J. Leonard 8-yard pass to Jose Touron, 2pt rush failed; (T) Evan Perrotta 6-yard rush, N. Keenan XP good; (D) Isaiyah Thomas 43-yard rush, XP good.
4th Quarter: (D) I. Thomas 14-yard pass to Jayden Lewis, XP failed; (T) J. Leonard 3-yard pass to T. Santos, XP failed.

Sharon, 0 @ Seekonk, 28 – Final










Boys Soccer
Canton, 0 @ Milford, 2 – FinalMilford scored once in each half to down the Bulldogs for their first victory of the season. Arthur Tome put the hosts ahead, converting a pass from David Desa to make it 1-0. In the second half, junior Nick Ribeiro iced the game with a goal with just over two minutes to go.

Foxboro, 2 vs. Norton, 1 – FinalFoxboro senior Matt Angelini set up a goal in each half to help the Warriors claim a win against non-league foe Norton. Angelini blasted a low shot from atop the area that was saved, pushed off the post and out but junior Alex Penders was first to the loose ball and touched it in for a 1-0 lead in the 36th minute. Just after halftime, Angelini intercepted a pass in the attacking third and laid off a pass for Jacob Tessier, who beat the keeper from distance to make it 2-0 in the 48th minute.

Oliver Ames, 1 @ Franklin, 2 – FinalFranklin scored back-to-back goals in a short span to earn a win over Oliver Ames, the first victory of the young season for the Panthers. Terry O’Neill was first to a loose ball in the box, pouncing on it to make it 1-0, and shortly after, Tyler Powderly found the back of the net. OA cut the deficit in half on a goal from senior Michael Haikal off an assist from Clide Neau.

King Philip, 0 @ North Attleboro, 1 – FinalCarson Dameron scored the only goal of the game to lift North to the win. The sophomore pressured the KP center back, stole the ball, and scored on the break for his first career goal. Givany Carney also played well up top for North, keeping the KP defense on its toes. Brody Rosenberg and Joe Shephard played well on defense to help the Rocketeers keep a clean sheet.




Girls Soccer
Franklin, 2 @ Oliver Ames, 2 – FinalClick here for a recap and photo gallery of this game.

North Attleboro, 1 @ Braintree, 0 – FinalNorth closed out a three-game week with a hard-fought non-league road win. Steph McKenna scored the lone goal of the game early in the second half. She took a pass from Autumn Hewitt and found the back of the net from 15 yards out. Haley Sinacola also came close when she hit a 35-yard free kick off the bar. Maddie Ferrin recorded her second clean sheet of the week and North’s defense of Lily Adams, Charlotte Moynihan, Caroline Ferrin, and Summer Doherty all played well.

Stoughton, 1 vs. Norwood, 2 – FinalMorgan Cook scored off an Isabella Rodrigues assist for Stoughton’s lone goal of the game. Emma Tran also played well in multiple positions for the Black Knights, who were missing a few players for the non-league game.

King Philip, 1 vs. Bishop Feehan, 6 – Final

Sharon, 3 vs. Milton, 3 – FinalAmanda Hu scored a late equalizer to earn a point for the Eagles, who twice came from a goal down in the draw. Olivia Soby opened the scoring for Sharon. After Milton scored twice to take the lead, Wendy Wooden leveled the scores. The Wildcats regained the lead but Hu fired in a shot from distance to tie it up in the closing minutes. Sofia Goclowski had a pair of assists.

Field Hockey
Milford, 0 @ Canton, 4 – FinalEllie Bohane scored twice to lift Canton to the victory. Erin Lane and Maggie McCready each scored once for the Bulldogs.

Franklin, 5 @ Oliver Ames, 0 – FinalFranklin built a three-goal advantage by halftime and tacked on one more in each of the third and fourth quarters to secure a win on the road over OA. Kaitlyn Carney scored a pair of goals while Shaw Downing, Payten Crandall, and Haley Wernig also scored, which was the first varsity goal for Wernig. Wernig and Crandall also had assists while Megan Sullivan had five saves for the shutout.

North Attleboro, 0 @ King Philip, 4 – FinalKP’s defense was dominant throughout, allowing only one shot on goal. Seniors Lily Brown and Molly Piller stood out for the Warriors on the defensive end of the field. Mara Boldy got the winner, scoring in the second quarter off an assist from Makenzie McDevitt. Boldy then added an assist, setting up Margo Reilly. Kelly Holmes added a third, assisted by Christina Gifun, and freshman Abby MacDonald closed out the scoring with her first career goal. Boldy added her second assist of the game on KP’s fourth.

Stoughton, 5 vs. Brockton, 0 – FinalZofia Bangs scored a hat trick to power the Black Knights to their first win of the season. Mia Allie and Isabella Iacobucci also scored once apiece.




Volleyball
Milford, 1 @ Canton, 3 – FinalCanton bounced back from a tough second set and got its first win of the season, 25-22, 12-25, 25-16, 25-17. Taylor Reynolds ran the offense for the Bulldogs, dishing out 27 assists, while also chipping in with four aces and nine digs. Anna Verille had a big game defensively, recording 17 digs and also had four aces. Jess Wright sparked the attack with 14 kills (and added seven digs), while Sydney Gallery had a solid all-around game on the outside with eight kills and five digs.

Franklin, 3 @ Oliver Ames, 1 – FinalOA won a close first set, 27-25, but then Franklin rolled over the next three sets (25-12, 25-13, 25-12) to pull out the win and stay perfect on the season. Cailyn Mackintosh dished out 21 assists and added eight kills. She also chipped in with four aces and 27 digs. Taylor Lacerda also had eight kills for the Panther and Brigid Earley had four kills and seven blocks. Addyson Smock had a pair of blocks for the Tigers and gave them an aggressive presence at the net. Hadley Rhodes led OA with 20 assists and five kills and Maddie Homer was strong in serve-receive and on defense with 27 digs and 32 receptions.

King Philip, 3 vs. Walpole, 0 – FinalKing Philip continued its strong start to the season with a 3-0 sweep (25-13, 25-8, 25-10) at home over non-league foe Walpole. It was a strong all-around effort from the hosts with Sami Shore (10 kills, two aces), Liz Carey (four kills, 10 service points), and Emily Sawyer (five kills) pacing the offense. Stella Bailey (five aces, 17 service points) and Kiera Hagen (five aces) both performed well at the service line while Samantha Asprelli (six digs) was strong defensively.

Taunton @ Sharon, 5:15

Golf
Mansfield, 168 @ Franklin, 166 – FinalFranklin defended its home course to hand Mansfield its first loss of the season. Sophomore CJ Steel show the low round of the afternoon, carding a 38. That was one stroke better than Mansfield’s Cian Goulet. Caden Sullivan added a round of 42 and Ben Paterson and Caroline Woelfel each shot 43s for the Panthers. Cody Nieratko shot a 40 for the Hornets, who also got a round of 43 from Jordan Tavares and a 46 from Brendan Vokey.

Canton, 145 @ Oliver Ames, 152 – FinalCanton pulled out a win in the battle of unbeaten division rivals. Mike Leonetti was the medalist at Pine Oaks, shooting a 2-under round of 32. Will Gefteas had the second lowest round of the day, finishing with a 35. Conor Hunter added a 38 and Mekhala Costello and Charlie Cohen both shot a 40. OA was led by David Rodgers with a round of 37. Lucas Riley and Jake Kaplan both shot 38s and Carter Allbritton added a 39.

Wednesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 09/15/21

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Soccer
North Attleboro, 0 @ Attleboro, 2 – FinalAfter a scoreless first half, Attleboro pumped in a pair of goals to earn a win over rival North Attleboro. Yianni Skordas converted a feed from Luke Hagopian to put the hosts ahead in the second half. Alex Vecchioli opened his account on the season with a goal assisted by Connor Adema.

Foxboro, 0 @ Mansfield, 0 – FinalMansfield senior Jack Lasbury-Casey (seven saves) and Foxboro senior Derek Axon both played well in goal, each earning a shutout. It marked Lasbury-Casey’s third straight shutout to start the season while it was Axon’s first of the year. Mansfield coach Steve Sheridan praised the effort from his defense.

Stoughton, 0 @ King Philip, 3 – FinalKing Philip scored a pair of first half goals and tacked on one more in the second half to break into the win column for the first time this season. Will Bowen opened the scoring in the 23rd minute, finishing off a feed from Oliver Blackburn for a 1-0 lead. Less than 10 minutes later, Matt Crago set up Stephen Griffin to make it 2-0 in the 32nd minute. Blackburn then added a goal of his own in the 54th minute, taking a feed from Caleb Cassetta and finding the back of the net.

Sharon, 1 @ Taunton, 2 – FinalTaunton picked up its third straight win to start the season, marking its best start in since 2013 when the Tigers won their first four league games. The Tigers scored early as junior Riley Rebello set up Sete Deletoile in the 7th minute for the lead. Taunton doubled its advantage in the 25th minute as Conal Scully found the back of the net on an assist from Devin Poe. Sharon cut the lead in half just before halftime on a goal from Cam Birnbaum. Taunton head coach Taylor Whitters said “it was truly a team effort” while noting the strong play of Jonathan Trinh and Delano Costa-Hanlon.










Girls Soccer
North Attleboro, 0 @ Attleboro, 1 – FinalClick here for a recap and photo gallery of this game.

Mansfield, 2 @ Foxboro, 5 – FinalKailee McCabe made it eight goals in three games and the Warriors won for the third straight time (in the process, scoring 19 goals as a team). After back-to-back hat tricks, McCabe scored twice and assisted on a third to hand Mansfield its first loss. Neve Taylor scored for the second straight game and added an assist. Jordan Carman followed up two goals against Stoughton with a goal and assist against the Hornets. Erin Foley also found the net and Grace Riley had an assist. Foxboro was able to hold on after going down a player with 10 minutes to play. The red card gave Mansfield a penalty that it converted but the Warriors held out to secure the victory and head coach Katie Stalcup said they played well as a team.

King Philip, 8 @ Stoughton, 0 – FinalElla Pisani continued her strong start to the season with a four-goal game, as KP stayed perfect through three games and recorded a third straight clean sheet. Pisani took only six minutes to get her hat trick, putting KP well in front early in the game. Brooke Mullins assisted on two of the goals and Grace Lawler on one. With 10 minutes to go before the half, Paulina Baczkowski added KP’s fourth, assisted by Mikayla Thomspon, and then four minutes later Baczkowski set up Rachel DeFlaminis to make it 5-0. Midway through the second half, Dani Lomuscio got her first career goal, finishing off a pass from Baczkowski. Five minutes later, Pisani got her fourth, this time assisted by Maggie Griffin, and then Heidi Lawrence added an unassisted goal with seven minutes left to play. Stoughton coach Hermes Lima praised his team for closing the first half well and for a good start to the second half. Emma Tran played well at the back and up top for the Black Knights and Shayla Ford added strong minutes at the back. Olivia Tran continued her good start to the season for Stoughton and Sophia Lally was praised for her hustle.

Taunton, 0 @ Sharon, 7 – FinalAfter getting shutout in its opening game of the season, Sharon exploded for seven goals to earn its first win. Sofia Goclowski finished with five points, recording a hat trick and a pair of assists, to power the Eagles offensively. Taylor Standring added a hat trick of her own and Carly Pinnix scored the seventh. Olivia Soby and Autumn Simon both had a pair of assists in the win. Simon and Samantha Connors split time in goal to record the clean sheet. It was the most goals that Sharon has scored in a game since scoring 11 against Stoughton in 2016. During that stretch, the Eagles had scored six times on three occasions.




Field Hockey
Attleboro @ North Attleboro, 3:45

King Philip, 5 @ Stoughton, 1 – FinalKing Philip sophomore Kelly Holmes had three points and the Warriors picked up their third win of the season with a 5-1 decision over Stoughton. Holmes scored twice, including a goal on a penalty stroke, and had an assist in the win. Junior Nikki McDonald scored her first varsity goal and added an assist and senior Lily Brown scored her first career goal in the win.

Taunton, 4 @ Sharon, 0 – FinalTaunton’s Braeley MacDonald scored a pair of goals and goalie Emily Gannon recorded her second shutout of the young season in a win on the road at Sharon. Taylor Doherty and Caelyn O’Leary also scored in the win while Ashley Amaro added two assists. Kylie Thorpe, Kaysie DeMoura, and Thalia Nogueira also played well for the Tigers.

Volleyball
Attleboro, 1 @ North Attleboro, 3 – FinalAfter dropping a tight third set, North Attleboro bounced back to down rival Attleboro and win in four sets, 3-1 (25-16, 25-19, 23-25, 25-17). Katherine McHoul set the offense in motion with 23 assists, setting up Sara Carter (10 kills) and Amira Boory (nine kills) for strong showings at the net. Julianne Chen was strong defensive for North with nine digs.

King Philip, 3 @ Stoughton, 0 – Final – King Philip went on the road and won in three straight, claiming their third win of the season with a 3-0 result (25-10, 25-6, 25-17). The Warriors set the tone at the service line as Junior Kiera Hagen notched five aces and a total of 21 service points, junior Sami Shore added 16 service points and four aces, and senior Samantha Asprelli added six aces. Junior Emily Sawyer had a big day at the net with 12 kills and two blocks while junior Ahunna James added seven kills.




Golf
King Philip, 150 @ Stoughton, 194 – FinalKing Philip’s Mike Matheson and Pat Reardon each shot a one-under par round at Easton Country Club to lead the Warriors to a win. Matheson and Reardon came in with a round of 34 for KP while Anthony Hern had the low-round for Stoughton at 40.

Mansfield, 155 @ Attleboro, 158 – FinalMansfield senior Cian Goulet fired a team-low round of 37 as the Hornets just edged out Attleboro on the links at Stone-E-Lea. Senior Hunter Tang added a 38 and classmate Ryan Doherty came in with a round of 39. Sophomore Cody Nieratko rounded out the scoring for the Hornets with a 40.

Foxboro, 193 @ North Attleboro, 198 – Final (5 cards)The Warriors and the Rocketeers were knotted at 153 apiece through four cards but Jack Watts’ round of 40 won the five-card tiebreaker to give Foxboro the win. Jack Rounds had the low-round for the visitors at 37 while Louie Cavangelo fired a 38, and both Reese Curreri and Matt Fossella came in at 39. North Attleboro’s Tyson Laviano was the match medalist with a match-low round of 34 while Jake Gaskin added a 37 for the Big Red.

Taunton, 194 @ Franklin, 166 – FinalFranklin defense its home course and won its second match in as many days with a win over on Wednesday over visiting Taunton. Three Panthers shared medalist honors as CJ Steel, Ben Paterson, and Caroline Woelfel all shot a 41 in the win while Brendan Collins rounded out the scoring with a 43. Logan Letourneau paced Taunton with a round of 46.

2021 Hockomock League Volleyball Preview

2021 Hockomock Volleyball Preview
Junior Ahunna James, pictured against OA in the Fall 2 season, will try and help KP repeat as division champs. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

By HockomockSports.com Staff

2021 Hockomock Volleyball Preview

2021 Hockomock Volleyball Preview

Attleboro

2020 (Fall II) Record: 1-11
Coach: Mary Katherine Runey
There is a lot of excitement surrounding the program as the Bombardiers are set to take the court for their second season, but first full season, under head coach Mary Katherine Runey.

The Bombardiers boast a large senior class featuring a lot of returning players along with a handful of juniors and even some freshmen ready to make an immediate impact on the court this Fall. It all starts with senior captains Lilly Boedeker, Marissa Conroy, and Summer Pereira, who will provide key leadership both on and off the court. Boedeker is the anchor of the defense as the libero while Pereira is making the switch to the right side to provide key blocking plus another offensive option.

Options will be vital for sophomore setter Natalie Brojek, who is back for her second season on the team as the setter. Seniors Delia Barthel, Holly Berg, Kate Petrosso, and Gabby Bolduc are all returning players and are joined in the roster by classmates Corina Lugo, Celina Lugo, Ellie Amaral, and juniors Brianna Frissora and Tigin Bombardier. Petrosso and Frissora will take care of business at the net as middle hitters while freshman Julia Leonardo could see time right away as an outside hitter.

“As a program, we are certainly looking to continue to build and grow,” Runey said. “Last year, we had to learn to play together and figure out which pieces of the puzzle work together. This year, we continue to work hard to minimize errors, control the pace of the game, and learn how to win. I believe that hard work will pay off this season.”

2021 Hockomock Volleyball Preview

Canton

2020 (Fall II) Record: 10-2
Coach: Pat Cawley
Canton made it 13 league titles in the past 14 seasons when it edged Sharon to the Davenport title a year ago. This season, the Bulldogs will have a lot of new faces, as only five players return from 2020’s abbreviated campaign, but there still remains a lot of enthusiasm for a new season and the potential to rebuild for yet another title challenge.

Senior Sydney Gallery returns as the team’s middle hitter after a solid season contributing off the bench. Gallery has improved and seen her playing time increase each season and will now be one of Canton’s primary weapons. Seniors Anna Verille and Tayla DeGraw will add to the attack on the outside. Both saw significant minutes as juniors and can also provide points from the service line. Sophomore Jess Wright is a newcomer that could make an instant impact on the outside as well. Senior setter Taylor Reynolds is back to run the Bulldogs offense and put the hitters in the right spots. She is also a strong presence on the back row defensively. Seniors Amaiah Christian, Katie Dever, Ella Lewis, Kelly McDonald, and Jess Vo will all see the floor and add depth to the Canton roster.

“What we lack in experience, we make up in work ethic and desire,” said Canton coach Pat Cawley. “This year’s team is motivated and anxious to keep the strong Canton volleyball tradition going! Led by a great group of seniors, the entire team has the same goal – to play at the highest level possible and to be the best they can be!”







Foxboro

2020 (Fall II) Record: 3-9
Coach: Vicki Santana
This will be a season of transition for the Warriors, who return only five players from last year’s team. Despite graduating 10 seniors and only featuring two seniors on this year’s roster, Foxboro is excited about the potential of its younger players and looking to grow as a team over the course of the new season.

Juniors Sami Sloan and Mallorie Meyer will both step into bigger roles after gaining some varsity experience as sophomores last year. They are part of a big junior class (eight players) that will be counted on to carry the Warriors this fall. Both Sloan and Meyer have been working not only on their hitting but also the defensive part of the game to be able to help in the back as well as the front row. Junior Alyssa Cloherty will be the setter and classmate Shannon McElhinney will take over as the libero and both have shown capable of making smart decisions with the ball on the back row.

“I am seeing a lot of talent and can’t wait to see how the team performs,” said Foxboro coach Vicki Santana. “Our focus is to build team chemistry for the team to be successful. As long as the players are ready to put in the work this fall, I am anticipating a successful year.”

2021 Hockomock Volleyball Preview

Franklin

2020 (Fall II) Record: 12-1
Coach: Samantha Elliott
Franklin has won at least a share of the past three Kelley-Rex titles and last year also claimed the first-ever Hock Cup. Even while graduating important players, like leading hitter Ally Bonnet-Eymard, the Panthers continue to build squads that look ready to compete for the title every season.

The strength for the Panthers is at setter. Senior Cailyn Mackintosh is a three-year starter and one of the best passers in the league. Her ability to spread the ball around and hit spots opens up the floor for the offense and makes Franklin hard to match up against. Sophomore Taylor Lacerda will be one of Mackintosh’s top targets this year following a strong freshman season on the outside. Senior Lindsey Tarantola will be the main threat in the middle and senior Brigid Earley will be back at opposite. Defensively, the Panthers will count on senior Meghan Linkkila, who will be moving from defensive specialist to libero this season, to control the back row.

“I have high expectations for these players but more importantly they have high expectations for themselves,” said second-year Franklin coach Samantha Elliott. “This team is striving to continue proving themselves and working hard to be the best they can be, and hopefully, that is another Hockomock title.

King Philip

2020 (Fall II) Record: 11-2
Coach: Kristen Geuss
When you look at the class that graduated from last season, the Warriors certainly lost a lot of talent from a team that won a share of the Kelley-Rex division title. But this is a program that doesn’t have many rebuilding seasons, they simply reload.

The Warriors have several returning players that will play a significant role this season. Senior captain Stella Bailey will take over as the primary setter, and she’s a confident player that can run the offense very well (136 assists last season). Bailey will have two very good options to work with in senior captain Liv Carey and junior captain Ahunna James. Not only is James one of the most lethal hitters in the league (124 kills last season), she’s a very good defender (104 digs) and server (94.6 serve percentage) as well.

King Philip will lean heavily on a pair of seniors to lead the way defensively in the back row with Samantha Asprelli taking over as libero and classmates Sofia Reidel and Gianna DeLorenzo as defensive specialist options. The graduation of the team’s top hitter and blocker Nicole Coughlan leaves a big void at the net but junior Sami Shore gained some key experience last year as she prepares to give the Warriors a boost at the net. Junior Emily Sawyer is a new addition that has been promising in the preseason as a middle while senior Molly O’Brien has played well on the right side. Juniors Kiera Hagen, Missy Canning, and Olivia O’Neil as well as sophomores Kate O’Neil and Shea Mellman are all battling for time on the court.

“I am very pleased with how prepared the players have come back from last season, they have been working very hard at practice,” Geuss said. “I think we will be strong on both offense and defense. The players are ready to go and are looking forward to a more normal season!”




2021 Hockomock Volleyball Preview

Mansfield

2020 (Fall II) Record: 6-6
Coach: Tara DeGirolamo
For the second season in a row, Mansfield will have a new coach. The Hornets are turning to JV coach Tara DeGirolamo this fall and hoping that a mix of experienced returning players and some new faces can help them pose a challenge to defending league champs Franklin and King Philip.

Mansfield will run its offense through senior hitter Julia Kelly. A three-year-starter, Kelly is a versatile layer who rarely takes a rotation off and gives the Hornets a lift on both attack and defense. The middle should be a big threat as well with senior Nicole Santos and junior Alexandra Scibilia giving the Hornets good net presence. Senior Christina Lydon and junior Isabella Flint will be back at the setter position and senior Nora Buckley adds to the attack on the right side. Sophomores Elyssa Buchanan and Anna Goulet and junior Lily Verheggen will be new hitters to add depth for the Hornets. Defensively, senior Lauren Knight will lead the back row with senior Calysta Robyn and junior Jackie Zelic able to step in and provide defensive cover as well.

“The Hornet volleyball team has a great group of veteran and new players rounding out the roster this season,” said DeGirolamo.

Milford

2020 (Fall II) Record: 4-8
Coach: Tammy Webber
Volleyball is back in the fall and the Scarlet Hawks are hoping to make it back to the postseason with a strong core of players on the roster.

Despite only four seniors on the roster, head coach Tammy Webber has a lot of experience on the squad after a lot of the players experienced the varsity level for the first time during the Spring. One player who has been around for a long time is senior outside hitter Sarah Brogioli, an All-Hockomock selection from last season. Not only is she one of the top hitters in the league, but she is also a top defensive option for the Hawks. A big advantage for Brogioli and the rest of the Hawk hitters is having junior Emily Croteau back at setter. Croteau emerged as the team’s top setter during the Fall 2 season so she knows the pace of the varsity level and has some options to distribute too.

Beyond Brogioli, Croteau will have two experience middles to work with. Senior Lexi Starks is a good two-way player, providing the Hawks with some good swings on offense and key blocks defensively. She can also rotate all the way through the lineup, playing defensively in the back row. Junior middle Aliza Syed had a really strong sophomore season and can be really hard to stop when she gets into a groove; she’s also a strong server for the Hawks. Carley Haley, Jess Douglas, and Molly Hartman will anchor the back row for Milford.

“With the players we have returning, we are hoping to challenge the top teams in the league,” Webber said.

2021 Hockomock Volleyball Preview

North Attleboro

2020 (Fall II) Record: 2-9-1
Coach: Courtney Lambrese
It has been four seasons since North Attleboro ended Canton’s reign atop the Davenport division. Last year, the Rocketeers were rebuilding after graduating a big senior class and there were some growing pains but first-year coach Courtney Lambrese has eight seniors returning and will hope that experience can carry North to a much better 2021.

North will look to be aggressive on offense, utilizing the strength of senior outside hitters Amira Boory and Sara Carter. Senior Madelyn Corsetti will give the Rocketeers another look in the middle, adding some balance to the attack. All three move well at the net and should also be effective in the block. Senior Katherine McHoul will be the setter and is joined in the back row by senior defensive specialists Ava Dunlevy and Julianne Chen. It is a defensive unit that Lambrese praised for its ability to read the hitter and be aggressive getting to the ball.

“This will be my fourth season with the program, I am looking forward to taking on a new role as the varsity coach with the group of athletes we have,” said Lambrese. “Overall, I’m excited for the talent and drive this team expresses and to see their successes this season.”




2021 Hockomock Volleyball Preview

Oliver Ames

2020 (Fall II) Record: 8-4
Coach: Chelsea Cunningham
Head coach Chelsea Cunningham always has high expectations for her Tigers, and this year is no different. OA boasts some key returners on the court while Cunningham is excited to integrate some new faces into the lineup after the void left by graduation.

Anytime you can bring back your starting setter, you’re already at an advantage and the Tigers have one of the better ones in the Hock in senior captain Hadley Rhodes. She learned a lot last year and can spread the ball out to the weapons the Tigers have. Rhodes can also get involved in the attack as a solid option at opposite hitter. Another key piece to the puzzle will be junior Maddie Homer, who is a three-year starter and the team’s libero. Homer’s veteran presence will help solidify the back row for OA.

Senior captain Shannon Willard will be in the mix as a setter as well while junior Courtney Raymond is poised for a breakout season as a middle hitter after gaining valuable experience during the Fall 2 season. Sophomore Sarah Hilliard learned what the varsity level is all about and is back as one of the main hitting options for OA.

“Returning to more ‘normal’ practice in athletics is exciting enough as it is and being able to continue working with such wonderful student-athletes makes it even better,” Cunningham said. “This group is full of new faces and they all bring something unique to the team. This season, some of our main goals include playing “our” game, always being ready to compete, and making every moment count. I am privileged to coach another season for such an amazing, supportive, and competitive program and cannot wait to see what’s in store for us!”

Sharon

2020 (Fall II) Record: 9-3
Coach: Bill Schustek
Sharon is coming off one of the best seasons in program history. The Eagles won nine times last season, picked up a very rare win against perennial power Canton, and finished just a game behind the Bulldogs, narrowly missing out on the program’s first league title. Graduation will have taken its toll, with Sharon losing its top hitters from last year, but first-year coach Bill Schustek will be hoping the momentum can carry over into 2021.

Although the Eagles lost the top four players from last season, they do return eight players with varsity experience. On the front row, seniors Simone Dunbar and Erin Schustek will be the primary weapons. Dunbar will be a threat in the middle, along with classmate Savannah Gray, and Schustek will be on the outside with help from junior Tess Letendre. Senior Trinity Payne is another strong player at the net, either in the middle or on the right side. Emily Rubenstein is in her third year as the starting libero and is the leader of the back row.

“Without a dominant hitter, we will need to be a defensive and ball control focused team to have success this year,” said Schustek. “Our goal for the season is to qualify for the state tournament.”

Stoughton

2020 (Fall II) Record: 3-8-1
Coach: Felicia Baptista
With key players back in key positions, Stoughton is looking to bounce back after a down year during the abbreviated Fall II season. Kiara Scardina, Patrik Oliveira, and Vanessa Philemond give the Black Knights a solid core of veterans to build around for the 2021 season.

The Davenport is wide open this season with most teams graduating the majority of their lineup from a season ago. That means every team is in the mix and whoever is playing best down the stretch might be the one to take it. Scardina, a junior captain, got a lot of experience as a sophomore last year and will anchor the back row. Oliveira took over as setter last year and now has a good amount of playing time under his belt and will be ready to set the Stoughton offense in motion. Philemond will be one of the go-to options for Oliveira from her middle hitter spot, and she will also help set the tone defensively with her blocking.

Head coach Felicia Baptista, in her second overall season but first full Fall season, will be looking for some of the younger players to step up this year, including sophomore outside hitter Annalia Eschleman, sophomore outside hitter Maya Ashu, and freshman Angelina Barry, who will see some time as a defensive specialist.

“The fall 2021 season is one we are ready for,” Baptista said. “We are so happy that this season could go back to normal and start the fall season on time. Our program has worked hard all summer to make sure they were ready for August preseason this year. We have a large team this year and each one of them brings something different to the team which makes us that much stronger.”

2021 Hockomock Volleyball Preview Photo

Taunton

2020 (Fall II) Record: 3-9
Coach: Toby Chaperon
Taunton won two of its first three matches in Fall II but only won once for the remainder of the season, as the Tigers went through the teeth of a loaded Kelley-Rex division. Taunton will have nine seniors on this year’s roster, many of which saw significant playing time last year, so there is hope that the Tigers can build on the experience of 2020 and be more consistent this fall.

The middle should be a strength for Taunton this season. Senior Mikayla Cleary and junior Hayley Krockta give the Tigers good size and athleticism both while attacking and defending. Senior Angie Lynch is a supreme athlete and has shown flashes of being a major weapon on the outside as she learns the nuances of the game and that position. Senior Dani Lofgren will be the libero. A good passer, Lofgren is another player that is growing into her role. Senior Jess Foley will help out defensively on the back row. Junior Anna Abouzeid is the new setter for the Tigers. Taunton coach Toby Chaperon said Abouzeid is athletic and has a good volleyball IQ and they are working on refining her play in the setter position.