WRENTHAM, Mass. – The King Philip volleyball team is clicking on all cylinders at the right time.
The Warriors, the 2-seed out of the Kelley-Rex division, extended their unbeaten streak to seven straight matches with a convincing 3-0 (25-13, 25-18, 25-18) sweep of the Davenport 3-seed Oliver Ames in the first round of the Hockomock Cup. It’s the sixth straight sweep for King Philip.
King Philip volleyball
Buoyed by the strong serving from Emma Brooks in the first two sets, the powerful swings and blocks at the net from Nicole Coughlan from start to finish, the reliable defense of Lily Carlow, the consistent sets from Lauren Peterson and Stella Bailey, and the timely plays from every other player that stepped onto the court, King Philip was strong in all facets of the game in a match they trailed just once, albeit briefly in the second set.
“They’re working really well as a team right now,” said King Philip head coach Kristen Geuss. “I’ve got a lot of depth on the team so in practice, when we play 6-on-6, it’s very competitive. We’ve got two good groups and at any given time, I have someone I can throw out there and they’ll do a great job. I think that helps us the most. They’re talking a lot more, I think they are just more comfortable being out there. We have half the games so we’ve had half the time to get up to speed.”
It was Brooks’ serving that created the separation for the hosts in each of the first two sets. With the Warriors and Tigers locked in close competition, Brooks stepped to the service line and it resulted in an 8-0 run in both sets, turning a close set into a comfortable lead for the Warriors. She had just one service error in 19 attempts.
“She’s got a good floater,” Geuss said “When it’s moving around like that, it’s tough to [receive] and for them to watch it hit their arms. There’s a lot of movement and she puts a lot of speed on it.”
When Brooks reached the service line in the opening set, KP had just taken an 11-9 lead after a kill from sophomore middle Sami Shore. Brooks had four straight serves that never came back over, including an ace on the fourth attempt. When OA did get it back over, a nice hit from senior Camryn Buckley gave KP a 16-9 lead and forced the visitors into a timeout.
Coughlan smashed a kill out of the timeout to keep the run going and two more strong serves never made it back over; a net violation on KP finally ended the run but the hosts held a 19-9 lead. Carlow (ace) and James (block) put the finishing touches on the set to take a 1-0 lead with a 25-13 decision.
The second set played out similarly, OA getting early points on good serves from sophomore Maddie Homer, a kill from Jordan Bennett, and a nice tip on the second touch from junior setter Hadley Rhodes. KP kept pace with a nice kill off the block from James and another good hit from Coughlan that OA couldn’t get back over.
A serving mistake put Brooks on the line for King Philip with an 11-10 lead and by the time she rotated out, the Warriors turned that small advantage into a 19-10 lead. During that run, Brooks had a pair of aces, Coughlan had a kill and two block kills, and Bailey caught the OA defense with a pass over the net on the second touch.
Coughlan and James both had good swings down the stretch and the Warriors clinched a 2-0 lead on a kill from Buckle to take the second set, 25-18.
“They kind of figured out what we were doing so I give them credit, they came back at us but I think our serving really helped us,” Geuss said. “Our serving was really consistent. Emma had a great run of serves, and when our serves are on, we’re more confident. We’ve been playing well, hopefully we’re on a roll and we’ll continue to play well. The competition is only getting better and better so we just have to rise to the competition but the girls are having fun right now.“
A kill from Coughlan started the final set, Peterson and Carlow each had an ace early, and Shore fooled the defense with a perfectly weighted tip over the block. King Philip led from start to finish in the third set and got some big swings from James down the stretch to ice the win.
King Philip volleyball (10-1) is set to travel to top-seeded Canton, who won yet another Davenport division title this season, on Wednesday at 5:30. Oliver Ames will play in a consolation game on Wednesday.
Attleboro, 0 @ Franklin, 3 – Final – Franklin shined from the service line and went on to sweep the visiting Bombardiers, 3-0 (25-11, 25-11, 25-8). The Panthers recorded 23 aces as a team with junior Cailyn Mackintosh leading the way with eight aces. Meghan Linkkila and Taylor Lacerda each added six aces and Ally Bonnet-Eymard added three aces to go along with nine kills. Lindsey Tarantola (four kills) and Emma Chase (three kills) both played well at the net for the hosts.
North Attleboro, 0 @ Sharon, 3 – Final
King Philip, 3 @ Taunton, 0 – Final – King Philip kept its division title hopes alive with a 3-0 (25-16, 25-8, 25-10) win on the road at Taunton. The Warriors had a strong day serving as Lauren Peterson notched 16 service points and three aces and Nicole Coughlan added four aces and 15 service points, along with 13 kills. Ahunna James also played well at the net for KP with 11 kills while Emma Brooks added 11 digs, three aces, and two kills.
Boys Winter Track
Stoughton, 55 @ Canton, 45 – Final – For Canton, Jonathan Chery was a double-winner and also had a second place finish in a close loss to Stoughton. Chery won both the 100M (11.0) and the 200M (22.4) while taking second in the high jump (5’4″). Jack Hernon was the winner for the 1 Mile race (5:08.4) and crossed second in the 800M (2:13.5).
Girls Winter Track
Stoughton 38, Canton 62 – Final – Canton’s Maddie Rousseau and Kiara Cerruti were both double-winners for the Bulldogs in a win over visiting Stoughton. Rousseau crossed first in the 200M (26.3), won the long jump (15’8.25″), and took second in the high jump (4’8″) while Cerruti won both the 1 Mile (5:54) and the 800M (2:40.3). Kiley Hanlon won the 100M (12.8), took second in the 200M (26.3) and was third in the high jump, Leah Murphy also had a first place (high jump, 4’8″) and second place (100M hurdles, 17.9), and Corrine Campbell had a pair of second place finishes.
Milford, 34 @ Franklin, 27 – Final – Click here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game. 1st Quarter: (F) Mack Gulla 2-yard rush, XP no good; (M) Carter Scudo 8-yard rush, Nicholas Araujo XP good.
2nd Quarter: (F) Jared Arone 32-yard pass to Will Tracey, Parker Cheuvront XP good; (M) Brady Olson 1-yard rush, N. Araujo XP good; (M) Evan Hazard 35-yard fumble return, N. Araujo XP good; (F) J. Arone 3-yard pass to W. Tracey, P. Cheuvront XP good; (M) B. Olson 1-yard rush, XP no good.
3rd Quarter: No scoring.
4th Quarter: (M) Kevin O’Connor 60-yard interception return, N. Araujo XP good; (F) J. Arone 7-yard pass to Jake O’Brien, P. Cheuvront XP good.
King Philip, 0 @ Mansfield, 28 – Final – Click here for a Photo Gallery from this game. 1st Quarter: (M) Matt Boen 11-yard pass to Everett Knowlton, James Gilleran XP good.
2nd Quarter: (M) Cincere Gill 5-yard rush, 2-point conversion no good; (M) C. Gill 59-yard rush, C. Gill 2-point conversion; (M) C. Gill 10-yard pass to E. Knowlton, J. Gilleran XP good.
3rd Quarter: No scoring.
4th Quarter: No scoring.
Stoughton, 6 @ North Attleboro, 14 – Final – Click here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game. 1st Quarter: (NA) Tyler DeMattio 1-yard rush, T. DeMattio XP good.
2nd Quarter: (NA) T. DeMattio 5-yard rush, T. DeMattio XP good.
3rd Quarter: No scoring.
4th Quarter: (S) John Burke 43-yard pass to Christian Ais, XP no good.
Attleboro, 0 @ King Philip, 3 – Final – King Philip held off a late charge from Attleboro in the third set to complete a 3-0 (25-15, 25-12, 25-22) sweep of the Bombardiers. Nicole Coughlan led the offensive charge for the Warriors with 13 kills while Giovanna Fruci added five kills and Sami Shore chipped in with four kills. Lauren Peterson had 19 service points for KP with a pair of aces.
FRANKLIN, Mass. – For the past seven seasons, the road to the Kelley-Rex division title has gone through either Franklin or Wrentham, and sometimes both.
With an abbreviated season on tap this year, those head-to-head matchups take on extra importance as the Panthers and Warriors of King Philip stand as the favorites for the division crown again this year.
Franklin volleyball King Philip volleyball
Round one of the home-and-home series between the two went to Franklin, who came through in key moments down the stretch in all three sets to earn a 3-0 (25-19, 25-19, 25-22) sweep of the visiting Warriors.
“It comes down to trust, trusting yourself, trusting who you’re on the court with, and trusting all of your teammates,” said first-year Franklin head coach Samantha Elliott. “It’s not a one-person sport, a one-person game…I think they showed a lot of teamwork closing those sets out. We can’t just rely on one person, we have to play our game as a team.”
Franklin battled through adversity during all three sets, the match playing out closer than the 3-0 score would indicate. In both the first and second sets Franklin saw their sizable advantage shrink down in the closing moments of each set. And in the third, the Panthers played from behind for the most part.
Franklin volleyball King Philip volleyball
But when push came to shove, Franklin made the key plays in the key moments. The Panthers fended off KP in the first set by winning the final four points and then repeated that in the second set. After coming back in the third set, the game was tied until Franklin won three straight points to clinch the match.
“They were obviously the better team today,” said King Philip head coach Kristen Geuss, now in her sixth year at the helm of the Warriors. “We kind of hurt ourselves in some ways and we have to work on some things, having to have some practices with the whole team will definitely help. We haven’t had the whole team for one practice yet but that’s no excuse, we have to fix our mistakes.”
Franklin looked on its way to a comfortable win the first set, extending its lead to 19-12 behind a nice tip kill from freshman Taylor Lacerda (seven kills), a tip and block from junior Brigid Earley (six kills), and a nice line shot from senior Ally Bonnet-Eymard (12 kills). But KP had a renewed energy coming out of a timeout, sparked by a block from senior Paige Kannally, a perfectly placed pass over the net from senior Emma Brooks, a good serve from sophomore Ahunna James, and a kill from senior Giovanna Fruci off a nice set from Lauren Peterson that made it 21-18.
Franklin volleyball King Philip volleyball
James added an ace after a Franklin timeout that made it a two-point game but Lacerda landed a big kill, and three straight strong serves from Maia Pilof, including an ace, sealed the 25-19 win.
“King Philip has a great defense and it showed our girls how hard they need to work in order to rally and finish off games,” Elliott said. “And it was good to see them battle tonight and see that they can do it.
“It was a great test for our defense too, they kept us on our toes. We had to switch some things up because both [James] and [Coughlan] were fantastic, definitely players we had to watch out for and try to take away the lanes because they were able to take advantage with some good swings.”
Franklin carried that momentum into the second set as the Panthers won the first seven points, getting a kill from Lacerda, another from senior Emma Chase (four kills, three blocks) on a quick set in the middle, a perfectly weighted tip from Earley, and an ace from junior Cailyn Mackintosh (25 assists).
The Panthers kept that lead for the majority of the set, pushing the advantage to double digits, 16-6, on a kill from Lacerda, but similar to the first set the Warriors made a run to make things interesting. Kills from Fruci and Nicole Coughlan started the run and the Warriors used their momentum to force the Panthers into some errors.
Franklin volleyball King Philip volleyball
A nice swing from the back row from Lily Carloww got KP within three, 20-17, forcing a home timeout. Earley landed a nice kill from the right side and back-to-back KP hitting errors forced a Warrior timeout. KP couldn’t return the ball on back-to-back plays and Bonnet-Eymard finished the set off with an ace.
While Bonnet-Eymard led the Panthers in kills, Franklin’s ability to attack from each spot at the net during multiple rotations helped keep the Warrior defense off-balance. Mackintosh, who is in her second year starting at setter, did a nice job spreading the ball around to get swings from the outside, the middle, and the right side.
“We have 100% full faith in Cailyn to make the right decision,” Elliott said. “She’s been a rock on this team for the past two years, only a junior, she makes great decisions. She trusts everyone on the court too and I think that’s important when it comes to setting and spreading it around. She’s just a junior but it feels like she’s been playing forever.
“And everyone knows who Ally is, she’s such a weapon for us on offense so it’s really important for us to kind of spread things out and keep the defense off-balance, we don’t want the defense to get comfortable, start cheating that way. We have a lot of talent so it makes sense for us to spread it out.”
After falling behind in each of the first two sets, KP had a better start to the third game but Franklin kept pace with the Warriors. The game was tied six times and had seven lead changes in the first 20 points, the teams split 10-10 at that point.
Fruci registered a kill off the block, Coughlan slammed down a kill, and a Franklin net error gave the Warriors a 13-10 lead but Franklin responded with a 6-1 surge with Lacerda, Chase, and Bonnet-Eymard each registering a kill to put the hosts back ahead.
The teams went back-and-forth again, tied at 17, 19, 20, 21, and 22. A hitting error gave Franklin the lead, the Panthers earned a point after a nice swing from Bonnet-Eymard from the back row, and the Panthers clinched the win after another hitting error from the visitors.
“We have to work on our serve receive a little bit more and that just starts everything, it all goes from there,” Guess said. “I think we were a little bit not ready for today, we weren’t prepared for today. It’s a big game against [Franklin] so hopefully Saturday we’ll be ready and not make as many mistakes that we did today.”
Franklin volleyball (3-0) returns to action on Saturday when they hit the road to Wrentham to take on the Warriors in a rematch at 1:00.
Franklin, 3 @ Milford, 0 – Final – Franklin went on the road and earned another 3-0 (25-18, 25-10, 25-18) sweep over Milford, moving to 2-0 on the season. Ally Bonnet-Eymard paced the offense for the Panthers with 15 kills while freshman Taylor Lacerda added nine kills in the win. Junior Cailyn Mackintosh went an impressive 18-for-19 on the service line for Franklin.
King Philip, 3 @ Mansfield, 2 – Final – Click here for a Photo Gallery from this game. – King Philip rallied from a 2-0 deficit, winning three straight sets to earn a 3-2 (18-25, 19-25, 25-18, 25-18, 15-6) on the road. Giovanna Fruci stepped up big for the Warriors with 14 kills, sophomore Ahunna James added 13 kills and two aces, and Nicole Coughlan had 11 kills and two aces. Lauren Peterson dished out 31 assists and Emma Brooks anchored the defense with 26 digs. For Mansfield, Olivia McGrath (two aces) and Alina Nowakowski (three blocks) each put down 13 kills while Christina Lydon finished with 34 assists. Nicole Santos added four blocks, three kills, and two aces while Julia Kelly had three aces.
North Attleboro, 0 @ Oliver Ames, 3 – Final – Oliver Ames opened its home schedule in style, earning a 3-0 (25-18, 25-14, 25-18) sweep over visiting North Attleboro to improve to 2-0 on the season. Sophomore Maddie Homer shined at the service line with 27 service points and three aces, adding 10 digs defensively. Senior Caroline Flynn added 18 kills, senior Sarah Morley had 27 digs and four aces, and junior Hadley Rhodes chipped in 28 assists. For North Attleboro, Joanna Collins-Bilyeu had five kills and five digs while Ava Dunlevy added nine digs.
There is a new level of excitement in the gymnasium at Attleboro High as Mary Katherine Runey takes over as the varsity coach for the Bombardiers.
Attleboro has a mix of returners with experience and new faces to the varsity level, and Runey believes her squad has a tremendous amount of potential. It all starts with senior Ana Leonardo, a four-year starter at the setter position for the Bombardiers. Attleboro has plenty of depth at the setter position with freshman Natalie Brojek joining the mix right away. Leonardo and Brojek will have some experienced hitters to work with including senior opposite Krista Greening, senior middle Kosi Igbobi, and junior outside Delia Barthel. Junior captain Lilly Boedeker brings a lot of energy and experience to the defensive end as the libero, anchoring the Bombardiers’ back row.
“Our program is very excited to be back on the court,” Runey said. “We have a great mix of returning players as well as athletes new to the varsity level. I believe our team has a tremendous amount of potential, and I cannot wait to see what we accomplish this year. Ana and Natalie will certainly bring an intensity to our offense and Lilly matches that defensively.”
2019 Record: 22-3 (Davenport Division Champions) 2019 Finish: Division 2 State Champions Coach: Pat Cawley
The 2019 season was a banner year for the Bulldogs, claiming the Davenport division, the D2 Central sectional crown, and the program’s first ever D2 State Championship.
The returners have been eager to defend their championships, and after waiting just a little bit longer, the Bulldogs have their chance to at least battle for another Hock title. There’s an obvious void in the lineup with the graduation of HockomockSports.com Player of the Year Taylor Harris, one of the most feared hitters in the entire state. But longtime head coach Pat Cawley has an arsenal of weapons at her disposal that makes Canton the team to beat again this year. Senior middle Liz Bickett gets it done both offensively and defensively at the net and is a reliable option in the back row. Senior outside hitter Angie Elias is a reliable option at the net as well as senior middle Shannon Malloy. Senior Jackie Morrissey stepped into the setter role last year and really improved as the season went on while classmate Olivia Chinsen, a captain, is another option at setter after returning from injury. Seniors Nikki Desjardins (libero) and Stephanie Trendell will anchor the Bulldogs’ defense in the back row.
“We are excited and grateful to be back on the court,” Cawley said. “Although we have big shoes to fill at the outside hitter positions, we return several experienced players at middle blocker, setter, and defense. Senior captain Olivia Chinsen and junior Sydney Gallery are back from season-ending injuries and will help make us a stronger team. We are concentrating on building better chemistry and communication, always striving to be the best we can be!”
2019 Record: 11-10 2019 Finish: Reached D2 Central First Round Coach: Vicki Santana
In head coach Vicki Santana’s first year in charge, the Warriors won 11 games and reached the postseason and Foxboro will hope to build on that momentum this season with 10 seniors on the roster.
Defensively, the Warriors should be tough. Kelsey Treweek returns at libero along with defensive specialists Pam Nelson and Grace Fortune. Nelson and Treweek were among the league leaders in digs in the 2019 season. Leading hitter Grace Boudreau graduated, but Santana is counting on several players to provide points with versatile hitters Emma Keefe and Shannon McDonald in the starting lineup. Underclassmen Sami Sloan and Mallorie Meyer will add depth at the net and have the potential to provide an instant impact
“Tryouts and practice were a little bit of a challenge to make sure we are following the Covid guidelines while still having fun and being competitive,” Santana said. “The girls have been so great and are staying positive through all of this. They are taking all of the guidelines seriously because they are so happy to be back in the gym!”
Franklin is coming off back-to-back Kelley-Rex division titles and is in search of their third straight this season, but will be doing so under new guidance. Sam Elliott takes over as head coach of the Panthers after Kelsey Weymouth moved on to the collegiate level after two successful years at the helm.
Elliott is familiar with the program after serving as an assistant last season and she knows she has the pieces to make a push to hang another division title banner in this abbreviated season. Senior captain Ally Bonnet-Eymard enters her fourth year with the team and is among the most dangerous hitters in the league (205 kills) from the left side. She’ll be flanked by senior Emma Chase, who is back for her second straight year starting at middle and gives Franklin a weapon both offensively and defensively. Junior Cailyn Mackintosh really impressed in her first season last year and will be the starting setter while Jill Benoit returns as the starting libero. Elliott is also looking for some younger faces to push for time including sophomore Meghan Linkkila and freshmen Taylor Lacerda and Grace Lacerda.
“We are excited to have the opportunity to play this year, with six seniors it is important that they were able to have their final season,” Elliott said. “As a program we are excited to compete and improve, our group is a mix of returners and new players so it will be fun watching them all come together.”
There will be a lot of familiar faces on the court this season for King Philip, who is looking to ride a strong senior class and an experienced group of players to a second straight Kelley-Rex crown.
Head coach Kristen Guess has weapons all over the court, starting with her three senior captains. Middle Nicole Coughlan has been a force at the net for the past two years and will be one of the toughest players to stop this year. Fellow captains Emma Brooks and Lily Carlow, who both have a lot of experience at the varsity level will anchor the Warriors’ defense from the back row. Senior Giovanna Fruci will be one of KP’s top options at the net as well as sophomore Ahunna James, who had some impressive swings in limited action last year. Guess is looking for seniors Paige Kannally and Camryn Buckley to step up and help with blocking at the net while senior Lauren Peterson will set the entire team in motion from the setter position. Junior Stella Bailey and sophomore Sami Shore have played well in preseason and should be in the mix as well.
“This the most experienced team I have coached, we have depth on the team with strong newcomers,” Guess said.
We are excited to have a season and are ready to play.”
2019 Record: 8-11 2019 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Mark Ledwich
Longtime head coach Melissa Heeden stepped down over the offseason so the Hornets enter this season under the guidance of their new head coach Mark Ledwich. Ledwich is familiar with volleyball in the area as the director of the sport at Mass Premier Courts and brings experience from the collegiate level to the job.
Ledwich has an experienced group to work with during his first year with six players back from last year’s team, most of which saw either starting or at least valuable minutes at the varsity level. The Hornets will have a variety of weapons on the offensive end with its top four attackers back from last year. Junior Julia Kelly (124 kills) led the squad in kills as a sophomore and will be one of the most dangerous hitters in the league this year while Alina Nowakowski, Olivia McGrath, and Kacey Veiking all provide legitimate threats at the net. All four will start the Hornet defense will their blocking with Veiking (35 blocks) among the top returners in that category.
“Our focus this season is on error management and when to stretch a point,” Ledwich said. “We have a lot of heavy hands this year, so knowing when to utilize them in each situation has been a huge focus of the pre-season. With the consistent height we have available in the front row this season we are spending a lot of time discussing approach paths of opposing attackers and how we should funnel each attack to best utilize our attacking strengths.”
2019 Record: 10-10 2019 Finish: Reached D2 Central First Round Coach: Tammy Webber
The Hawks have reached the postseason in each of the past two seasons, and while there isn’t a state tournament this year, Milford is aiming to attain the success that comes with a playoff berth.
Making the switch to the Kelley-Rex will be challenging, but one the Hawks are ready for. With a strong mix of returning players with varsity experience and some new players looking to make a splash, Milford could surprise some teams along the way. Elise Fauerbach returns for her senior season after missing significant time last year due to an injury. Fauerbach will patrol the right side, giving the Hawks a good option defensively with her size, and has a high volleyball IQ. Milford has two key defensive players back with senior Eva Parson (106 digs), who took on the role of libero last season but is in the mix to step into the full rotation, even getting swings as an outside hitter. Junior Sarah Brogioli can play just about anywhere on the court, a reliable option in the back row (106 digs) while also capable of stepping up to the net and connecting on some big swings (96 kills). Lexi Stark is an athletic option at middle that can move side-to-side to help with blocking in all three spots at the net. Sophomore Emily Crouteau is penciled into the setter role to start the year while Aliza Syed will be an option at the net for the Hawks.
2019 Record: 13-6 2019 Finish: Reached D1 South First Round Coach: Kim Marshall
North Attleboro has been one of the biggest challengers to Canton’s reign atop the Davenport division in recent years, and the Rocketeers are going to be right back in the mix again during this Fall 2 season.
Head coach Kim Marshall has four returning seniors that all have valuable experience at the varsity level and then a strong junior class with consists of eight players ready to make a splash at the varsity level. Senior Joanna Collins-Bilyeu is one of the most experienced players in the league and will be a cornerstone at the net for the Rocketeers after putting down 67 kills a year ago. She will be joined by classmates Annie Grunewald and Jasmine Anderson along the net to give North a formidable attacking trio. Belle Clarkin will anchor the back row that features some new faces so the Rocketeers will be learning as the season goes on. Junior Katherine McHoul is stepping in to take over at the setter position to run the offense.
“I am really excited for this season to start, I just wish it wasn’t so short,” said Marshall. “I am very fortunate, again, to get a wonderful group of student-athletes who continually work so hard, support each other and are so much fun to be around.”
2019 Record: 18-5 2019 Finish: Reached D1 South Final Coach: Chelsea Cunningham
Oliver Ames made a run to the Div. 1 South final in 2019 and pushed perennial power Barnstable to a decisive fifth set and, after moving to the Davenport division this season, the Tigers have the potential to give defending state champ Canton a serious challenge for the league title.
Senior Caroline Flynn will be one of the team’s primary attackers on the outside and will get help from classmate Jordan Bennett, who is recovering from an injury but can play multiple positions along the front line. Senior Tori Harney is back after missing all of last season with an injury and will compete for a starting role as a middle hitter. Senior Sarah Morley will transition from defensive specialist to libero this year with senior Allie Zwerle providing leadership in the DS role. Junior Hadley Rhodes will step in as the setter this season, replacing the program’s all-time leader in assists, Allie Kemp, while sophomore Maddie Homer will add athleticism on the back row.
“This team has so much potential to build off of the best season this program has had to date- and we have work to do,” said OA coach Chelsea Cunningham. “With this season being so short, we are hoping to make every moment count in the gym. From bonding with everyone on the team, to mixing up the lineups, and everyone being ready to compete- it’s exciting to FINALLY play after the long wait.”
2019 Record: 6-13 2019 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Andrea Lovett
The foundation of the Sharon volleyball this season will be its senior class, a strong group of experienced players hungry to make some noise in the Davenport division this season.
The Eagles have four returning seniors in Brynne Aidlin-Perlman, Yvette Nau, Leah Fandel, and Sarah Fandel; all four can play in a variety of roles for Sharon. Aidlin-Perlman is a leader both on and off the court and provides the Eagles with solid defense plus a strong swing from the outside hitter position. Nau is back for another year as the team’s setter and will quarterback the offense, having all three of her classmates as good options at the net. Sara Fandel put a lot of work in during the offseason and has improved greatly at the net and provides the Eagles with a reliable defensive option in the back row while Leah Fandel is a two-way threat at the net from the middle position.
“We have four returning seniors that provide a very solid base for a talented team,” said Sharon head coach Andrea Lovett. “The team is rounded out with talented juniors who will be taking us into next year. Sharon expects to be a threat in our “Hock Bubble” this season.”
2019 Record: 2-14 2019 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Felicia Baptista
The Black Knights are looking to bounce back in a big way during the Fall 2 season. Felicia Baptista is moving up from subvarsity to take over the varsity squad.
Baptista will have a lot of new faces that are new to the varsity level so she plans to rely heavily on her two returners, especially in the early going. That means senior Shanice Landrum and senior Camille Firmin will be key leaders both on and off the court this year as Stoughton looks to battle for the Davenport division crown. Landrum led the team in kills last season with 86 and was one of the best blockers in the Hockomock League with 63. Firmin should see an expanded role at the net as the Knights look to integrate new faces into its lineup under Baptista.
“Even though it is a big building season for us, our team dynamic seems like we have been playing together for years,” Baptista said. “Every day I see big improvements with communication on the court and our defense is looking solid. This year is unique for us because we do have a few boys on our roster and, not only do they bring talent, but they add a light and fun atmosphere to the gym.”
With a large group of experienced players returning this season, the Tigers are eager to put last season behind them and make a splash this year.
Taunton has 10 seniors in total, with nine of them returning players from last season along with one returning junior, so experience will be a strength for this year’s squad. The Tigers will be looking to turn their experience at the varsity level into success on the court in the abbreviated Fall 2 season. Senior captain Jaelyn Fernandez will put the offense into motion from the setter spot and will have some weapons to work with along the net. The Tigers have all three of their top attackers back from a year ago, including senior captain and outside hitter Ella Dunderdale, who led the Tigers in kills last season with 89 kills. Senior Sonya Fernandez (83 kills) and junior Mikayla Cleary (63 kills) will also give the Tigers options from the middle and opposite spots. Seniors Makena Travers, Kailara Andrade, and Fabiana Pereira will anchor the back row for the Tigers. With experience in multiple spots, depth will be key for Taunton this year.
“We are just looking forward to the competition but as we know in the Kelley-Rex you have to be focused and be ready to bring it every night as every team is tough,” said Taunton head coach Toby Chaperon. “We are just hoping we can rise to the challenge each and every match and hope that our execution is sharp.”
WELLESLEY, Mass. – After falling behind by a set in Saturday morning’s D1 Central/East final at Wellesley High, King Philip turned the tables on No. 4 seed Boston Latin and won two sets in a row. The Warriors were returning every shot and asserting themselves in the middle, playing to their strengths, but then the match turned again.
KP couldn’t close out the Wolfpack. Boston Latin dominated the fourth set, winning 25-15, and then kept that momentum going into the decisive fifth set as well, winning 15-8 to seal the comeback and the title. This was the second Central final for KP in the past three years and the second time that the Warriors were denied a first-ever sectional title.
“I think definitely their hitters were starting to come on stronger,” said KP coach Kristen Geuss about the Boston Latin comeback. “We had a hard time blocking (Breann Cleary) and blocking (Ashley Rooney). We worked on it in practice, but I just think we weren’t strong enough to keep the ball in. We were getting there, we were getting touches on it, but just hitting it out.”
Geuss added, “I think we played great. They played their hearts out. They worked very, very hard and it was good volleyball.”
The two teams spent most of the first set feeling each other out, trying to find the weak spots to attack. Neither team led by more than three points and the set was tied at 22-22 after an ace by KP libero Emma Brooks. Latin won the final three points of the set, two of them on kills by Cleary.
Boston Latin jumped out to a 4-3 lead early in the second after a Cleary block, but then KP rattled off eight straight points on the serve of Lauren Peterson (four aces) to grab control of the set. The Warriors started spreading the ball around with Nicole Coughlan (15 kills, two blocks) and Kristen Masse (five kills, six digs) each getting hits during that run.
After a hit by Ali McNamara put KP up 18-10, but Latin showed its resiliency by scoring five straight points and getting back within three. Needing a response, Peterson set middle hitter Catherine Waldeck (14 kills, four blocks) and she blasted a hit to regain a four-point lead. Brooks followed with an ace and KP was back in charge.
“They’re huge,” Geuss said about Coughlan and Waldeck. “They generate our offense. They’re our leading point scorers all year long, that’s the way we built our offense. The two outside hitters, Kristen and Ali, if Nicole and Catherine are off they step up to the plate. We had a couple weapons we could use.”
KP won the second set 25-20 to level the match. In the third, the Warriors put themselves in position to bring home the Central title.
Coughlan buried a pair of kills to make it 6-4 early on and then added another to regain the lead at 10-9. Waldeck and Coughlan both had blocks to make it 16-13 and the KP defense continued to excel with Peterson and fellow setter Kiley Sullivan and Lily Carlow keeping everything up and Brooks dominating from the back line.
“She’s all over the place. She throws her body to the ground day-in, day-out at practice. She goes for every single ball,” said Geuss about Brooks. “Lily Carlow as well, they’re like Energizer bunnies, they’re non-stop. They set up our offense. They’re there to pick up every single ball.”
Latin got back within two at 19-17, but a couple of errors and then a precise tip by Waldeck and an ace from Coughlan put KP on the brink of a 2-1 lead. After a long rally, Waldeck blocked another hit and then she closed out the set with a kill.
The Warriors were rolling and the excitement was palpable from the home bench, but then things flipped around in the fourth. Latin jumped out to a 12-5 lead with KP making uncharacteristic mistakes and its serve-receive game struggling for the first time in the match. The Wolfpack was suddenly getting every bounce, as kills were slamming off blockers and serves were hitting the net and landing for points.
KP just never really got going in the fourth, as Latin led throughout. The lead was pushed to 20-12 on a Cleary kill off the block, 21-13 off another hit that went off a KP hand, and then once more off the block to finish the set.
“I felt our passes were too close to the net and our setters were too close to the net and we had a lot of net calls, which we never get those calls like that,” said Geuss.
In the semifinal against Quincy, KP faced similar circumstances and was able to win the fifth set and the match. On Saturday, the energy that Latin built up in the fourth was too much to overcome.
The Wolfpack won five of the first six points in the fifth and never relinquished control. Waldeck had a tip drop in for a point to make it 7-3 and Carlow snuck a shot down the line to get within three, but another run made it 10-5.
Trading points was not going to be enough for the Warriors, who got kills from Waldeck and McNamara, but just never got close enough to put real pressure on Boston Latin. An ace finished off the win for the Wolfpack and sent KP home with its second runner-up trophy in three seasons.
Trailing 13-12 in the final set, the Warriors won three straight points when senior Kiley Sullivan dumped a second ball to an open space in the Quincy back row, junior Lily Carlow dropped in an ace into the center of the court, and senior Kristen Masse drilled a line shot for a kill that clinched a 3-2 (21-25, 25-14, 25-14, 18-25, 15-13) win for #2 King Philip over #3 Quincy.
“They’ve worked so hard all season, day in and day out,” said King Philip head coach Kristen Geuss. “We’ve had some close games along the way. This game could have gone either way, it really could have. I think that game three gave us a lot of confidence. I know we lost game four but they knew they could it. And they fight to the end, and that’s impressive. Regardless of the outcome tonight, I couldn’t ask for anything more, they’ve been working hard.”
The fifth set was a rollercoaster symbolic of how the entire match went. Quincy jumped ahead with a quick 4-1 lead but the Warriors battled back with a 7-3 run that included a big block from Catherine Waldeck (21 kills, five blocks), aces from Emma Brooks (13 digs, three kills) and Masse (eight kills, four digs), and a double block from Nicole Coughlan (11 kills, three aces, two blocks) and Giovanna Fruci.
After switching sides, the Warriors twice took multi-point leads but Quincy wouldn’t go away. Waldeck had a big block and a kill to take an 11-8 lead but back-to-back points from the President made it a one-point game again.
Waldeck rose up and slammed a free ball down after a good defensive play from the Presidents for a 12-10 advantage but Quincy grabbed momentum back after a service error and a kill, tying it at 12-12.
After a timeout from Geuss, Quincy got a kind roll on a swing that just made it over the net and fell to the floor for a 13-12 lead, forcing Geuss into another timeout.
“I just told them, ‘we can do this.’” Geuss said of the message in the timeout. “We talked about how no ball touches the floor, we had been there before and we can do it again. We struggled with our serves at times so we needed to get our serves over and in. And we did it.”
An errant pass on a serve receive pulled Sullivan out of position but she alertly pushed the second touch deep into Quincy’s side, and with the defense pulled in, the ball fell to the floor to make it 13-13.
Carlow followed up but delivering a dipping ace right over the net and between the front and back rows to put KP on the verge of the win. After handling a Quincy swing, Sullivan set Masse up and she placed a perfect shot down the line for the win.
“We’re deep,” Geuss said of having so many players make plays down the stretch. “We work on these situations in practice and we talk about how not everything needs to be a kill. You look for the open spots, play smart. Sometimes it’s better to play smarter than to play harder.”
The opening set went back-and-forth with each team trying to feel the other out. The teams were tied six times over the first 22 points. King Philip had its largest lead behind a block from Waldeck, and then a double block from Waldeck and Ali McNamara to go up 17-12.
But Quincy fed off the energy of home court advantage and rallied with a 7-2 to knot the game at 19-19. KP won the next two points on back-to-back kills from Sullivan and Masse but Quincy won the final six points to secure a 25-21 win and a 1-0 advantage.
King Philip grabbed a small cushion early and held onto that for the majority of the match. A quick 5-2 burst midway through the set that featured a pair of kills from Waldeck gave King Philip a 15-10 advantage, and the Warriors never looked back from there. KP finished with a 10-4 run with Coughlan getting a pair of kills and using a strong serve late that helped clinch the win.
“Our defense, they’ve played well all year long,” Geuss said. “They are the start of everything. They don’t get the glamour but they set everything up for us.”
The momentum carried over for the Warriors, and they put on a stellar performance in the third game to take a lead in the match.
KP raced out a 15-5 lead with Waldeck, Coughlan, Carlow, Brooks (back row), and McNamara all recording kills early in the set, and Lauren Peterson chipping in with an ace and a handful of strong sets.
Quincy picked up a little steam late in the set but King Philip finished it off behind a tip kill from Waldeck, a block kill from Coughlan, and an ace from Brooks for the Warriors’ second straight 25-14 win.
“My two middles have been incredible the whole year,” Geuss said of Waldeck and Coughlan. “They are our go-to players. We have some strong outsides but our middles have gotten it done all year so whenever we can, we go to our middles.”
The fourth set resembled the first, with it being close throughout before Quincy pulled away. Besides an early lead, KP’s only advantage came at 14-3 after a terrific save on a loose ball from Sullivan. But Quincy took the lead with a 6-2 run and never looked back, eventually winning 25-18.
King Philip volleyball (18-4) is back in the D1 Central/East Sectional Final and will take on #4 Boston Latin (14-6) on Saturday at Wellesley High with the start time still to be determined.
With the win, Franklin moves into a first-place tie atop the division with the Warriors with four league games left apiece
“The girls are much more confident compared to the beginning of the year,” said Franklin head coach Kelsey Weymouth. “They were playing together for the first time then and now they’ve gotten a lot more comfortable in their roles. They know who does what, how girls like their sets, they are learning to do their jobs. I think they were all trying to do too much when the season started.”
The Panthers used a balanced attack offensively and a strong net presence defensively to earn the win.
“Sometimes you’ll have a player or two that’s on, or a player or two that’s having an off night,” Weymouth said. “But tonight everyone was playing well, it was great to see.”
Franklin got off to a strong start, building a 10-7 lead. The Panthers went on an 8-2 run that featured a big kill from Lyons through a block. KP got within four points but Franklin hit back with four straight, punctuated by a kill from Bonnet-Eymard.
The teams traded points before a pair of KP errors set the Panthers’ up for set point. Off a set from sophomore Cailyn Mackintosh (26 assists, 12 digs, three aces), Chase hit around a block in the middle and hit the line for a kill to secure the 1-0 advantage.
It was all Franklin in the second set. The Panthers jumped out to a 5-1 lead and kept that advantage over the first 15 points. The separation came in the form of an 11-3 run that featured an ace from Bonnet-Eymard, a kill from Sarah Jackson, and a kill from Lyons off a KP block.
Holding a 19-8 lead, the Panthers finished the set behind another two kills from Bonnet-Eymard, including one that hit the 10-foot line on a cross court shot. In the set, KP only mustered five earned points.
“We didn’t play our game,” said KP head coach Kristen Geuss. “The better team won tonight. Our energy was definitely better in game three. We tend to start off slow, and unfortunately, we didn’t pick it up quickly enough.
“We couldn’t get more than a few points in a row. We’d win a point but then we ‘d have an unforced error or a serving error. You can’t win playing that kind of volleyball.”
But the Warriors were a completely different team with their backs against the wall in the third set. Senior Catherine Waldeck (15 kills, four blocks) gave the visitors an early spark, scoring four of KP’s first five points. Two came in the form of blocks while two were kills.
It was a lead that KP never surrendered, though the Panthers made a strong push to keep it close. Junior Nicole Coughlan (11 kills) had back-to-back big swings and junior Giovanna Fruci came up with a big block to give KP an 8-4 edge early.
An ace from Kristen Masse gave the Warriors a 13-7 advantage, and freshman Ahunna James and Waldeck had consecutive tip kills that forced the hosts into a timeout at 15-9.
Behind some strong serves from Jackson, the Panthers kept pace with KP, even getting within three on a kill from Mikayla Raffin. But the Warriors never let the lead slip, getting a key ace down Lauren Peterson.
Fruci, Coughlan, and Waldeck each recorded a kill to earn three of the final four points for KP, with the latter getting the set sealing shot to keep the Warriors alive in the match.
Both sides started strong in the fourth set with the teams tied at 6-6 and again at 8-8. But from there, the Panthers were able to slowly pull away to secure the win.
The big difference came in the form of a quick 6-0 burst that put the Panthers up 14-8. Bonnet-Eymard had a kill and an ace, Jackson added a block, and KP had three hitting errors in the sequence.
“I think the girls were a little too comfortable in the third set but they did a great job of coming back in the fourth,” Weymouth said. “We changed a couple of things up but we went back to what they are confident in and were able to pull away.”
KP got within four points with the help of a kill from James and a net violation, but Franklin’s Sarah Jackson landed a kill on the next play and the Panthers never looked back. Bridget Jackson had a solo block and combined with Bonnet-Eymard for another one down the stretch to help finish the match.
Franklin used a double block on KP’s middle attacks throughout the match, with Jackson and Bonnet-Eymard’s last block highlight the success it had.
“We brought [the double block] anytime they went to the middle,” Weymouth said. “They got their share of hits but we were able to get some good blocks. We practiced it yesterday, we wanted to try and get four hands on the hit. Our blocking was on point tonight. The middles did a good job setting the block, and the defense around it did great too.”
Franklin volleyball (10-2 Hockomock, 11-2 overall) is back in action on Thursday with a trip to Franklin. King Philip (10-2, 12-3) will look to bounce back at home against Taunton on the same day.
Oliver Ames, 2 @ Canton, 1 – Final – Oliver Ames scored a pair of goals in the final six minutes of play to earn a dramatic victory on the road. Seniors Leah Johnson and Erin Holmberg each scored for the Tigers, who qualified for the state tournament with the win. Holmberg also had an assist in the win.
Milford @ Attleboro, 3:45
Canton, 6 @ Oliver Ames, 1 – Final – Meg Aldrich and Kaitlyn Goyetch each scored a pair of goals to lead Canton to a win on the road at OA. Maria Femia and Meghan LaBelle also scored for the Bulldogs, who led 3-0 at halftime.
Foxboro, 1 @ King Philip, 1 – Final – Foxboro opened the scoring less than five minutes into the game but King Philip scored the equalizer late in the first half to help the Warriors earn a draw. Freshman Mya Waryas scored to put the visitors ahead just four minutes into the game while KP’s Olivia Kulesza scored off a rebound with 8:34 left in the first half to make it 1-1. KP goalie Makenzie Manning made nine saves in the tie.
Sharon, 0 @ Franklin, 9 – Final – Franklin built a five-goal lead by halftime and never looked back to pick up a league win over visiting Sharon. Olivia Rondeau and Stephanie Bell each scored a pair of goals while Jill Fenerty netted her first career goal in the win.
North Attleboro, 1 @ Mansfield, 2 – Final
Stoughton @ Taunton – Postponed to Friday, Oct. 11 at 3:45.
Milford @ Attleboro, 5:45
Canton, 3 @ Oliver Ames, 0 – Final – It was a strong team effort for the Bulldogs, posting a 3-0 (25-16, 25-12, 25-18) win on the road over Oliver Ames. Taylor Harris did it all for Canton with 15 kills, 16 digs, and two aces, Liz Bickett added six kills, five blocks, and an ace, and Jackie Morrissey finished with 27 assists, 13 digs, and a pair of aces. Angie Elias chipped in with five kills and three blocks while Claire Quinn added seven kills, seven digs, and two aces. OA’s Allie Kemp had 20 assists while seniors Jordyn Vella and Ryley McNeeley each had seven kills. Jordan Bennett added five kills and three aces for OA while sophomore Hadley Rhodes chipped in with six kills.
Foxboro, 0 @ King Philip, 3 – Final – King Philip defended home court, winning the battle of Warriors with a 3-0 (25-7, 25-21, 25-16) win. Catherine Waldeck and Nicole Coughlan (two aces) continued to shine at the net for KP, hammering down 16 kills apiece. Kristen Masses added four kills and two aces, and Lauren Peterson chipped in with three aces in the win. Foxboro’s Kelsey Treweek notched 13 digs and a pair of aces, Grace Boudreau landed six kills and added a block, and Grace Fortune finished with six serving points.
Sharon, 1 @ Franklin, 3 – Final
North Attleboro, 0 @ Mansfield, 3 – Final – Click here for a photo gallery from this game – Mansfield trailed in both the second and third sets but rallied in both to complete a 3-0 (25-17, 27-25, 25-22) sweep. The Hornets trailed 2-9 in the second set before prevailing in a close set. Kacey Veiking had a strong showing at the net with six kills and five blocks. Steph Walker dished out 25 assists for Mansfield while Ashley Santos added nine service points and three kills.
Stoughton, 3 @ Taunton, 1 – Final
Franklin, 169 @ Taunton, 184 – Final – Quinten Faro led the way for the Panthers, shooting a low-round of 40 to earn match medalist honors in the win.
Stoughton @ Attleboro – Postponed to a date and time to be announced.
Sharon @ Canton – Postponed to Tuesday, Oct. 15 at 3:30.
Foxboro @ Milford – Postponed to Wednesday, Oct. 16 at 3:45.
North Attleboro @ Mansfield – Postponed to Monday, Oct. 14 at 3:30.