Franklin Falls To Barnstable In D1 State Semifinal

Franklin volleyball
Franklin’s Lily Galluccio (7) and Maggie Doyle go up for a block against Barnstable’s Riley James. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
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FRANKLIN, Mass. – In a battle of two of the top teams in the state of Massachusetts, the Franklin volleyball team gave everything the Barnstable Raiders could handle.

The Panthers, who secured the Central-West sectional title in a dramatic five-set win, push the Raiders, champions of the South sectional, to the limit. But ultimately, Barnstable made one final run to come away with a 3-0 (25-17, 25-22, 25-23) win and a return trip to the D1 State Final.

“I couldn’t really ask for more,” said first-year Franklin head coach Kelsey Weymouth. “They knew they’d have to be matched up with [Barnstable] eventually so why not the state semifinals? We prepared them the best we could for them, and for [Barnstable outside hitter] Riley James. We knew blocking was going to be key today, and we had some really good moments for our blocks, we just needed a little bit more. But honestly, what the girls did, how hard they worked, I couldn’t ask for anything more.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

The Raiders are a perennial power in the state, having won the D1 State title 13 times since 2000 and entered Tuesday night’s match without having lost a single set this year. While that didn’t change, Franklin gave Barnstable its toughest test of the season and scored more points (62) against the Raiders than any other team has in 2018.

“They are a good team,” said Barnstable head coach Tom Turco of the Panthers. “They have quick, fast athletes and they have nine seniors. We haven’t been pressed like that [this season]. We’ve played a lot of really good teams and they are one of them.”

Barnstable skated to a win in the South Sectional Final, beating New Bedford 25-3, 25-8, 25-16. It didn’t take long to see that Franklin was going to be a much bigger challenge.

Each time the Raiders tried to pull away in the first set, Franklin stuck around. Kills from Ellie Wisniewski, Allyson Bonnet-Eymard, and Hailey Sanders each answered a point from Barnstable to keep the deficit at three. Barnstable built a six point lead at 16-10, but a 4-1 run from the Panthers again made the lead three points.

But Barnstable senior Riley James, the state’s all-time leader in kills, showed off her skill. She had four kills (in the final eight points, giving the Raiders a 1-0 lead. James finished with a season-high 24 kills in the match.

Franklin continued to battle in the second set, with six ties over the first 16 points, including at 8-8. Barnstable attempted to pull away at 12-9 but Franklin responded with a 4-1 run to knot the score at 13, getting a big kill from Maggie Doyle.

The Panthers got a nice kill from Wisniewski from the back row after a nice dig from Riley Marino to pull within one at 18-17 but were forced to call timeout when the Raiders won the next point. Barnstable went up 22-19 on a kill from Ingrid Murphy (16 kills) but Sanders landed a kill from the middle to get within two. After Barnstable went back up by three, the Panthers forced a hitting error to make it a two pint game again.

But once again, James was in the front row when the Raiders needed her most and she had two kills over the final three points to put Barnstable up 2-0.

“We wanted to have four hands on [James] at all times,” Weymouth said, We wanted two girls to block her wherever she went. We were right there…right there. But it is what it is, the girls worked so hard, they did great.

Barnstable went up 3-0 early in the third set but Franklin refused to fold. Franklin won seven of the next eight points to seize a 7-4 lead, highlighted by kills from Doyle, Sanders and Bonnet-Eymard — all on assists from senior Lauren McGrath.

Franklin kept its lead, and stretched it to 14-10 on a big block from senior Lily Galluccio to force Turco to take a timeout. The Panthers let Barnstable back in the game with three errors over the next four points to knot the score.

But Bonnet-Eymard sandwiched a pair of kills around a nice kill from McGrath to give Franklin a 19-16 lead, and again forcing a timeout from the Raiders.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

The Panthers led 22-19 after a kill from Doyle, and 23-21 after a service error from the Raiders, and were on the verge of giving Barnstable its first set loss of the season. Franklin’s Doyle and Sanders found a lot of success attacking from the middle spot.

“We knew coming that [Barnstable] wasn’t very effective from the middle,” Weymouth said. “Our middles were super effective I thought. You can only run your offense so well if your serve receive is in system. There were times when we wanted to run the middle but the serve receive was a little off and we were forced to go outside. But our middles were huge, they were unstoppable when they were swinging. I’m so proud of these girls for making it this far.”

A kill from Murphy and a Franklin hitting error tied the game, and Murphy used a perfectly place push just over the net for the final point and the win.

Franklin volleyball finishes the season at 20-1.

Franklin Goes Five Sets to Win First-Ever Sectional Title

Franklin volleyball
Libero Riley Marino (5) jumps for joy after a Franklin point during the D1 Central/West final at Wellesley High. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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WELLESLEY, Mass. – During a dominant regular season, Franklin was not pushed to five sets even once. In fact, the Panthers had only dropped three sets overall heading into the state tournament.

In three postseason games, Franklin has gone to five sets all three times and has won all three of them.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

That pattern held again in the Div. 1 Central/West final on Saturday evening at Wellesley High. Franklin cruised through the first two sets, demonstrating why the Panthers are still unbeaten, but then Shrewsbury rallied to win two straight and force a decisive final set. Franklin jumped out early to win the fifth set 15-5 and secure the program’s first-ever sectional title.

“You just have to work harder than the girls on the other side of the net, just want it, and I think it showed in the fifth set that they wanted it,” said first-year Franklin coach Kelsey Weymouth. “I’m beyond proud.”

Junior setter Lauren McGrath said, “We always have the energy but sometimes we doubt ourselves and we have to pick ourselves back up. We really proved that tonight in the fifth set; we came out strong.”

When asked how she felt to be the first Franklin team to win a sectional title, McGrath replied, “Amazing, I can’t even think right now. I’m blown away.”

Franklin was on a roll at the start of the match. The Panthers took their first lead at 8-7 of the opening set and never relinquished it, winning 25-22 to get the early advantage in the final. Defensively, the Panthers were tenacious, led by libero RRiley Marino, and didn’t allow the Colonials to find any rhythm.

“She’s a little spitball of fire,” Weymouth said of Marino. “Riley is probably one of the best defensive girls that I’ve seen in high school. She hustles every single ball, she’s always talking, she is always moving. Her heart is always in it.”

The dominant play continued in the second set, as Franklin took the lead at 9-8 and carried the lead all the way to a 25-21 win. Shrewsbury was struggling to keep up with the balance in the Panthers attack, which featured streaks from a number of hitters, including five kills in the second from Ellie Wisniewski and strong hitting in the middle from Maggie Doyle and Hailey Sanders.

The key to the Franklin attack was McGrath, who not only spread the ball around to all the hitters but always seemed to make the right decision as to who had the hot hand or who had the best look to beat the defense.

Weymouth said, “Lauren is good enough that she’ll put the ball to whoever is on. She does a very good job of spreading out the offense and knowing what time is right to go to what player.”

McGrath was asked how it feels to have so many weapons at her disposal as a setter and she responded, “It is the greatest thing in my life. I always get so excited. It’s awesome.”

Everything was going to plan for the Panthers until the start of the third set. It was as though a switch had been flipped and suddenly it was Shrewsbury dominating, the Colonials that never allowed a ball to hit the floor, and hitting every seam.

Franklin kept it close at first, trailing only 7-5, but then the Colonials rattled off five straight points to take control of the set. Peyton Arone subbed in for the Panthers to give the briefest of sparks, but Shrewsbury kept adding to its lead and won the set 25-17.

Any hope of the fourth set being different was put to rest quickly, as Shrewsbury raced out to a 9-2 lead. Serve-receive was a struggle, the Colonials were contesting every hit, and the Panthers couldn’t stem the momentum. Twice with Franklin hanging around, down by a handful of points, the teams put together long rallies filled with digs and great plays, but each time it was the Colonials that ended up with the point.

After Shrewsbury won the fourth 25-15, Weymouth gathered the team to refocus it on the task at hand – being the first to 15 points in the fifth. Whatever was said in that huddle seemed to work.

When the final set started, it was the Panthers from the start of the match that took the floor. Franklin pulled ahead 5-0 behind solid serving by Wisniewski and a kill from Allyson Bonnet-Eymard. Back-to-back kills by Doyle were followed by back-to-back kills by Lily Gallucio and a kill from Sanders. Suddenly it was 10-1 and it was Shrewsbury struggling to find any momentum.

“Having that first one under our belt gave them the confidence that we can do it,” said Weymouth. “I know going into a fifth set that we can do it. It was all on them.”

Wisniewski set up match point with a kill and Doyle finished it off with one of her own. The Panthers won the fifth set, the match, and the championship at a gallop.

Franklin (20-0) will advance to the state semifinal and will host perennial state power Barnstable.

Weymouth never won a sectional title as a player during a standout career at North Attleboro. The closest that she came was as a junior, when the Rocketeers lost to Barnstable in the South final. Although it is a different experience as a coach, she is enjoying every minute.

“It feels pretty great,” she explained. “I had been in their shoes and I wanted it for them. It’s huge and they deserve it more than anything.”

Facing a team widely considered the best in the state is a challenge, but McGrath is relishing the chance to show that Franklin belongs in the conversation.

“It’s the craziest thing,” she said. “We want it so bad. At the beginning of the season, we knew we’d be that strong team and we’re going to go out there and prove that we’re a damn good team.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Wednesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 10/24/18

Today’s games are listed below.

Girls Soccer
Mansfield, 9 @ Stoughton, 0 – FinalMansfield senior Steph Kemp was involved in over half of the Hornets’ goals, helping her side clinch at least a share of the Kelley-Rex division title. It marks the third straight division title for Mansfield, who can win it outright with a draw or win against Taunton. Kemp scored a hat trick and had two assists, Cassidy McMahon added a goal and two assists, and Kerina Geminiani finished with a pair of goals. Melissa Reef, Sarah Sacco, and Kerrin Sears also scored for Mansfield.

Milford, 2 @ Sharon, 0 – Final

Taunton, 0 @ Oliver Ames, 6 – FinalClick here for a Photo Gallery from this game. Anna Tempestoso (on her birthday), Erin Holmberg, and Brianna Gibson each scored a pair of goals as Oliver Ames recorded a big win at home, giving head coach Britt Sellmayer his 400th career win. Tempestoso scored the first two goals of the game, Holmberg found the back of the net twice in a row, and Gibson scored two straight as OA led 6-0 at half.

Field Hockey
Attleboro, 1 @ Franklin, 7 – FinalAttleboro scored early in the second half to cut Franklin’s lead in half but the Panthers responded with five goals in a 15-minute span to earn a big win. Cassi Ronan and Regan Paterson (from Amanda Lewandowski) scored in the first half to give the Panthers a 2-0 lead at the break. Alex Compton scored for Attleboro to make it 2-1 just two minutes into the second half. Franklin responded with goals from Victoria Quinn (from Paterson) in the 41st minute, Ashley Reutinger (from Lewandowski) in the 45th minute, Paterson just 17 seconds later, Lewandowski in the 50th minute, and Ronan in the 55th minute. Christina Luccini and Anna Jardine each had three saves in net.

Milford, 0 @ Canton, 3 – FinalCanton’s Maggie Malloy paced the Bulldogs to a shutout win over Milford. After a scoreless first half, Malloy scored a natural hat trick in the second half to help Canton earn the win.

North Attleboro, 3 @ Foxboro, 7 – Final

Oliver Ames, 0 @ King Philip, 2 – FinalKing Philip took the lead just over a minute into the game but didn’t add to its total until the final five minutes of the game. Claire Lawler scored an unassisted goal 1:19 into the contest but neither side found the back of the net over the next 50 minutes. Nicole Connor added the insurance goal on an assist from Meghan MacDonald with 4:59 to play.

Sharon, 0 @ Stoughton, 6 – FinalStoughton’s Morgan Lessa scored her first career goal as the Black Knights rolled to a win at home. Haley Nelson led the Stoughton offense with three goals while Allie Howe found the back of the net twice.

Taunton, 4 @ Mansfield, 2 – FinalTaunton built a 2-1 lead by halftime and never relinquished that advantage on its way to a 4-2 decision over Mansfield. The Tigers had four different goal scorers as Alana Tavares (assist), Jillian Pagliuca, Hannah Blackwell, and Cierra Bartel each found the back of the net. Lauren Torres had two assists and Emma Sheehan made five saves in net.

Volleyball
Attleboro, 0 @ Franklin, 3 – FinalFranklin completed its undefeated regular season (17-0) with a 3-0 win over visiting Attleboro (25-9, 25-14, 25-11). Ellie Wisniewski (three aces) had a team-high eight kills while Peyton Arone (two aces), Hailey Sanders, and Lily Galluccio had six kills apiece. Lauren McGrath finished with 26 assists while Emma Clifford ended the game with an ace for the Panthers.

Milford, 0 @ Canton, 3 – FinalCanton clinched the Davenport division outright, its 10th title in the last 11 years, with a 3-0 (25-23, 25-10, 25-10) win over Milford. Nyah Claiborne played great with 14 service points, including three aces and six digs, Rose Hazam added four kills and had a strong game at the net, and Nicole Brown continued her stellar senior year with 21 assists and three kills.

North Attleboro, 3 @ Foxboro, 0 – Final

Oliver Ames, 3 @ King Philip, 1 – FinalKing Philip got back into the game with a close third set win but Oliver Ames closed the match out with a big win in the fourth set (25-13, 25-14, 25-27, 25-11). Allie Kemp had a strong game for OA with 40 assists and three aces. Sadie Homer added 38 digs and four aces, Jordan Bosse had 17 kills and six aces, and Grace McCallum finished 12 digs and seven aces for the Tigers. For King Philip, Nicole Coughlan and Catherine Waldeck each had seven kills.

Taunton, 2 @ Mansfield, 3 – FinalAfter going up 1-0, Taunton rallied for a 2-1 lead but the Hornets won the final two sets to prevail 3-2 (25-16, 11-25, 20-25, 25-14, 15-5). “All of our seniors played a great game,” said Mansfield head coach Melissa Heeden. Abby Sullivan had eight of her 17 service points in the last game to help the Hornets get the win. Greenly Kelly had eight kills and eight service points, Katie Dardinski added five digs and six service points, and Meg Haradon finished with 10 service points.

Sharon, 1 @ Stoughton, 3 – FinalStoughton overcame a 1-0 deficit to earn a win over visiting Sharon. Delaney Nagel led the Black Knights with 14 kills and 10 blocks, Molly Turner had 10 aces and 16 digs, and Mia Bennett was strong on defense with 26 digs.

Monday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 10/22/18

Today’s games are listed below.

Boys Soccer
Taunton, 0 @ Attleboro, 4 – FinalWill Halben set up two goals and scored one himself, leading the Bombardiers to a big win at home. Halben had two assists in the opening half, setting up sophomore Justin Lurssen twice as the Bombardiers took a 2-0 advantage into halftime. Joey Soucy and Halben scored in the second half for Attleboro.

Foxboro, 2 @ Sharon, 2 – FinalSharon scored first and last, the final tally in the final five minutes to earn a draw with visiting Foxboro. Junior Michael Baur opened the scoring on a corner kick to put the Eagles up 1-0. Foxboro tied things up with under two minutes to go in the first half when Dylan Barreira finished off a service from Brian Gardner. Gardner put Foxboro ahead in the second half with his first career goal, getting on the end of a service from Joe Cusack. Baur brought the Eagles level with a penalty kick in the 76th minute.

Oliver Ames, 0 @ Franklin, 2 – FinalAfter a scoreless first half, Franklin scored a pair of goals early in the second half to earn a victory over visiting Oliver Ames. Tim Duval opened the scoring for the Panthers off an assist from Nitin Chaudhury. Before the 50th minute, the Panthers added to their lead when Nick Barry set up Donny Tappin to make it 2-0.

Mansfield, 1 @ King Philip, 0 – FinalMansfield grabbed the lead late in the first half and fended off the Warriors the rest of the way to grab two points on the road. Freshman Dylan Buchanan headed in a corner kick from Luke Savoie in the 32nd minute for the game-winner. Cam Bovey made eight saves for the Hornets to record the shutout.

Stoughton, 1 @ Milford, 9 – FinalMilford junior Walisson de Oliveira scored three goals in the first half as the Hawks picked up a big win at home. de Oliveira finished with four goals and an assist as Milford assumed a 4-0 lead at half. Anthony Salvador and Omar Lema each had a goal and an assist, and Lucas Da Silva and Pedro Da Silva each scored once for Milford. Leo Coelho, Jordan Borges, and Tiago Carvalho all had one assist. Stoughton’s Ted Lucas scored his second goal of the season, heading in a corner from John Neves.

Girls Soccer
Attleboro @ Taunton, 6:30

North Attleboro, 1 @ Canton, 1 – FinalCanton scored less than a minute into the contest but North Attleboro was able to pull even before the break, and that’s how the game finished. After the Bulldogs seized a 1-0 lead in the first minute, North Attleboro’s Ashlyn Gaulin scored in the 19th minute off an assist from Kayla Pasqual to level the score. North Attleboro head coach Bill Wallace said Haley Ferrin, Lydia Santos, Bri Westcott and Sam Hawkins played well in the middle for Big Red.

Sharon, 0 @ Foxboro, 7 – FinalFoxboro earned a big win at home and clinched the Davenport division title outright, the program’s first Hock championships since 1993. Lizzy Davis had a goal (assisted by Kailee McCabe) and two assists, setting up Jordyn Collins twice as Foxboro rolled at home. Collins also had an assist, setting up Kenzi Fraser. Kailee McCabe, Katelyn Mollica, and Yara Fawaz all scored once for Foxboro.

Franklin, 1 @ Oliver Ames, 1 – FinalOliver Ames took a 1-0 lead late in the first half but Franklin equalized early in the second half to help the Panthers grab a point on the road. Daniella Ferrini put OA ahead in the 38th minute but Sam Powderly tied things up in the 44th minute on an assist from Anna Balkus. Bre Atwood had 10 saves in net for the Panthers while Emily Meyers and Emma O’Donnell both had strong games in net for the Tigers.

King Philip, 2 @ Mansfield, 1 – FinalClick here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.

Milford, 5 @ Stoughton, 1 – FinalStoughton’s goal was scored by Gabi Diaz on an assist from Nicole Weir.

Field Hockey
Taunton, 1 @ Attleboro, 0 – FinalTaunton scored just seconds into the game and held on the rest of the way to earn the win and punch its ticket to the postseason. Alana Tavares scored 22 seconds into the game on an assist from Cierra Bartel for the lone goal of the game. Taunton coach Liz Hathaway said Jocelyn Pagliuca, Jillian Pagliuca, and Lauren Torres all had strong games and goalie Emma Sheehan made 11 saves for the shutout.

Canton, 4 @ North Attleboro, 1 – Final

Foxboro, 7 @ Sharon, 0 – Final

Oliver Ames, 1 @ Franklin, 4 – FinalFranklin raced out to a 3-0 lead and never looked back against visiting Oliver Ames. Regan Paterson (from Ashley Reutlinger) opened the scoring in the 7th minute, Amanda Lewandowski (from Cassi Ronan) made it 2-0 in the 11th minute, and Victoria Quinn (from Lewandowski) scored in the 18th minute for the 3-0 lead. Ronan (from Lewandowski) made it 4-0 midway through the second half. Georgia Costello got the Tigers on the board on an assists from Kayla Lozzi. Anna Jardine had eight saves for the Panthers while Kara Orstrander made 10 saves for the Tigers.

Stoughton, 1 @ Milford, 1 – FinalClick here for a recap of this gameStoughton opened the scoring before the midway point of the opening half but Milford knotted the game before the break, and that’s how the game finished. After a good hustle play from Brittani Paul, Haley Nelson put a shot on goal and Allie Howe knocked in the rebound to put Stoughton up 1-0. In the 23rd minute, Milford’s Tatiana Martinez found classmate Kathryn Swineford open in front for the tying goal.

Mansfield, 0 @ King Philip, 2 – FinalKing Philip scored once in each half to earn a hard fought win over visiting Mansfield. The Warriors took the lead in the 18th minute when Claire Lawler found the back of the cage on a pass from Meghan MacDonald. KP added an insurance goal at the midway point of the second half as Alli Meehan scored on an assist from Kate Lindmark.

Volleyball
Taunton, 2 @ Attleboro, 3 – FinalAttleboro defended its home court, knocking off visiting Taunton 3-2 (26-24, 25-15, 15-25, 21-25, 15-10). Attleboro won the first two sets but Taunton rallied to tie it 2-2 before the Bombardiers prevailed in the fifth set. Ana Leonardo had 13 assists, six kills, and four aces, Amanda Kadisveskis added seven kills, five blocks, three aces, and three assists, and Chelsea Calcagni finished with eight kills and a pair of aces for the Bombardiers.

Canton, 1 @ North Attleboro, 3 – FinalAfter falling behind 1-0, the Rocketeers rattled off three straight wins to stun the Bulldogs, 3-1 (22-25, 27-25, 26-24, 25-23). Hayley Gaskin paced the North Attleboro offense while 41 assists with Tatiana Sotelo (22 kills) and Kylie Melanson (18 kills) leading the charge at the net. For Canton, Erin Devine had 10 kills and five blocks, and Nicole brown finished with 28 assists, 20 digs, and four kills.

Foxboro, 0 @ Sharon, 3 – Final

Oliver Ames, 0 @ Franklin, 3 – FinalFranklin took care of business on its home court, handing Oliver Ames a 3-0 loss (25-17, 25-17, 25-18). Lauren McGrath dished out 26 assists for the Panthers with Maggie Doyle (four aces) recording nine kills and Lily Galluccio adding seven kills. Riley Marino anchored the Panther defense with 12 digs. For Oliver Ames, Jordan Bosse had 12 kills, Allie Kemp handed out 20 assists and Sadie Homer finished with 23 digs.

Mansfield, 0 @ King Philip, 3 – FinalKing Philip defended home court with a 3-0 sweep of Mansfield (25-18, 25-21, 25-11). Shayla Weitzman had a strong game for the Warriors with eight aces, nine digs, and 18 service points, Nicole Coughlan added eight kills and three blocks, and Lily Carlow chipped in with seven digs and a pair of aces. Emily Dardinski led the Hornet offense with six kills, while Greenly Kelly and Olivia McGrath each finished with five kills apiece.

Stoughton, 3 @ Milford, 2 – FinalStoughton prevailed with a 3-2 win on the road over Milford. Delaney Nagel went on a tear at the service line, finishing with seven aces in the fifth set to help the Knights grab the win. Amaya Morris led the Black Knights offensively with 14 kills and 12 blocks, while Molly Turner and Hanna Holden combined for 21 kills.