Franklin Beats KP to Take Home First Hock Cup Title

Franklin volleyball
The Franklin volleyball team poses for a picture after beating King Philip in the Hockomock Cup Final. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
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FRANKLIN, Mass. – After splitting two regular season matchups and sharing the Kelley-Rex division title for the second year in a row, it was fitting that the final game of the volleyball season would see Franklin and King Philip battle it out, not just for the bragging rights, or to win the season series, but also to being home the first Hockomock Cup title.

After jumping in front by winning the opening two sets, Franklin was nearly forced to a decisive fifth set but the Panthers rallied in the fourth, winning six of the final seven points, capped off by a cross-court spike by senior Ally Bonnet-Eymard that snuck inside the line, to seal a 3-1 (25-15, 25-21, 21-25, 25-21) victory.

“The girls never took a single day for granted,” said Franklin coach Samantha Elliott. “They have been 100 percent committed to play, so for them this wasn’t just the first Hock Cup, this was their championship and they’ve been working that way all season.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

KP coach Kristen Geuss was proud of her team’s fight back after a rough opening set and the way the Warriors fought throughout a final that everyone was grateful to see happen.

“I think we played very well,” she said. “To have the opportunity to even play an extra week in this whole thing, it gave us more games and let the girls come out and have fun for another week. We had a great season and they’re a great bunch of girls.”

Franklin took control of the opening set right from the first point. In a reverse of Wednesday’s semifinal against Canton, KP struggled out of the gate and the Panthers put together a 9-0 run to break things open and take a 19-6 lead.

Emma Chase (10 kills) had a block and then a kill on back-to-back points, Bonnet-Eymard (game-high 22 kills) fired a shot past the dive of KP libero Emma Brooks, Taylor Lacerda (seven kills) fired an ace, and then Bonnet-Eymard ended the run with a hit right on the line.

KP tried to build some momentum heading to the second. Giovanna Fruci and Sami Shore each had kills before Bonnet-Eymard picked the corner with an accurate swing. Nicole Coughlan and Ahunna James both got on the board as well with good hits, but the final swing hit the net and Franklin took the quick 1-0 lead.

“I had the confidence that we could come back,” said Geuss. “We have in the past. I thought we could dig deep and we did. The second and third games were much better obviously than the first and I thought they played really well.”

The Warriors did seem to carry some energy over into the second set and a Lily Carlow ace and a block and a kill by James put the visitors up 11-5. Brooks had a point from the back row and James added another of her five kills in the set to keep the lead at five points, but Franklin’s depth along the front line started to pay dividends.

Grace Lacerda, Chase, and Taylor Lacerda recorded three straight points and an angled Chase drive got Franklin back level. After the Panthers took the lead, Coughlan had two straight kills, including one at the end of a long rally that put KP back in front 19-18. Bonnet-Eymard answered with a pinpoint tip and a blast off the blocker.

“That’s the best thing about us, it’s not just Ally,” Elliott said. “Ally is a force to be reckoned with but it’s always every other girl on my team. (Setter) Cailyn [Mackintosh] has the ability to give it to anyone because people watch Ally so if you can give it to someone else it’s going to work out in your favor.”

“She has worked so hard to be as accurate and consistent and connect with every single one of our hitters that we wouldn’t be where we are without her drive and her leadership,” Elliott said about Mackintosh, who finished with 49 assists.

With Franklin up 23-21, Bonnet-Eymard again found space down the line off the dive of Carlow and a shot into the net had the Panthers just a set away from the win.

The last time these teams met, it went to five sets before KP pulled out the win. So, Franklin knew there was still work to be done. The Panthers jumped out to a 14-11 lead in the fourth following a Mackintosh push that eluded the KP defense.

KP responded with four straight points to get in front. With the score tied again at 17-17, KP managed to string together a few points. Fruci started it with a spike and then Coughlan was able to follow with back-to-back points. The senior, who managed to score from both outside positions as well as the middle, had eight kills in the third set alone.

“Nicole makes everything look easy, and it’s not,” Geuss said about Coughlan. “I don’t know how she does it but she makes everything look easy. She will be missed.”

After Bonnet-Eymard got one back for Franklin, Coughlan added two more kills. With the score 24-21, James, just a sophomore, showed off her skills on the outside with a powerful angled drive that secured a fourth set.

The fourth was back-and-forth with neither team able to build larger than a four-point lead. Coughlan and James continued to find any gap in the Franklin defense and the KP back row continued to keep almost every play alive, forcing the Panthers into long rallies.

KP looked like it might be on its way to a decisive fifth set when it rattled off five straight points and took a 12-8 lead. Bonnet-Eymard had the answer with back-to-back kills, the second smashed off the KP block and out. A kill from Lindsey Tarantola tied things up and then an ace by Meghan Linkkila put Franklin in front 13-12.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Shore got KP back within one at 17-16 but Chase came right back with a hit from the middle. James had a pair of kills, including one right off the line to put the Warriors up 19-18, then Carlow’s tough serve got away from the Panthers. Chase and Bonnet-Eymard came right back with kills and tied the set at 20-20.

After a Franklin point, James blasted another kill that tied the game at 21-21, but King Philip (11-2) had an uncharacteristic defensive lapse to put Franklin in front to stay. Brigid Earley followed with a big block, a shot went wide, and then Bonnet-Eymard lined up one last swing, angled across the court into an open spot, handing Franklin (12-1) the win and the cup.

“We knew that the first set was not normal, that we were going to have to work hard for every single point because KP is a fantastic team,” Elliott explained. “Just telling the girls to believe in themselves and to forget what this is and to have fun for their last game to play with each other that they’d be okay, and they were.”

Thursday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 04/08/21

Today’s games are listed below.

Volleyball
Attleboro, 0 @ Franklin, 3 – FinalFranklin 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 – FinalKing 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 – FinalFor 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 – FinalCanton’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.

Thursday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 04/01/21

Today’s games are listed below.

Football
Sharon, 6 @ Canton, 17 – FinalClick here for a Recap and Photo Gallery from this game.
1st Quarter: (C) Robert Botelho 33-yard pass to Vincent O’Brien, Will Keefe XP good.
2nd Quarter: (C) W. Keefe 33-yard field goal; (S) Kiran Chandrasekaran 20-yard pass to PJ McManus, XP blocked; (C) Jack Albert 32-yard pass to Andrew Butler, W. Keefe XP good.
3rd Quarter: No scoring.
4th Quarter: No scoring.

Foxboro, 40 @ Oliver Ames, 6 – FinalClick here for a Photo Gallery from this game.
1st Quarter: (OA) Collin Williamson 17-yard rush, 2pt rush failed.
2nd Quarter: (F) Cam Prescott 29-yard pass to Luis Sulham, Sam Carpenter XP good; (F) Dylan Gordon 10-yard rush, XP blocked; (F) C. Prescott 12-yard pass to L. Sulham, 2pt rush failed; (F) C. Prescott 57-yard pass to Tom Sharkey, S. Carpenter XP good.
3rd Quarter: (F) Rashaad Way 92-yard kickoff return, S. Carpenter XP good; (F) Mike Norvish 2-yard rush, S. Carpenter XP good.
4th Quarter: No scoring.

Volleyball
Mansfield, 1 @ Franklin, 3 – FinalAfter splitting the first two sets, Franklin win two in a row to complete a 3-1 (25-18, 19-25, 25-18, 25-10) win over the visiting Hornets. Cailyn Mackintosh dished out 26 assists in the win while Ally Bonnet-Eymard (eight kills, 11 digs), Lindsey Tarantola (seven kills), and Emma Chase (six kills, two blocks, two aces) paced the attack for Franklin. Alina Nowakowski (nine kills, eight digs) led the charge offensively for Mansfield while Olivia McGrath (five kills, eight aces) and Julia Kelly each registered 18 digs apiece.

Saturday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 03/20/21

Today’s games are listed below.

Football
King Philip, 17 @ Attleboro, 3 – FinalClick here for a recap and photo gallery of this game.
1st Quarter: (KP) Matthew Kelley 28-yard field goal.
2nd Quarter: (KP) Crawford Cantave 72-yard blocked field goal return, M. Kelley XP good.
3rd Quarter: (A) Colby Briggs 26-yard field goal.
4th Quarter: (KP) C. Cantave 4-yard rush, M. Kelley XP good.

Mansfield, 20 @ Milford, 7 – FinalClick here for a recap and photo gallery of this game.
1st Quarter: (Mans) Anthony Comer 18-yard rush, James Gilleran XP good; (Mil) Dom Schofield 69-yard rush, Nicholas Araujo XP good.
2nd Quarter: (Mans) A. Comer 14-yard interception return, J. Gilleran XP good; (Mans) Matt Boen 3-yard rush, XP failed.
3rd Quarter: No scoring.
4th Quarter: No scoring.

Volleyball
Franklin, 2 @ King Philip, 3 – FinalAfter being swept by the Panthers on the road earlier this week, King Philip avenged that loss with a 3-2 (21-25, 25-21, 25-18, 19-25, 15-10) win over Franklin on Saturday afternoon to split the regular season series. After Franklin took the first set, KP bounced back with two straight wins but the Panthers stayed alive with a win in the fourth, forcing a deciding fifth set. Senior Nicole Coughlan had a strong day at the net with 20 kills along with four aces while sophomore Ahunna James added 10 kills in the win. Emma Brooks (30 digs) and Lily Carlow (15 digs) anchored the defense against a strong Panther attack. For Franklin, Ally Bonnet-Eymard had nine kills and Lindsey Tarantola added eight kills while Cailyn Mackintosh dished out 31 assists.