KP Powers Into Hock Cup Final With Win at Canton

King Philip Volleyball
KP sophomore Ahunna James (11) had a big match on the outside, helping the Warriors power past Canton and advance to the Hock Cup final. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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CANTON, Mass. – King Philip got off to the perfect start to Wednesday night’s Hock Cup semifinal at Canton. The Warriors jumped out to a 14-2 lead and cruised to the win in the opening set. From that point on, nothing came easy, as the battle of league champions went back-and-forth over the next three sets and both teams had to grind out every point.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

KP was able to use its strength at the net, led on the outside by sophomore Ahunna James and in the middle by senior Nicole Coughlan, to power past the Bulldogs. The Warriors won 3-1 (25-12, 27-29, 25-22, 25-20) and advance to Friday night’s final.

“I was surprised [at the start],” said KP coach Kristen Geuss, “but I certainly knew they were going to come back so I didn’t want us to let our guard down at that point because they’re such a good team.”

She added, “It gave us a little bit of confidence. It gave us that cushion so I think we were able to be a little more comfortable out there.”

Canton coach Pat Cawley credited her 10 seniors for their resilience and leading the team back after that very tough opening set.

“These 10 seniors who are graduating couldn’t be better people to be in the gym with every day,” she said. “Obviously we had a really slow start. Those other three sets, I couldn’t be more proud of my kids, the way they played. They gave it everything they had. They went all out.”

Nothing went right for the hosts at the start. Serve-receive was off, passing was off, hitting was off and KP took full advantage.

Coughlan had a pair of kills and a pair of blocks in the early going, Lily Carlow had a pair of aces, and James got off to a quick start with a pair of kills, as KP jumped all over the Bulldogs to build a 14-2 lead.

Canton tried to get some momentum going with good swings by Shannon Malloy and Angie Elias, but Sami Shore’s accurate tip, back-to-back points for Coughlan, and a kill from Giovanna Fruci put and end to any thoughts of a comeback. Coughlan was dominant and she closed out the set with a pinpoint tip, her seventh point in the first, to put KP up 1-0.

Liz Bickett smashed Canton into the lead to start the second set and the Bulldogs looked intent on making sure the match was not a sweep. Their defense improved, turning many of the points into long rallies. Steph Trendell and Nikki Desjardins were able to chase down everything on the back row and keep balls alive.

“I just feel good that my kids gave it everything they had, especially after losing the first set by so much,” said Cawley. “It’s hard to come back in volleyball after that. I just told them to forget it, we’re starting over, and they did. We battled.”

KP continued to be strong defensively as well, with libero Emma Brooks and Carlow prominent on the back row, and started to mix things up offensively, getting James more and more involved on the outside. She had seven kills in the second set alone.

“She’s only a sophomore, so I look forward to see what she can do in the future,” Geuss said of James. “Her and Nicole are definitely our weapons, but I think our setters (Lauren Peterson and Stella Bailey) are doing a good job moving the ball around a lot more than we have to kind of mix it up a little bit and keep their blockers off-balance a little bit.”

After Brooks found an open spot with a kill from the back row and Coughlan smashed another spike down the middle, KP had opened up a 14-8 lead and it looked like the Warriors may start to pull away. Instead, Canton stormed back with seven of the next eight points, including a kill for Bickett and block for Anna Verille, to tie the set at 15-15.

A James kill made it 20-17 but Canton forced a long rally capped by an Elias swing and neither side seemed able to grab momentum, as the atmosphere got as loud as any match this season. Shore had a hit called on the line, but Verille answered. Then Coughlan hit the end line with a kill but a diving dig by Desjardins kept a point alive for Elias to somehow find an open area with a bump.

Canton had the first set point after a Bickett block at 24-23 and her tip gave the Bulldogs another chance at 26-25, but first Coughlan then James had the answer. James saved another set point to tie it 27-27, but Sydney Gallery came off the bench for a big block and Elias hit the line for an ace to close out a 29-27 win for the hosts.

“They were super scrappy,” said Geuss in praise of Canton. “We had to work for every point. That was not an easy match.”

The Bulldogs coming back to win in the second set the stage for two more hard-fought sets in which neither team could put the other away.

KP took a 15-6 lead in the third, following another kill by Fruci, but Canton continued to fight, winning 10 of the next 13 points to get back within two. After a couple of errors, Elias had a block and two kills to make it 20-19. After another kill and a KP shot into the net, the Bulldogs had come all the way back to tie it at 21-21.

But, another pair of errors put KP back in front and the Warriors were able to put themselves on the brink of the final with kills from Camryn Buckley and Coughlan.

In the fourth set, KP again was able to put together a run and grab the lead. An 8-0 run, including a pair of Coughlan kills, put the Warriors up 14-8. Canton never got closer than four points the rest of the set.

Behind a pair of kills from James down the stretch and a block and two kills from Coughlan, KP was able to keep Canton at arm’s length, despite the best efforts of Elias and Bickett. It was fitting that Coughlan, the senior closed out the match with yet another big swing off the Canton block.

“I’m grateful that we had a season and I’m grateful that we could all hang in there so we could have the Hock Cup,” said Cawley. Canton finished the season at 10-2. She added, “It is a little taste of the postseason for them. We don’t really peak until the last 10 matches and this season you blink and it’s over and we’re just raring to go and find our way.”

King Philip (11-1) advances to the Hock Cup final to face Kelley-Rex co-champion Franklin. The teams split their two regular season matchups.

Geuss said, “We’re thrilled to be here. This was great competition for us and hopefully it will set us up for Friday. Hopefully it’s going be a good match and hopefully we show up to play the way we’ve been playing.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Wednesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 04/07/21

Today’s games are listed below.

Volleyball
Canton, 3 @ Foxboro, 0 – FinalCanton went on the road and completed a 3-0 (25-11, 25-21, 25-15) sweep of Foxboro to clinch the program’s third straight Davenport division title. Senior Angie Elias had her best offensive showing of the season with 20 kills and eight digs to lead the way for Canton. Liz Bickett added 10 kills and 20 digs while Jackie Morrissey and Taylor Reynolds combined for 27 assists in the win.

Oliver Ames, 3 @ Stoughton, 0 – FinalOliver Ames snapped a three-match kid, going on the road and earning a 3-0 (25-15, 25-20, 25-19) win over the Black Knights. Senior Jordan Bennett had a solid all-around performance for the Tigers with 17 service points, eight kills, and eight digs while classmates Sarah Morley (14 digs) and Allie Zwerle (10 digs) played well defensively. Junior Hadley Rhodes finished with 19 assists and four blocks.

Mansfield, 3 @ Milford, 1 – FinalAfter splitting the first two games, Mansfield outlasted Milford in a marathon third set and went on to close it out with two straight wins for a 3-1 (25-19, 19-25, 27-25, 25-14) win on the road. Olivia McGrath led the way with 12 kills and 16 digs, Alina Nowakowski added eight kills, eight aces, 11 digs, and a block, and Kacey Veiking chipped in with six kills, six digs and three aces. Julia Kelly (23 digs) anchored the defense while Christina Lydon (20 assists) and Isabella Flint (15 assists) split setting duties.

Boys Winter Track
Mansfield, 50 @ Attleboro, 50 – FinalAttleboro won both relays to rally for a tie against visiting Mansfield. After the Hornets were disqualified during the 4×100, the Bombardiers ran away with a win in the 4×400 to bring the score to 50-50. Nate Seybert gave the hosts a good start in the final race, Ethan Sylvia and John Blouin kept the Bombardiers ahead, and Joey Soucy finished strong (3:44.6) to get the win and tie the meet. Soucy also finished first in the 200M (23.7) while Seybert (2:08.9) won the 800M race. Attleboro also got wins from Ethan Crosby (shotput, 41′ 8’5″) James Hill (long jump, 18’10”) and Eric Laurila (high jump, 5’1″).

Girls Winter Track
Mansfield, 70 @ Attleboro, 30 – FinalFor Attleboro, Diana Blouin won the 1 Mile and was a member of the winning 4×400 relay team but the Bombardiers fell to visiting Mansfield. Blouin set a season record at 5:43.2 in the mile and teamed with Madison Ellis, Rebecca Rainey, and Cassondra Stuger to win the 4×400 relay (4:34.2). Stuger also won the 400M in 1:01.6 and took second in the 200M (27.6).

Monday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 04/05/21

Today’s games are listed below.

Volleyball
Franklin, 3 @ Attleboro, 0 – FinalFranklin inched closer to a share of another Kelley-Rex division title, this time with a sweep on the road, 3-0 (25-10, 25-13, 25-18), at Attleboro. Cailyn Mackintosh dished out 25 assists in the win while senior Ally Bonnet-Eymard did a little bit of everything with 11 kills, 11 digs, four aces, and a block.

Foxboro, 0 @ Canton, 3 – FinalCanton defended home court against visiting Foxboro and clinched at least a share of yet another Davenport division title with a 3-0 (25-10, 25-15, 25-18) win over the Warriors. Seniors Simela Donovan, Nikki Desjardins, Stephanie Trendell, and Kaitlyn Irons all played well defensively while Shannon Malloy and Lily Hazam had strong showings at the net in the win. Liz Bickett (17 kills, six blocks, 11 digs), Angie Elias (nine kills, five digs), and Jackie Morrissey (26 assists, nine digs) all continued to play well for Canton.

Mansfield, 3 @ Milford, 0 – FinalMansfield prevailed in a tight first set and went on to complete the sweep, 3-0 (26-24, 25-19, 25-13), on the road at Milford. Alina Nowakowski had a big all around game for the Hornets with 10 kills, 13 digs, two aces, and two blocks. Olivia McGrath added 14 digs, six kills and three aces while Kacey Veiking chipped in with four kills, three digs, and a block.

Stoughton @ Oliver Ames – Postponed to Thursday, 4/8 at 6:30.

Boys Winter Track
King Philip @ Franklin, 3:45

Canton, 46 @ Oliver Ames, 54 – FinalJonathan Chery set a new PR in the high jump and won both the 100M and the 200M but Oliver Ames prevailed in a close meet. Deyontai Dennis was a double-winner for the Bulldogs, taking first in both the long jump and the 110M hurdles while grabbing second in the 200M.

Girls Winter Track
King Philip @ Franklin, 3:45

Canton, 42 @ Oliver Ames, 58 – FinalMaddie Rousseau was a triple-winner for the Bulldogs but Oliver Ames took first overall. Rousseau won the high jump with a PR of 5′ and was also first in the 200M and the long jump. Leah Murphy added a first place finish in the 100M hurdles and took third in the long jump.

Wednesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 03/31/21

Today’s games are listed below.

Volleyball
King Philip, 3 @ Attleboro, 0 – FinalKing Philip went on the road and picked up a sweep, 3-0 (25-12, 25-16, 25-12), over the Bombardiers. Nicole Coughlan paced the offense for the Warriors with 10 kills and a pair of aces while Giovanna Fruci and Ahunna James each chipped in with six kills apiece. Lily Carlow had a strong day at the service line with six aces.

Oliver Ames, 0 @ Canton, 3 – FinalCanton inched closer to another division title with its second sweep of Oliver Ames this week, this time knocking off the Tigers 3-0 (25-13, 25-15, 25-16). Both Liz Bickett (7 kills, 4 blocks and 10 digs) and Angie Elias (7 kills, 4 aces and 9 digs) had solid all-around outings while Talya DeGraw and Anna Verille both played strong at the net. Jackie Morrissey and Taylor Reynolds combined for 20 assists and ran the court well. For OA, Sarah Morley registered 23 serve receptions, 10 digs, and two aces, Hadley Rhodes added 14 assists, and Caroline Flynn finished with 12 digs.

North Attleboro, 0 @ Foxboro, 3 – Final

Milford, 3 @ Taunton, 0 – Final

Sharon @ Stoughton – Postponed to TBD.

Canton Sweeps OA to Take Lead in Davenport

Canton volleyball
Canton celebrates a point in the second set. The Bulldogs earned a 3-0 win at Oliver Ames to take a one-game lead in the division. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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NORTH EASTON, Mass. – Canton has been searching for the right lineup combination all season. Based on its performance in Monday evening’s battle of Davenport co-leaders in the Nixon Gym, it seems the Bulldogs might have finally found their best rotations.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

The Bulldogs put together a complete performance, never trailing until late in the third set, and never allowing Oliver Ames to build momentum and get into the match. Canton won 3-0 (25-22, 25-23, 25-23) and now has a one-game lead on the Tigers with three matches left in the season.

“We always try to get off to a good start,” said Canton coach Pat Cawley. “Whether you can or you can’t, it depends on the day. It’s a lot easier to play when you’re ahead and that was to our benefit but we did let them catch up in the second set and again in the third. To the kids’ credit they did buckle down and get it done.”

Canton showed off a balanced attack to build a lead in the first set. Liz Bickett (11 kills and 17 digs) had back-to-back hits to put the Bulldogs in front 10-7. After Caroline Flynn’s kill got OA back within two, the Bulldogs kept winning rallies, got an ace from Taylor Reynolds and pushed the lead to as many as five (15-10).

A block by freshman Sarah Hilliard and an ace from Amanda Barth kept the Tigers hanging around, but a pair of kills from outside hitter Anna Verille extended the lead back to four. Back-to-back blocks by Hadley Rhodes (21 assists and seven kills) and Tori Harneyy and then a tip by Flynn (11 kills) tied things up at 19-19.

Just when it looked like OA might be able to steal the first set, Canton ran off four straight, including an accurate tip by setter Jackie Morrissey and a big swing from Angie Elias (14 kills). Elias sealed the 1-0 lead with a well-placed tip, her fifth point of the first.

The visitors seemed to carry over the momentum into the second, continuing to win the battles at the net, led by Elias, Bickett, and Sydney Gallery (seven kills), who stepped into the middle in the absence of Shannon Malloy and had an impressive match on both sides of the ball. Her tip put the Bulldogs up 10-5.

“Syd’s first time playing middle and she did a great job,” said Cawley. “We didn’t even get to practice with her in the middle.”

Flynn capped a long rally with a cross-court kill, but Elias answered back with two of the next three points for an 18-11 lead. Down 20-13 and in danger of falling behind by two sets, OA managed to fight back and won nine of the next 11 points to tie it up at 22-22.

“We’ve made it interesting, but I want to make it count,” said OA coach Chelsea Cunningham. “Our lineup changes every single game, but it builds opportunities for everyone on the team, which I appreciate, and their willingness to try and give it their all.”

The Tigers were playing better defense in that stretch, although a block by Talya DeGraw and an ace by Nikki Desjardins slowed the comeback. Hilliard came through with another block in the middle and Harney found an angle for a big swing. An ace by Sarah Morley (23 digs) and quick tip by Rhodes tied the set and then Jordan Bennett made it 23-23 with a kill.

Again, the visitors had an answer. Bickett restored the lead with a tip down the line and then closed out the second with a kill to put the Bulldogs in control.

Cawley said, “I thought our ball control today was excellent. I thought our defense did a great job. We focused on being there to block, but I think our offense kept their defense off-balance. That’s a credit to our defense, which got the ball to our setter so we could put pressure on their defense.”

The familiar pattern continued in the third set, as Canton jumped out in front again. Down 14-8, OA started to climb back into it, following an ace by Alexandra Zwerle and a block by Courtney Raymond. Elias answered with an ace and the Bulldogs remained in front 16-12. The Tigers rolled off six of the next seven points to grab their first lead of the match.

Raymond added an ace to her earlier block and Flynn had a big swing on the outside. Bennett added another kill and OA led 21-19 in the third, looking to try and extend the match.

“These games are what will make us stronger,” said Cunningham. “They’re fighting. I get to give other kids the opportunity to play and they’re feisty. Them taking those risks definitely helps ignite a little bit of energy our team needs right now.”

Canton just seemed to make the big plays when it needed and found any openings in the OA defense. Verille dropped a shot in between a few Tigers and Bickett scored with a block to tie the set. Raymond had a kill to tie things back up at 23-23, but the Bulldogs won the final two points to seal the match.

“Their coverage was fantastic,” Cunningham added, “and that challenges us because we’re suffering on coverage right now. We’ve just got to bounce back. Hopefully it will be a quick turnaround.”

The Bulldogs have now won four straight after being swept by Sharon. Cawley saw that match as a good reminder to her team about how little separates the teams in the Davenport this season.

“Every loss is a learning experience,” she explained. “Last year we lost twice to North and I think it was the best thing for us to understand that you can lose. Every team out there is good and you can’t take anyone for granted. We’re not above the rest of the competition at all, we’re right there with everyone.”

Canton (6-1) will host Oliver Ames (5-2) on Wednesday looking to move one step closer to a 14th league title in the past 15 seasons.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Friday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 03/26/21

Today’s games are listed below.

Football
Attleboro, 3 @ Franklin, 17 – FinalClick here for a recap and photo gallery of this game.
1st Quarter: (F) Parker Cheuvront 28-yard field goal.
2nd Quarter: (F) Jared Arone 19-yard pass to Shane Kindred, P. Cheuvront XP good.
3rd Quarter: (A) Colby Briggs 41-yard field goal; (F) Mack Gulla 64-yard rush, P. Cheuvront XP good.
4th Quarter: No scoring.

Canton, 0 @ Foxboro, 37 – FinalClick here for a recap and photo gallery of this game.
1st Quarter: (F) Dylan Gordon 8-yard rush, conversion no good; (F) Luis Sulham 54-yard punt return, D. Gordon two-point conversion run.
2nd Quarter: (F) Sam Carpenter 27-yard field goal; (F) S. Carpenter 40-yard field goal.
3rd Quarter: (F) S. Carpenter 31-yard field goal; (F) Mike Norvish 4-yard rush, S. Carpenter XP good.
4th Quarter: (F) Steven Petrillo 1-yard rush, S. Carpenter XP good.

Sharon, 0 @ Stoughton, 40 – Final
1st Quarter: (Sto) Christopher Ais 1-yard rush, Jonah Ly XP good; (Sto) Christian Ais 11-yard rush, XP failed.
2nd Quarter: (Sto) Colby Andrews 5-yard rush, J. Ly XP good; (Sto) John Burke 11-yard rush, J. Ly XP good; (Sto) Brady Conlin 60-yard pass to Christian Ais, XP blocked.
3rd Quarter: (Sto) J. Burke 2-yard rush, J. Ly XP good.
4th Quarter: No scoring.

Taunton, 10 @ Plymouth North, 7 – Final
1st Quarter: (PN) Plymouth North touchdown, XP good.
2nd Quarter: (T) Josh Lopes 28-yard rush, Matt Abouzied XP good.
3rd Quarter: (T) M. Abouzied 27-yard field goal.
4th Quarter: No scoring.

Volleyball
North Attleboro, 0 @ Canton, 3 – FinalCanton completed its regular season sweep of North Attleboro with a 3-0 (25-14, 25-20, 25-16) win on the road. Liz Bickett did it all for the Bulldogs with some impressive digs in the back row and five kills and three blocks at the net. Stephanie Trendell and Simela Donovan both played well defensively for the visitors and combined for nine aces. For North Attleboro, Sara Carter (six kills) and Annie Grunewald (five kills) played well offensively while Joanna Collins-Bilyeu chipped in with 11 assists and seven digs.

Wednesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 03/24/21

Today’s games are listed below.

Volleyball
Attleboro, 1 @ Mansfield, 3 – FinalAfter splitting the first two sets, Mansfield pulled away to win two straight to get a 3-1 (25-23, 23-25, 25-15, 25-20) win at home over Attleboro. Olivia McGrath (24 digs, six kills, five aces), Julia Kelly (23 digs, five aces), Sarah Dooling (11 digs, eight kills), and Isabella Flint (10 digs, nine assists) all had strong showings defensively for the Hornets. Alina Nowakowski added 10 kills and three blocks while Kacey Veiking dished out 20 assists to go along with 10 digs. For Attleboro, Ana Leonardo and Natalie Brojek each had seven kills, Lilly Boedeker added 16 digs, and Kate Petrosso had a strong showing at the service line.

Canton, 3 @ North Attleboro, 0 – FinalBuoyed by a strong team defensive performance, Canton went on the road and earned a 3-0 (25-21, 25-8, 25-19) sweep of North Attleboro. Jackie Morrissey and Taylor Reynolds (nine aces) ran the court well with a combined 22 assists while Angie Elias (12 kills, four aces, six digs) and Liz Bickett (10 digs, five kills, two blocks) played well for the Bulldogs.

Stoughton, 3 @ Foxboro, 1 – Final

Sharon, 3 @ Oliver Ames, 2 – FinalOliver Ames rallied from a 2-0 deficit to force a deciding fifth game but Sharon prevailed in an incredibly tight battle, 3-2 (25-16, 25-19, 24-26, 21-25, 15-13). For OA, junior Hadley Rhodes had 25 assists, senior Jordan Bennett added 15 kills, senior Sarah Morley recorded 48 receptions and 21 digs, and senior Allie Zwerle chipped in with 12 digs and four aces.

Wednesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 03/17/21

Today’s games are listed below.

Volleyball
Sharon, 1 @ Canton, 3 – FinalCanton bounced back from a loss on Monday and a one-set deficit on Wednesday evening to earn a 3-1 (19-25, 25-20, 25-14, 25-23) win over visiting Sharon. Angie Elias had a stellar showing for the Bulldogs with 17 kills, 19 digs and a pair of aces while Liz Bickett continued to do it all for the Bulldogs with 11 kills and 19 digs. Jackie Morrissey and Taylor Reynolds combined for 32 assists while Stephanie Trendell and Simela Donovan played great defense combining for 27 digs and seven aces.

Oliver Ames, 3 @ Foxboro, 0 – FinalOliver Ames outlasted Foxboro in a marathon first set and went on to complete the sweep, 3-0 (29-27, 25-21, 25-17), in a close contest. Senior Sarah Morley set the tone with 14 digs and 14 serve receptions, Hadley Rhodes dished out 21 assists and added three blocks, and senior Caroline Flynn (12 kills, three aces), sophomore Mary Derba (seven kills), and junior Reese Blass had strong showings at the net.

Milford, 3 @ Attleboro, 2 – FinalClick here for a recap and photo gallery of this game.

Stoughton @ North Attleboro – Postponed to TBD.

Sharon Ends Nearly Two-Decade Wait, Sweeps Canton

Sharon volleyball
Sharon senior Sara Fandel dominated, as the Eagles earned their first win over perennial league power Canton since at least 2002. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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SHARON, Mass. – When the final serve hit the net and dropped to the court, the Sharon players started to celebrate, clapped a little, and then calmly walked over to the sidelines. Maybe they didn’t realize just how rare it was for the Eagles to earn a win against Canton.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Sharon took control in the opening set and never let go, sweeping Monday night’s match 25-13, 25-19, 25-17 to stay unbeaten this season. It was the first win for the Eagles against the Bulldogs, who have won 13 of the last 14 league titles, since at least 2002. (Records aren’t definite for the 2002 season, but Sharon beat Canton at least once in 2001, the Bulldogs’ first season as a varsity program.)

Not only did the Eagles win, but they were the better team in all facets of the game. Senior hitter Sara Fandel gave Sharon a constant outlet on the outside and, even without Sara’s twin sister Leah, the Eagles dominated play at the net. Brynne Aidlin-Pearlman added a second hitter and setters Yvette Nau and Sonya Gray consistently delivered the ball to the right spots.

“If it was only Sara, then I’d be like, okay we have this one amazing player, but everybody is just falling in,” said Sharon coach Andrea Lovett. “I don’t know if she’s bringing them up to her level? Brynne is super strong with what she’s doing. It’s just so exciting to see it.”

The Eagles got off to a quick start, leading 4-1 in the opening set, but Canton rallied with a pair of Angie Elias kills to grab an 8-7 lead and it looked like usual service was restored. Sharon got an ace from Savannah Gray and a point from Nau to restore the lead and then a pair of kills by Fandel, the second after a long rally, put Sharon ahead 13-10.

After Canton had tied the set at 9-9, Sharon won 16 of the next 20 points to take a lead in the match. Fandel had six kills and an ace and Erin Schustek added a point during the run. The Bulldogs had no response.

“[Fandel] was amazing and we just didn’t have an answer,” admitted Canton coach Pat Cawley. “We’re still trying to figure ourselves out after losing our outside hitters and they brought it to us. Volleyball is all about passing and we couldn’t pass the ball tonight and it all broke down from there. They deserve all the credit, they put the pressure on us.”

In the second set, Sharon had an early lead, but tips by Sydney Gallery and Liz Bickett put Canton up 9-8. Elias and Bickett followed with kills, sandwiched around a big hit by Aidlin-Pearlman to make it 12-9. That would be the largest lead for Canton in any set in the match.

Sharon stormed back with eight straight points before a bump by Nikki Desjardins dropped in for a point. The Eagles never trailed again in the match. Fandel smashed a cross-court kill and Schustek served an ace to make it 23-14. Elias had back-to-back kills but the Eagles never lost their composure and Aidlin-Pearlman smashed a kill down the line to seal the set.

“It’s a ton of confidence,” Lovett said about the impact of having strong hitters on the outside. “Between Sara and Brynne and Leah when she gets back, it’s the same story. They know, I can play full speed because if I make a mistake then I have five people who can cover for me. They know that and it makes them really good.”

The Bulldogs were hoping to regroup and build some momentum in the third set, but the Eagles never let off the gas. Sharon won the first seven points of the third and Canton wasn’t able to get any closer than five points in what turned out to be the final set.

Fandel was again the spark with six kills in the third, but it was an all-around effort that kept the Eagles in front. Libero Emily Rubenstein, Nau, and Gray were all excellent defensively and Aidlin-Pearlman was able to defend and score from the net or the back line.

“That’s normally our weakness,” Lovett said, “but their serve-receive was excellent tonight. I tell them all the time, that makes all the difference. You can’t do any of this without a good serve-receive.”

Gray stepped up with a big point to make it 19-10 and Nau seemed to shock ever herself with a big block that made it 23-15.

Canton tried to hang around, but struggled to get the ball to Bickett in the middle or Elias on the outside. Anna Verille had a kill and Jackie Morrissey had a bump drop in front of the Sharon defense for a point at 21-15 but the Bulldogs never looked like getting back into it.

“We couldn’t block them, we couldn’t dig them,” said Cawley. “They deserve all the credit in the world. I thought Angie played great the whole match but other than that we got in a hole early and we don’t have the confidence [to come back].”

After the win, Sharon (3-0) is now tied with Oliver Ames atop the Davenport division and Lovett is sure that her team will be ready to go on Wednesday when the Eagles visit Canton (2-1) for the rematch.

“This group of kids, especially our seniors, are really centered on volleyball,” Lovett explained, “and I think that I would normally be like, oh god we’re probably going to come back and do terrible on Wednesday because we’re over-confident, but I don’t think they’re that type of kids. They know that it can change at any minute, so let’s get out there.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Wednesday’s Schedule & Scoreboard – 03/10/21

Today’s games are listed below.

Volleyball
Attleboro, 1 @ Taunton, 3 – Final Attleboro avoided a sweep with a win in the third game and battled hard in the fourth but Taunton closed it out to break into the win column with a 3-1 (25-11, 25-10, 17-25, 25-20) win over the visiting Bombardiers. Jaelyn Fernandez had a strong showing for the Tigers, dishing out 25 assists to go along with eight aces and three kills. Mikayla Cleary and Angie Lynch each added eight kills, Fabiana Pereira had 13 digs and a pair of aces, and Makena Travers finished with seven digs and four aces. Krista Greening helped keep Attleboro in contention with strong serving while freshman Natalie Brojek had six aces. Lilly Boedeker added 11 digs for Attleboro.

Canton, 3 @ Stoughton, 0 – FinalClick here for a Photo Gallery from this game.Canton fended off a strong challenge from the hosts in the first set and went on to complete the sweep on the road, 3-0 (25-19, 25-12, 25-14). Liz Bickett continued her strong start to the season with 10 kills, five blocks, and 10 digs while Angie Elias had a good game on the outside with eight kills and eight digs. Jackie Morrissey and Taylor Reynolds (nine aces) combined to dish out 22 assists in the win.

Sharon, 3 @ Foxboro, 2 – Final

Oliver Ames, 3 @ North Attleboro, 0 – FinalClick here for a Photo Gallery from this game.Oliver Ames edged North Attleboro by two in the middle set and then completed the sweep the next set to open the season with a 3-0 (25-17, 26-24, 25-17) win on the road at North Attleboro. Senior Allie Zwerle recorded 20 service points for the Tigers along with 11 digs and 10 service receptions. Sarah Morley added 16 digs, Caroline Flynn led the offense with nine kills, and junior Hadley Rhodes dished out 20 assists. For North Attleboro, Sara Carter put down eight kills while Julianne Chen (seven digs) and Belle Clarkin (six digs) played well defensively. The teams have a rematch on Thursday in Easton.