WRENTHAM, Mass. – In the opening game of Thursday night’s Div. 1 Central-East semifinal, King Philip jumped all over visiting Quincy to build a 12-4 lead and then extending it back to seven points at 20-13. It looked like the Warriors were going to have a quick one-game lead on the Presidents in the rematch of last year’s five-setter at this same stage.
Instead, Quincy rallied to win 12 of the next 15 points and steal the game. Volleyball is a game of momentum swings and KP watched the Presidents carry their momentum over into a dominant second game that put Quincy on the verge of another sectional final.
That could have been it for another strong season for the Warriors, but instead KP fought back. Urged on by its home fans, KP swung the momentum back on its side and stormed back into the match, winning game three and saving a pair of match points to take game four.
Unfortunately for KP (19-3), Quincy was not rattled by the Warriors forcing a fifth game or by the Warriors jumping out to an early 4-1 lead in the deciding set. The teams battled back and forth and in the end, Quincy (19-3) had just enough to pull out the 3-2 (25-23, 25-16, 15-25, 26-28, 15-13) victory and advance again to the final.
“They played great,” said KP coach Kristen Geuss about Thursday’s opponent. “They are a great defensive team; they picked up everything.
“We tried. We played our game…We’ve come back from two games before, just couldn’t pull it out tonight. It wasn’t our night.”
Unlike on Tuesday, KP had the size advantage on Quincy, but the Presidents still had strength on the outside, especially senior Jessie Lei. Quincy took an early 4-1 lead but KP bounced right back with an 11-0 run to take control of the first set. Carly Adams had three straight aces at one point in the run and Sydney Phillips, who was chosen as the Hockomock League MVP by the coaches, added four kills.
The Presidents cut into the lead to get it down to four points, but again KP had an answer with Michaela Palumbo getting a big block to push the lead back to seven at 20-13. Things fell apart for the Warriors in the serve-receive game and Quincy stormed back into it. Geuss tried calling both her timeouts but the visitors took the set.
“We came out a little slow, as usual, and in tournament games you just can’t do that,” Geuss explained.
The energy of the first game carried into the second and Quincy built an early lead. After an error cut the lead to just two points, the Presidents went on a 9-3 run and took command at 19-11. The lone Warriors player who was having any success in the second was outside hitter Liv Baldufu>, as Quincy abandoned the block and sat back to seemingly dig every hit.
“They were getting all the digs,” said Geuss. “I guess they didn’t have to [block] cause they’re that good defensively.”
When asked if it is difficult to bounce back after losing a lead like KP did in the first, Geuss replied, “Absolutely. They had the enthusiasm for the second game. We didn’t. We just weren’t playing our game.”
The Warriors found their game in the third. Phillips had been quiet since her strong start but suddenly started clicking off the passing of Adams and the defensive play of libero Amanda Loewen. Phillips had seven kills in the second and Loewen closed out the game with back-to-back aces to keep the match alive.
Guess was asked about what got Phillips going in the third. She said, “She just needed her confidence back. I think once she got some more momentum, once you get one over and in you start to pick up some confidence.”
KP jumped out to a big lead in the fourth set as well with Loewen getting two more aces and the Warriors saving a point with Adams, Loewen, Kat Kmetz, and Molly Croke all keeping the ball alive before Balduf finished it with a blast down the line to make it 14-6.
The fifth set seemed inevitable at that point but again the Presidents showed resiliency to bounce back, cutting the lead to just three at 18-15. Phillips had the response for KP with three straight kills to give the home team a 23-17 lead, but the Warriors could not close it out and a kill by Shannon Foley tied it at 24-24.
Twice KP had to save a match point and then Emma Lopez rose up and earned her fourth kill of the game to seal a 28-26 win.
In the fifth, with the crowd riveted to every hit, KP took a 4-1 lead after a pair of Phillips kills. Quincy bounced back to win the next five points and force Geuss into a timeout. Lopez tied it at 8-8 with a kill but Quincy would regain the lead at 12-9 and force a second timeout.
A service error and a Phillips kill got KP within one. After an errant shot, Phillips made it 13-12. A service error set up the third match point for Quincy, but Phillips kept the game alive with another kill. The fourth match point turned out to be the difference for Quincy and fittingly it was Lei that got the winner.
“We weren’t picking up the tips. One or two points here or there could’ve changed the momentum easily,” said Geuss.
She added, “It’s good competition. It’s good volleyball and we had a great season. I’m so proud of them.”
Canton, 1 @ Stoughton, 3 – Final – Stoughton picked up a win over Canton for the first time in program history with a 3-1 victory. Val Whalen led Stoughton’s offense with 18 kills while Molly Turner had 14 assists. Christina Gelin, Riley Bagley and Whalen combined for over 70 digs. Canton’s Emma Murphy and Casey Shea each had nine kills and Emma Gobbi added four kills. Nicole Poole finished with 26 assists for the Bulldogs.
Oliver Ames, 0 @ Mansfield, 3 – Final – Mansfield defended home court with a 25-15, 25-20, 25-21 sweep. Emily Kleber paced Mansfield with 10 kills while Jess Haradon had 16 digs and nine service points and Chloe Peters had 28 assists.
Sharon, 0 @ Milford, 3 – Final
Franklin, 1 @ King Philip, 3 – Final – King Philip notched a 25-21, 24-26, 25-13, 25-22 win over Franklin. Sydney Phillips had 17 kills and two blocks, Carly Adams added 21 assists and three kills, Amanda Loewen had seven digs, Emma Lopez chipped in with nine digs and Angela Vellante and Molly Croke combined for 11 digs. For Franklin, Maddie Kuzio had 39 digs, Erin Skidmore and Maggie Doyle each had eight kills and Meaghan Maguire notched six blocks.
Taunton, 4 @ Attleboro, 1 – Final – Taunton had four different players find the back of the net to get the win. “The team played very well both offensively and defensively,” Taunton head coach Liz Hathaway said. “This was a total team victory and everyone brought their A game.” Kya Enos, Lauren Torres, Annie Tate and Lianda Duarte scored for the Tigers. Duarte, Torres and Enos each had an assist as well. Emma Sheehan earned the win in net with seven saves.
Canton, 0 @ Stoughton, 0 – Final
Foxboro, 1 @ North Attleboro, 0 – Final
Franklin, 0 @ King Philip, 0 – Final – Franklin sophomore goalie Christina Lucini made 14 saves and junir Kate Morse had two saves herself as Franklin clinched the Kelley-Rex title. Franklin head coach Lisa Cropper said Kayla Marshall, Caroline Lounsbury and Dana Lewandowski all had strong defensive games for the Panthers.
Foxboro, 1 vs. Weston, 0 – Final – Foxboro sophomore Nic Beigel scored with a minute to play to give the Warriors the win. With the victory, Foxboro qualifies for the MIAA state tournament via the Sullivan Rule.
Sharon, 0 @ Norwood, 0 – Final
Sharon, 6 @ Norwood, 0 – Final – Ally Filipkowski and Ally Steinberg each netted a pair of goals to pace Sharon’s offense in a win against Norwood. Alex Rabb and Amanda Klayman each scored a goal apiece as well.
Franklin, 3 @ Attleboro, 0 – Final – Franklin picked up the sweep on the road to earn its 12th win of the season. Maddie Kuzio paced the Panthers with 28 digs and four aces while Maggie Doyle added five digs and three blocks and Erin Skidmore had nine kills and eight digs.
Foxboro, 0 @ Canton, 3 – Final – Canton celebrated its 12 seniors with a 25-19, 25-13, 25-16 win. “Each senior made contributions to the win,” Canton head coach Pat Cawley said. In the third set, Canton senior Nicole Poole recorded her 1000th assist on a kill by Emma Murphy. “Nicole is a selfless and talented player who has put her mark on CHS volleyball,” Cawley said.
Mansfield, 0 @ King Philip, 3 – Final – King Philip clinched the Kelley-Rex division title with a 25-16, 25-22, 25-20 over Mansfield. Sydney Phillips had a strong day with 16 kills and five service points. Carly Adams added 29 assists and 13 service points, Amanda Loewen had eight digs and 10 service points, Liv Balduf finished with six kills and 10 service points, Angela Vellante had 18 service points and two aces and Molly Croke added six digs. For Mansfield, Chloe Peters had 22 assists and eight service points, Meg Hill had 11 kills and Olivia Broyles added five kills.
Milford, 3 @ North Attleboro, 1 – Final
Oliver Ames, 3 @ Taunton, 1 – Final – After dropping the first set, Oliver Ames rattled off three straight to get the win, 23-25, 25-2, 25-21, 20-15. Alyssa Gavin led OA with 17 digs and five aces while Bridget McCarthy added 30 assists and two aces. Kayla Raymond tallied 14 kills and two blocks and Katie Flynn and Maya Fetcho each had eight kills.
Sharon, 1 vs. Norwood, 3 – Final
Stoughton @ Cardinal Spellman, 5:00
Franklin, 4 @ Attleboro, 0 – Final – Caroline Lounsbury scored the game-winner four minutes into the game while Cassi Ronan, Erin Walsh and Annie Walsh each scored once. Kate Morse and Annie Walsh each had two assists along with one assist from Dana Lewandowski. Christina Lucini and Anna Jardine combined for the shutout in goal with four saves.
Foxboro, 1 @ Canton, 1 – Final
Mansfield, 2 @ King Philip, 1 – Final
Milford @ North Attleboro, 3:45
Oliver Ames, 3 @ Taunton, 1 – Final – Sydney Hedrick, Sarah Stevens and Cristina Boudreau each scored a goal for the Oliver Ames while Dimitra Efremidis had a pair of assists and Kendall Clifford had one helper. Katie Vamosi made five saves in net for the win.
Sharon, 0 @ Stoughton, 5 – Final – Mia Russell paced Stoughton’s offense with two goals while Olivia Schlehuber, Kamryn Oliviera and Thayna Oliviera each netted a goal apiece.
Mansfield, 1 @ Attleboro, 1 – Final – Mansfield’s Sam Hyland scored the tying goal with 10 minutes left in the game. Hyland scored on an assist from James Chotkowski, who got a touch off of Max Gurnon’s throw in.
Canton, 1 @ Milford, 1 – Final – Freshman Jordan Borges scored his second career goal to put Milford ahead early in the second half but Canton leveled the match with a penalty kick with six minutes to go. Milford head coach Brian Edwards said Zachary Browne and Marcello Panna both put in great performances.
Stoughton, 0 @ Foxboro, 2 – Final – Foxboro’s Hussein Kafel scored the game winning goal midway through the first half for the Warriors while Anthony Barreira iced the game with a goal in the final minutes.
North Attleboro, 0 @ Sharon, 0 – Final – Shawn Watters notched his second straight shutout and fourth overall in net for the Rocketeers.
King Philip, 0 @ Oliver Ames, 3 – Final – Oliver Ames scored three goals in the second half to hand King Philip its first loss of the season. Nathaniel Cardoza set up Thomas McCormick for a shot from just outside the area to put OA up 1-0. Matt Campbell finished off a cross from Matt Alvarado to make it 2-0 and then Alvarado scored one of his own, putting home a flick from James Gillespie off a throw from Chris Lawrence. Jack Carroll recorded his seventh shutout of the season with the help of Lawrence, Mason Galbato, Nick Bloumbas, Cam Johnson and Michael Braga. “We had an early opportunity in the second half but wasn’t able to finish,” KP head coach Nick Gale said. “After that, OA played very well and scored first which set the tone – they didn’t look back. I take responsibility for my team being unprepared.”
Taunton, 1 @ Franklin, 1 – Final – Farley Asmath opened the scoring in the 39th minute off a feed from freshman Sam Stowell to put Franklin up 1-0 but Taunton’s Daeshawn Duffie answered a minute later to level the match just before half.
Attleboro, 0 @ Mansfield, 4 – Final – Stephanie Kemp and Amanda Mangano each recorded two points as Mansfield stayed unbeaten on the season. Kemp scored once and had an assist while Mangano had two helpers. Bryn Anderson, Emma Goulet and Emily Vigeant each scored once for Mansfield.
Canton, 3 @ Milford, 6 – Final
Foxboro, 7 @ Stoughton, 0 – Final
Sharon, 0 @ North Attleboro, 6 – Final – North Attleboro’s Haley Guertin tied a school record with five goals in the Rocketeers’ big win. Emma Gaulin scored the other goal for Big Red. Rachel LaBonte had two assists while Emily Chiasson, Sam Hawkins, Ashlyn Gaulin and Britta MacDonald each had one assist. Head coach Bill Wallace said Grace McGoldrick and Julianna DiRenzo played exception in midfield.
Oliver Ames, 1 @ King Philip, 0 – Final – Oliver Ames junior Abby Reardon netted the game winner in the first half to lift the Tigers. OA head coach Britt Sellmayer said Regan Benton had a strong game in goal to earn the shutout and said both Lauren Wright and Dana Lowney played well for the Tigers.
Franklin, 2 @ Taunton, 0 – Final
Mansfield, 3 @ Attleboro, 0 – Final – Mansfield picked up a 25-9, 25-15, 25-18 sweep on the road. Jess Haradon had 10 service points and 15 digs, Jacey Anderson had 10 digs and Anna Kemp added 14 service points for the Hornets.
Stoughton, 3 @ Foxboro, 2 – Final – Juniors Jordan Motley and Val Whalen combined for over 30 kills for Stoughton while senior Riley Bagley and sophomore Mia Bennett kept the defense strong with over 80 digs.
North Attleboro @ Sharon, 5:00
King Philip, 3 @ Oliver Ames, 1 – Final – King Philip picked up the 25-17, 23-25, 25-15, 25-18 win on the road. Angela Vellante had 19 service points, three aces and four digs for King Philip while Sydney Phillips added 17 kills and 19 service points and Liv Balduf chipped in with 11 service points and three kills. KP head coach Kristen Geuss said Molly Croke had an excellent defensive game. Oliver Ames’ Bridget McCarthy had 20 assists and three aces.
Taunton, 0 @ Franklin, 3 – Final – Erin Skidmore led the Panthers with 10 kills, eight digs and two aces while Maddie Kuzio added 19 digs, two aces and a kill and Meaghan Maguire finished with four kills and three blocks.
Mansfield, 6 @ Attleboro, 1 – Final
Milford, 0 @ Canton, 3 – Final
Stoughton, 1 @ Foxboro, 4 – Final
North Attleboro @ Sharon, 3:45
King Philip, 2 @ Oliver Ames, 1 – Final
Taunton, 0 @ Franklin, 5 – Final – Franklin senior Nicole Denommee scored her first varsity goal on the while Annie Walsh, Alex Sullivan, Cassi Ronan and Caroline Lounsbury each scored once. Senior Samantha Hertzberg got the shutout in goal making three saves.
Foxboro, 173 @ Attleboro, 169 – Final – Ethan Johnson led Attleboro, earning co-medalist honors with a round of 40. Brian Houle shot a 42, Corey McKenna shot a 43 and Taron Mills carded a 45 to pace the Bombardiers. Foxboro’s Colby Nickerson shared medalist honors, shooting a 40 as well.
Oliver Ames, 147 @ Canton, 151 – Final – Oliver Ames completed the regular season undefeated at 16-0 with a win at Canton. Ryan McGarry and Nolan Donze both shot 35 earn match medalist honors for the Tigers. Brady Allbritton shot a 38 and Tate Hadges carded a 39 for the Tigers. Matt Minichiello and Danny Powers each each shot 37 to pace Canton while Tommy Dimock carded a round of 38
Taunton, 166 @ Franklin, 164 – Final – Matt D’Errico led Franklin with a 38 while Bryan Woelfel carded a 39 for the Panthers. Taunton’s Mike Volkmann and Justin Proto shared match medalist honors, shooting 36 on the day.
North Attleboro, 3 @ King Philip, 2 – Final – North Attleboro saw its two set lead disappear at King Philip but bounced back to win the fifth and final set and edge the Warriors in a non league contest, 25-22, 25-17, 19-25, 17-25, 15-13. Sydney Phillips had 21 digs and 14 service points for KP while Amanda Loewen had 25 service points and 12 digs, Elise Pereira had eight digs, Molly Croke added seven digs and Angela Vellante had 25 service points and six digs.
Oliver Ames, 1 @ Milton, 3 – Final – Oliver Ames’ Bridget McCarthy led the Tigers with 29 assists and three aces while Grace McCallum added six kills, four aces and a pair of digs, Alyssa Gavin had 21 digs and a pair of aces, Emma Petrillo chipped in with eight kills and an ace, Maya Fetcho had six kills and a block, Kayla Raymond had 11 kills and an ace and Katie Flynn chipped in with eight kills.
North Attleboro, 1 @ Attleboro, 1 – Final
Stoughton, 3 vs. Brockton, 0 – Final – Stoughton’s Mia Russell led the offense with two goals while Angela Connolly scored the other goal for the Black Knights. Meghan McSweeney picked up the win in her first varsity start.
King Philip @ Stoughton, 3:00
Franklin, 164 @ Attleboro, 169 – Final– Bryan Woelfel earned match medalist honors, shooting a low round of 37 to lead the Panthers. Matt D’ Errico and Matt Dao each shot 42 for Franklin while Ethan Johnson led Attleboro with a team-low round of 39.
Mansfield, 169 @ Oliver Ames, 140 – Final – Oliver Ames’ Nick Lombardi was the co-match medalist, carding a team-low round of 36. Brady Allbritton shot a 37 and Eric LeBlanc and Ryan McGarry each shot 38 for the Tigers. Mansfield Jason Hindman shot a team-low 36.
North Attleboro, 161 @ Taunton, 193 – Final – Tyler Sinacola led North Attleboro, earning match medalist honors after carding a round of 37. Dylan Kane added a 39 for the Rocketeers.
The Bombardiers are hoping to take a step forward and make a dent in the very competitive Kelley-Rex Division. Attleboro picked up a pair of non-league wins last season and is hoping that success can start to translate to league play. Head coach Lindsey McDonald noted the offseason work of juniors Lexi Pereira and Sarah Lynch. Both Pereira and Lynch will play as outside hitters and McDonald said she expects both to bring a lot of power to the attack. Liz Howe, a captain, will be in charge of getting the attack going from the setter position while captain Julya Carlson will anchor the defensive effort for the Bombardiers.
“I am anticipating an improved season for us,” McDonald said. “[Our] captains are providing solid leadership on and off the court and the team has been gelling nicely.”
2015 Record: 16-5 (Davenport Division Champions) 2015 Finish: Reached D2 Central Final Coach: Pat Cawley
Canton has had a dominant run in the Davenport division over the past six years and the Bulldogs are looking to continue that tradition in 2016. Canton has a dozen seniors on the team and will be relying on their experience and leadership to make another run at the division title and in the playoffs. Nicole Poole returns as a second year starter at setter and will be the catalyst for Canton’s offense. Emma Murphy and Casey Shea both have varsity experience and will be important pieces at the middle of the net. One spot that Canton has to fill is at outside hitter and the Bulldogs have a handful of players in the running including seniors Emma Gobbi, Erika Lum, Cassie Loftus, Kelsey Irons, Malia Claiborne and Maria Mackie. Canton is hoping for another year of strong defense with seniors Julia Panico, Kehla Minkin and Emily Lynch all vying for time in the back row.
“We are a senior laden team although most have not seen significant playing time at the varsity level,” head coach Pat Cawley said. “CHS volleyball is a proud tradition and I am confident that this year’s squad will do they can to keep this team competitive and make their senior experience one which they won’t forget.”
2015 Record: 6-12 2015 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Dan Damish
Foxboro is hoping its upward trajectory continues in 2016 after making great strides a season ago. Head coach Dan Damish and the Warriors will rely on its three senior captains – Lindsay Greer, Julia DiCenso and Julie Bridges – to continue to push the program in the right direction. DiCenso will be the starting setter for the fourth straight season and will have Danielle Conlon, the team’s leader in kills last season, at her disposal. DiCenso will also have Greer, Bridges, Ana Sanchez and Molly Crocker as offensive options. Junior Delya Lorquet could emerge as a big threat as a middle hitter as well for Foxboro this season.
“I’m very encouraged with the way the team came into the season in great volleyball shape,” Damish said. “Our top goal is to improve everyday and compete at a high level.”
Coming off the program’s second Kelley-Rex division title in the past five seasons, Franklin will be relying on youth to stay near the top of arguably the most competitive division in all of the Hockomock League’s sports. Senior Erin Skidmore (28 kills in 2015) is making the transition from the middle to the outside and will be a go-to attacking option at the net. At 6’3, junior Meaghan Maguire saw valuable time last year and will be a defensive leader at the net. The Panthers will look to sophomore setter Lauren McGrath to step in to set up the offense.
“This is the youngest team we have had since I started coaching,” head coach Kate Horsmann said. “We have five sophomores who could all be impact players for us this season. The outcome of our season will really depend on how quickly they adjust to the speed of the varsity game and how quickly we gel as a unit.”
King Philip had another strong campaign a year ago and are looking to repeat it in 2016. The Warriors have six returning seniors and all are expected to play important roles for KP this season. Senior captain Carly Adams will set the offense in motion from the setter position, senior captain Emma Lopez will be a key piece in the attack from the outside hitter spot and senior captain Angela Vellante will be a defensive specialist in the back row for KP. Senior Amanda Loewen will also be a key piece to the defense as the team’s libero. Senior Liv Balduf will help balance the offense as a rightside hitter while Molly Croke will help bolster the team’s defense. Junior Sydney Phillips, another returner from last year’s squad, will be an attacking option as an outside hitter.
“I expect us to be a strong team once again this year,” head coach Kristen Geuss said. “We have lost significant depth at the outside hitter position from last year but am encouraged by how our returning players have stepped up and progressed during our practices.”
The Hornets will look to follow up a historic one with another strong showing and they have some experienced players to do so. It will start with defense for Mansfield, who return one of the top liberos in Jess Haradon and one of the top middle blockers in Meg Hill, the 2015 HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year. Mansfield will have to replace some key pieces but senior Chloe Peters will be tasked with setting up the offense while junior Julia Harrison, who saw some minutes as a sophomore a year ago, will be one of the Hornets’ outside hitters.
“We have five great seniors who have been working hard to lead the team,” head coach Melissa Heeden said. “They are a great group of girls. We have some work to do to fill in from the six seniors who graduated last year, but a are really looking forward to the season.”
2015 Record: 9-11 2015 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Linda Zacchilli
The Scarlet Hawks just missed out on the playoffs a season ago but with Linda Zacchilli back on the bench, Milford could be right in the mix for the Davenport title. Offensively, Milford will need some need faces to step up after its top three kills leaders graduated. Junior Kelley Reichert is back after 66 kills last season and senior Stefani Chiarelli and junior Juliana Tracy will both factor into the offense as well. Both of Milford’s setters – Lauren Zouranjian (301 assists) and Allie Collins (198) – are back for 2016, which should help the Scarlet Hawks’ offense flow. Libero Kyra Alves is back after being a strong point in the defense last year as well.
2015 Record: 11-11 2015 Finish: Reached D1 South Quarterfinal Coach: Jeff Crins
The 2016 season will be a bit different for North Attleboro compared to a year ago. The Red Rocketeers now compete in the Davenport division and their attack has been bolstered by the addition of Amelia Murphy. Murphy was a top offensive player in the league a year ago at KP but has since transferred to North Attleboro. Murphy will be an attacking option along with junior Katie DeMontigny (100 kills last season) and Tori Melanson, who will also be a presence defensively at the net (82 kills, 70 blocks in 2015). North Attleboro will need to fill in the role of setter with Taylin Shultz graduated. Gabby Duva and Lindsay Howlett will be two key defensive players for the Rocketeers this season.
2015 Record: 7-12 2015 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Chelsea Correia
Oliver Ames has a strong mix of experienced players returning this Fall and are looking to take a trip back to the postseason after missing out in 2015. Senior captain Bridget McCarthy, in her fourth year on varsity, returns as the starting setter while fellow captain Alyssa Gavin returns as a top defensive option in the back row along with Rachel Foley. Junior Emma Petrillo will be one offensive option for the Tigers as an outside hitter, junior Katherine Flynn will be another as a right side hitter. Juniors Maya Fetcho and Kayla Raymond will rotate as offensive threats from the middle of the net while sophomore Sadie Homer will be the Tigers’ starting libero this season. Other names to keep an eye on include juniors Caroline Cavanaugh, Jacqueline Kander and freshmen Allison Kemp and Jordyn Vella.
“If we commit to it, I think we can rise to many challenges, prepare for all possibilities, and make the most of everything,” head coach Chelsea Correia.
2015 Record: 2-16 2015 Finish: Missed playoffs Coach: Andrea Lovett
New head coach Andrea Lovett is excited about the direction the Sharon volleyball program is headed and is hoping 2016 will be the first step in the right direction. Senior captain Faythe Gomolka returns this year as this the team’s versatile setter and has a great rapport with senior captain and middle hitter Natalie Kane. Seniors Marni Heitin, Luba Korn, Gesi Molla and Jonathan Dickerman will all factor in for the Eagles this season as well. Junior Jess Allan, now in her third year on varsity, will be an attacking option as an outside hitter while classmate Cori Jermyn will be an attacking option from the right side.
“As a new head coach, I am excited to work with the team on developing a more aggressive mindset and working on some more complex offensive systems to raise our level of play and be competitive in the league this year,” Lovett said.
2015 Record: 10-11 2015 Finish: Reached D2 South First Round Coach: Erica Batchelder
The Black Knights had a handful of talented players graduated from last year’s team but there is hope for optimism because of who is back this year. Stoughton’s kills leader junior Val Whalen is back for her third year of varsity after registering 129 kills a season ago. Junior Jordan Motley and senior Riley Bagley will also be big pieces of Stoughton’s attack this season after slamming 84 and 77 kills, respectively, in 2015. The biggest challenge for Stoughton will be finding players to step up in other areas. The team’s ace and assists leader from last season, Bianca DeSousa, the team’s leader in blocks and digs, Bridget Whalen, and the team’s leader in serve receives, Ava Siegel, all graduated. First year head coach Erica Batchelder will be looking to players to step up into those roles.
2015 Record: 15-9 2015 Finish: Reached D1 South Final Coach: Toby Chaperon
Taunton turned a successful regular season and a fourth place finish in the Kelley-Rex into one of the more memorable seasons in Tigers’ history. Taunton made a run all the way to the D1 South Final before falling to eventual state champion Barnstable. It will be a tough task to repeat with the amount of players that Taunton graduated, but the Tigers are up for the challenge. Taunton will need a new setter to step up after graduating Tatum Speicher, one of the top in the area at the position. Offensively, Emily Moor (team-high 254 kills in 2015) is back for her senior season while junior Sam Reaume (69 kills), senior Abby Waldron (69 kills) and senior Delaney Powell (26 kills) are all back after making an impact at the net a season ago.
Players to Watch
Players are listed alphabetically
Carly Adams, King Philip – King Philip was a dangerous attacking team a season ago and Adams, the team’s setter, was the big reason why. Adams will be a catalyst in getting the Warriors’ offense going this season.
Julia DiCenso, Foxboro – There aren’t many players in the league with the experience that DiCenso has. Now a senior captain, DiCenso is in her fourth year as the starting setter for the Warriors and will be a key piece of the offense this season.
Jess Haradon, Mansfield – Haradon really impressed defensively in her first year on varsity and looks to do the same in 2016. The senior will look to continue as a defensive specialist after leading Mansfield with 264 digs a season ago.
Meg Hill, Mansfield – As just a sophomore, Hill led the Hornets in kills (222), and blocks (74). Now a year older, expect another strong attacking year at the net for the 2015 HockomockSports.com Underclassman of the Year.
Bridget McCarthy, Oliver Ames – McCarthy is another four year varsity player and will likely eclipse a setting milestone this season. OA has a handful of young attacking options but things will be easier for them with McCarthy as the setter.
Emily Moor, Taunton – Moor had the most kills in 2015 for players returning this season, which is good news for Taunton. As the Tigers look for new names to emerge in other spots, they can rely on the consistent offense of Moor.
Amelia Murphy, North Attleboro –North Attleboro graduated a great attacking threat in Sara Youssef but now have KP transfer Amelia Murphy at the net. Murphy has the ability to hit around the block, which is very difficult for defenses.
Nicole Poole, Canton Canton has been the team to beat in the Hock for a good stretch now, including last season with Poole setting up the offense. Canton will need new names to step up as attacking options but having Poole as the setter will make things easier.
Erin Skidmore, Franklin – Franklin is in need of some players to step up as attacking options and Skidmore is looking to be one option as she moves from the middle to the outside. The Panthers have a good balance this year and Skidmore looks to be one of their top attacking options.
Val Whalen, Stoughton – The junior returns after leading the Black Knights in kills a year ago. If the Black Knights can find a replacement at setter, Whalen could be a tough player to stop this season.