High school volleyball preview – Lowell Sun

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Groton-Dunstable volleyball is fresh of an undefeated season in 2020, and look to continue its success. Front row (from left): Olivia Crandall, Naomi Rodman and Nicola Degrazia. Back row: Jordyn Richie, Brooke Barry, Emma Kenney and Sydney Barlow. Courtesy photo
North Middlesex volleyball seniors Alex Caliri (left) and Tess McDevitt were key cogs to the team’s amazing 12-2 run last year. They’ll look to go even further this season. Courtesy photo
Billerica volleyball seniors Grace Jones (left) and Kailey Roche, front a veteran heavy returning cast back to the court this season. Courtesy photo

For many years, much of the high school girls volleyball teams that advanced deep in the postseason have come from the Merrimack Valley Conference, whether it was Chelmsford, Andover and then Academy of Notre Dame before they left the league.

Lately, some of the success has shifted to Central Mass, in particular teams from the Mid-Wach League. Back in 2018, Groton-Dunstable won the Division 2 state championship title and the following year North Middlesex advanced to the sectional semifinals. Last year, GD finished 12-0 and North Middlesex was 12-2.

This year the Crusaders return almost the entire starting line-up from a year ago including Sydney Barlow, a returning all-state player, and will look to win another league title.

Elsewhere, Lowell Catholic returns Madi Frantz, who as a freshman and sophomore was named the CCL Player of the Year, including in 2019 when she led the entire state in aces with 139, according to MaxPreps.com.

In the MVC, Chelmsford and Billerica should be strong, while Tewksbury had a dynamite player in junior Carrina Barron returning.

 

BILLERICA

League: Merrimack Valley Conference

Last Year’s Record: 6-4

Returning Letterwinners: Kailey Roche, sr., setter; Grace Jones, sr., libero/back row; Stephanie Sardella, sr., right side; Jessica Maillet, sr., outside hitter; Paige Murphy, sr., middle hitter; Abby Downs, jr., outside hitter; Aiden Arsenault, jr., middle hitter; Naomi Boldebuck, jr., OH/back row; Nicole Donati, jr., setter/back row; Olivia Bento, jr., right/outside hitter; Ella Quin, fr., middle hitter.

Promising Newcomers:  Magge Quin, jr., outside hitter; Kayla Sullivan, jr., outside hitter; Brooke Battcock, jr., right side hitter; Olivia Battcock, jr., outside hitter; Sydney Nortelus, sr., right side/setter.

Coach Brittany McGuinness (7th season): “We graduated two seniors from last year, so we are returning with most of our squad. The future for BMHS Girls volleyball is looking bright within our gym. The girls are working tirelessly day in and out to have a strong and successful season. We are utilizing the high number of returners we have along with our newcomers to strengthen our play with experience and knowledge of the game. They are chomping at the bit to return to a normal season and be able to play their full schedule.”

 

CHELMSFORD

League: Merrimack Valley Conference

Last Year’s Record: 9-3

Returning Letterwinners: Natalia Giampa, sr., back row; Kelly Enwright, sr., outsider hitter; Emma Taylor, jr., outside hitter; Chance Drewicz, jr., util; Sidney Schwartz, jr., middle hitter; Carli Edwards-Thomas, jr., outside hitter.

Promising Newcomers: Lea Bosch, jr., opposite; Keely Wilson, jr., setter; Maddie Gallagher, jr., back row; Vivian Stripp, soph., middle hitter; Bridget Trainor, soph., outside hitter; Sammy Kelepouris, soph., setter.

Coach Edgar Valdez (2nd season): “We have a great group of girls that had a pretty good Fall-2 season and we are hoping to build off what we started. The returning players got a lot of experience from this past season and are excited about this season. The girls new to the varsity roster have been in the program the past few seasons working hard and are enthusiastic about this year.”

 

DRACUT

League: Merrimack Valley Conference

Last Year’s Record: 3-8

Returning Letterwinners: Kyra Robles, sr., outside hitter; Katarina Morse, sr., libero; Loran Zolkas, sr., middle hitter; Grace Hall, sr., opposite Yu Xin Wang, sr., back row; Sabina Kamanda, sr., outside hitter.

Promising Newcomers: Samaya Thapa, sr., setter; Tati Fevry, sr., middle hitter; Terry Njogu, sr. opposite; Ashlee Talbot, jr., setter; Emma Felker, jr., middle hitter; Katelyn Brooks, jr., hitter; Gabriella Lucarotti, jr., outside hitter.

 

GREATER LOWELL

League: Commonwealth Athletic Conference

Last Year’s Record: 8-4

Returning Letterwinners: Alexa Furtado, sr., setter; Iyana Lopez, sr., outside hitter; Britney Zilli, s.r, all around; Annabel Senechiame, so., setter; Irene Emerson, so., middle hitter; Jesyl Alcantaro, so., defense specialist; Hillary Santana, sr., hitter; Gieanna Ramos, sr., hitter; Adria Stys, sr., defense specialist; Alanis Velez, sr., all around; Nellie Chan, jr, hitter.
Promising Newcomers: Casey Ziemba, so., middle hitter; Justyne Martinez, sr., middle hitter; Yasmin Braga, jr., defense specialist; Taylyn Kiernan, sr., defense specialist; Syntyque Lima, sr., all around.

Coach Joanne Martin (6th season): “The girls are excited to be back in the gym touching the ball. We continue to improve every day and hope to be competitive in our CAC league. Our returners and newcomers have great potential having just played a few months ago. We are looking forward to see what this experienced team can accomplish in just a few weeks time.”

 

GROTON-DUNSTABLE

League: Mid-Wach B

Last Year’s Record: 12-0

Returning Letterwinners: Sydney Barlow, sr., middle blocker; Brooke Barry, sr., outside hitter; Emma Kenney, sr., outside hitter; Naomi Rodman, sr., libero; Abby Burgess, jr., back row; Olivia Crandall, sr., setter; Isabelle Frazier, jr., middle blocker

Promising newcomers: Kaelyn Engeian, soph., middle blocker; Mira Mahmoud, soph., outside hitter; Svea Sullivan, soph., setter.

Coach Heather Barlow: “The team is coming off an undefeated 12-0 season (no post-season play due to COVID). All-State player Sydney Barlow is joined by several other seniors Kenney, Barry, and Rodman in their attempts to win the league regular season (again) and hopefully this year’s league championship with advancement to state. Much of this season’s success will be riding on two new setters, Crandall and sophomore Sullivan, as they replace Katie Eberhardt.”

 

LOWELL

League: Merrimack Valley Conference

Returning Letterwinners: Ali Rivera, sr., middle hitter; Alana Harris, sr., all-around; Mariana Lima, sr., outside hitter; Melodee Pin, sr., setter; Sofia Cruz-Carasquilla, sr., middle hitter.

Promising Newcomers: Socheata Thaep, jr., back row/libero; Natalia Flores, sr., middle/opposite hitter; Madison Sao, jr., setter; Kelly Ly, sr., back row; Lauren Poirier, sr., back row.

Coach Marina O’Brien (5th season): “(We are) expecting to be competitive.”

 

LOWELL CATHOLIC

League: Commonwealth Athletic Conference
Last Year’s Record: 8-7
Returning Letterwinners:  Madi Franz, sr., outside hitter; Noelle Gadue, sr., opposite hitter; Brooke Ewing, sr., opposite hitter; Brianna DeLucia, jr., setter; Ava Samataro, jr., middle hitter; Caite McCarthy, jr., outside hitter; Kylee McDonough, soph., libero; Avery Tucker, soph., outside hitter.

Promising Newcomers: Neipha Som, sr., outside hitter; Monnavi Un, sr., opposite hitter; Emily Perry, sr., opposite hitter; Olivia Meuse, jr., middle hitter; Madi Scott, jr., opposite hitter; Kennedy Daly, soph., setter; Mollie Miner, fr., back row; Ellen McMahon, fr., outside hitter; Amanda Grace, fr., middle hitter.

Coach Cam Connors (2nd season): “Looking forward to working with a mixture of veteran leadership and young talent.”

 

NORTH MIDDLESEX

League: Mid-Wach B

Last Year’s Record: 12-2

Returning Letterwinners: Emma Chase, sr., right side hitter; Alex Caliri, sr., libero; Angela Kopec, sr., middle hitter; Madi LaCreta, sr., middle hitter; Bella Perritano, jr., outside hitter; Tess McDevitt, sr., setter; Olivia Hill, sr., outside hitter; Julia Hyde, jr., middle hitter; Brooke Nelson, jr., outside hitter.

Coach Mark Roy (10th season): “With a senior heavy class we should be able to compete in our league. After a year of dealing with COVID, it was really nice to be able to compete this past spring, but we are looking forward to a full fall season.”

 

PELHAM

League: New Hampshire Division 2

Last Year’s Record: 0-6
Returning Letterwinners: Meghan Roemer, jr., setter; Shaelyn Hinton, jr., middle hitter; Angelina Balzotti, soph., libero; Kylie Chamberlin, soph., right/outside hitter; Lianny Marte, sr., outside hitter.

Promising Newcomers:

Marissa Morales, soph., right side hitter; Hannah Kelly, fr., middle hitter.

Coach Jess Makara (1st season): “I have watched these girls grow up with this program after volunteering with Coach Nugent in 2019. Taking over the program this year is a dream come true. Losing two very strong players in Maria Dagher and Casey Chamberlin last year to graduation is a tough blow but we have had a lot of girls step up into leadership roles including captains Meghan Roemer and Haileigh LaFlamme. We gained a great transfer from Salem High in Marissa Morales, and we are expecting some great play from freshman Hannah Kelly. Our goal on the court this year is positivity and team unity. The more that they support each other on the court, the better they will play.

 

SHAWSHEEN TECH

League: Commonwealth Athletic Conference

Last Year’s Record: 2-12

Returning Starters: Chloe Gaglione, sr., middle hitter; Bianca Corso, sr., right side hitter; Kayla Mirisola, sr., left side hitter; Darielle Wilson, sr., middle hitter; Kiley McFadden, jr., back row; Cade Barron, soph., setter; Alexia Bonilla, jr., setter; Isabella Schena, jr., Gabriella Walazek, Jr.

Promising Newcomers: Olivia Venezia, so., Kaliana Spooner, so., Gabriella DiSalvo, soph.; Gabby Oritz, soph., Fiona Rexford, fr.

Coach Kelsey St. George (2nd year): “It feels awesome to be back. We have a lot of kids returning, so everyone kind of already knows each other and has a great morale with each other, so it will be great to get them back on the court together.”

 

TEWKSBURY

League: Merrimack Valley Conference

Returning Letterwinners: Katie Cueva, sr., outside hitter; Maddie Cueva, sr., outside hitter; Carinna Barron, jr., libero;  Kiley Kennedy, jr., setter; Tori Rowe, jr., right side; Jennie Lester, jr., right side; Maddie Montejo (Junior- MB),  McKayla Conley, soph., middle blocker; Ava Fernandes, soph., back row.

Promising Newcomers: Hayley Pote, sr., outside hitter; Izzy Desisto, sr., setter; Ava Nordburch, soph., setter; Chloe Burns, soph., setter; Vanessa Green, jr., middle blocker.

Coach Alli Luppi (5th year): “Excited for season. We have a lot of returning players from last year, so I’m hoping to start the season off strong.”

 

WESTFORD ACADEMY

League: Dual County League

Last Year’s Record: 2-8

Returning Letterwinners: Jordan Krauss, sr., outside hitter; Allie Mcintosh, sr., right side hitter; Jenny Graffeo, sr., middle hitter; Katherine Crane, jr, outside hitter; Taylor Bourque, jr, back row; Sanaa Chatiwala, jr, back row.

Coach Brandon Eang (8th season): “To have a positive experience and build good memories and friendships for all of the players.”

 

WILMINGTON

League: Middlesex League Freedom Division

Last Year’s Record: 4-7

Returning Letterwinners: Lauren Hitchison, sr., back row; Mia Vestal, jr., setter; Alyssa Fricia, sr., back row; Meg O’Mahony, sr., outside hitter; Sarah LaVita, sr., middle hitter; Maddie McCarron, jr., middle hitter; Bella Kieran, sr., outside hitter; Haeleigh Wilson, sr., outside hitter; Emily McHugh, sr., Laura Tran, sr., Paige Lohrman, sr., Sloane MacIntyre, jr.

Promising Newcomers:  Maria Cummings, soph.; Shaylan Bresnahan, soph.

Coach Lauren Donoghue (2nd season): “We are right there and it’s just a matter of pushing ahead. They have done a great job with all of the summer stuff to find those right connections with one another, so I do think the chemistry is there and it’s just a matter of pushing through during the times when things aren’t going so well for us.”

 

PLAYERS TO WATCH

BILLERICA: Kailey Roche, sr., setter; Grace Jones, sr., libero; CHELMSFORD: Kelly Enwright, sr., outside hitter; Emma Taylor, jr., outside hitter; Natalia Giampa, sr., back row; GR. LOWELL: Iyana Lopez, sr., outside hitter;  GROTON-DUNSTABLE: Sydney Barlow, sr., middle blocker; Emma Kennedy, sr., outside hitter; Brooke Barry, sr., outside hitter; Naomi Rodman, sr., libero; LOWELL CATHOLIC: Madi Franz, sr., outside hitter; NORTH MIDDLESEX: Emma Chase, sr., right side hitter; Alex Caliri, sr., libero; Angela Kopec, sr., middle hitter; Madi LaCreta, sr., middle hitter; SHAWSHEEN TECH: Chloe Gaglione, sr., middle hitter. TEWKSBURY: Carrina Barron, jr., libero; Katie Cueva, sr., outside hitter; Maddie Cueva, sr., outside hitter; WILMINGTON: Lauren Hutchison, sr., back row; Maddie McCarron, jr., middle hitter.

 



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