Barnstable adds No. 14 to dynasty
At the end, Barnstable coach Tom Turco and setter Kayla Crook smiled brightly and held up 14 fingers - for 14 championships.
“It’s a tradition of winning but winning isn’t who they are. Who they are is a hardworking group of gutsy players,’’ said Turco.
Last night at Algonquin Regional in Northborough, Barnstable’s dynasty grew by beating Central Catholic, 3-0 (25-13, 27-25, 25-14), in the MIAA Division 1 championship.
“The biggest compliment any coach can give you is that you’re warriors and they’re warriors,’’ said Turco.
However, the shutout did not come easy.
In the final set, Lynne Hibbard (seven kills) and Kaylee Deluga exhibited the power and tactics that are trademarks of the Red Raiders’ reign. And Carolyn Morin (eight kills) delivered a rocket at the back row to set up game point at 24-14.
“I just want to slam the ball every time and that’s my mind-set,’’ said Morin. “I work on my jump, too, and I’m sure that helps.’’
And with everything on the line, Crook and Colleen Koen put up a double block to end the match, 25-14. Crook contributed 31 assists and an ace.
The second game was a point-for-point affair with Central Catholic utilizing double blocks to shut down the Barnstable offense. Central Catholic’s Amanda Williams and Alexis Michal stopped Deluga to take an 18-17 lead.
“In the second game, we were nervous because it got really tight and we quieted down so we knew we needed to change that,’’ said Hibbard.
Barnstable regained the lead, but Michal’s stellar recovery with a punch for the save made it 23-23. Morin’s hit down back tied it again, 25-25. Then two Central Catholic errors handed the game to Barnstable.
“They were on elimination point for that [second] game, and they fought,’’ said Turco. “This whole work ethic thing is contagious and I’m proud of them.’’
In the first set, Barnstable plowed through Central Catholic for 10-point lead. As Barnstable moved to close with power-hitter Morin, Central Catholic put up three double blocks before Morin broke through with a hit to make it 24-13. Morin closed the game with a hit.
Marlboro 3, Melrose 1 - Trailing 1-0, the Panthers rallied to complete an undefeated 23-game season, finishing off Melrose, 22-25, 25-23, 25-13, 25-20.
“We’re not used to being behind and they came back,’’ said Marlboro coach Peter Lepore. “They’re a great team.”
In the fifth game, the Panthers used a potent attack from seniors Alexa Fearing and Laura Silverman to take a 23-20 lead. A timeout didn’t faze Fearing, who drilled home game point.
Melissa Scott, Silverman, and Fearing dominated during a 10-point scoring surge to lead the Panthers to a 20-10 lead in the third game.
In the second game, Silverman and Scott used relentless hitting to rally from 8 points down. Scott’s tip made it 24-23, and a Melrose error settled the game.
In the first set, Sarah McGowan lit up the court with a stellar attack to give Melrose an 18-11 edge, which the Panthers could not overcome.
Frontier 3, Case 2 - Frontier capitalized on the power and athleticism of junior Cassidy Stankowski, who drilled 24 kills in the Red Hawks’ victory in a marathon match - 22-25, 25-18, 17-25, 26-24, 15-11.
“We ask more of [Stankowski] than is fair,’’ said Frontier coach Sean MacDonald. “We try to score points with her serve and hitting and blocking. But the rest of the team came up big today when they weren’t focusing on Cassidy.”
Frontier, which earned the title last year after taking out Case, 3-0, now has four championships, and it won this one after graduating three all-state players last June.
After four ties in the fifth set, the Red Hawks (23-1) pushed Case into a timeout after three hits from junior Courtney Parent (24 assists, nine kills) and senior Marie Wheeler (17 assists), 13-10. Stankowski drilled a kill then used a service ace to finish the match.