The text messages started arriving in Tom Turco’s inbox Thursday afternoon. The 33-year girls’ volleyball coach at Barnstable was hearing from relatives, all offering suggestions before his Red Hawks traveled to Dennis-Yarmouth for Friday’s Cape & Islands League Atlantic Division tournament final.
“I got three texts — ‘You’ve got to get those seniors fired up,’” Turco said. “We met as a team yesterday and I told them about the texts. I told them, ‘This is Barnstable. This is our championship match.’ There’s nothing I’m going to say, it had to come from them.”
Dennis-Yarmouth swept the three regular-season meetings — the first, on March 16, was Barnstable’s first loss to the Dolphins since 1988, Turco’s first year at the helm.
But the Red Hawks bounced back when it mattered most, capturing the C&I Atlantic tournament final with a 25-20, 25-17, 26-24 victory over top-seeded D-Y.
“It came from the heart and that’s why they prevailed,” Turco said. “They just came absolutely fired up — it started at yesterday’s practice.”
Barnstable (8-3) relied on senior Caroline Kiehnau, a Franklin Pierce University commit. Kiehnau posted a team-high 16 kills, including a thunderous right-handed spike that ended the third set and clinched the title.
“It meant the world to me,” Kiehnau said of recording the final point. “I didn’t grow up here — I grew up in Texas — but watching the girls down there play during their senior year, it was just something I always looked forward to. I wanted to have that moment.”
The outcome was a stunner for D-Y, which finished 12-1. The Dolphins earned 3-2, 3-1 and 3-0 victories over the Red Hawks during the regular season, though they never found their rhythm Friday. D-Y coach Dru Sisson attributed some of her team’s struggles to what she thought were questionable calls.
“I think that was probably the hardest part of the match,” Sisson said of the officiating. “You hate to blame it on something else, but it was just a really tough called match. They missed a lot of touches and it got into our kids’ heads a little bit and I had a tough time getting them out of it.”
Barnstable senior Phoebe Gibson recorded seven kills and sophomore Lindsay Jones added four. Junior co-captains Lucy Swanson (16 kills, 8 digs) and Alayna Rooney (15 digs) led D-Y.
Ursuline 3, Calvary Chapel 0 — Ursuline Kevin Goyette and his daughter, Julia, had a unique perspective for the Metro Boston League championship match against Calvary Chapel. The host Bears (12-0) won the title with a 25-9, 25-16, 25-14 sweep, but the Goyettes were forced to quarantine because of a close contact with a coronavirus case on the JV team.
Junior Caroline Canavan (27 digs, 4 aces), Abigail Girard (7 kills, 12 digs, block), and sophomore Faith Rhodes (16 assists) were stellar in the win.
With two laptops and a simulcast on their living room TV, the Goyettes coached through a laptop stationed on the sideline in the school’s gymnasium in Dedham. School nurse Heather Smart, a former player at Ursuline, and Natalie Mayo, the junior high school coach, worked the sideline. The Goyettes provided coaching tips in timeouts.
“It was great. I was so happy for them. One of the best parts was that I was coaching with my daughter, Julia, she’s a 2014 alum. She was the JV coach, she played there,” Kevin Goyette said. “She mentored a lot of these girls. The seniors now were seventh- and eighth-graders that she knew when she was a senior there. All the girls were happy to have her on the sideline.
“I’m just happy for the team. We really rose to the occasion and they stepped up.”
That group of seniors, Alyssa Bottary (7 aces), Brooke DeLucia (6 assists), Kate Gormley (9 assists), Jayne McGuire, and Maria Nader got to close out the third set and secured the win. In all, the team combined for 35 kills and 21 aces. Bottary even got her first career kill when she was moved up from the back row.
Ursuline and six other teams formed the Metro Boston League for this volleyball season.
“It’s a one-off, it was strange. But I’m glad the kids still got to play, that’s the important thing. The seniors didn’t have to lose their season. I know last spring, a lot of teams lost it, softball didn’t have a season at all,” Goyette said. “I think it was great for the MIAA to have a Fall II season so that all the teams could play. Athletic director Mike O’Connor and athletic trainer Kim Munsey, they did a great job with logistics and kept everybody safe.”
Franklin 3, King Philip 1 — In a match of the league’s best, the host Panthers (12-1) pulled out a 25-15, 25-21, 21-25, 25-21 win over the Warriors (11-2) to capture the Hockomock Cup final.
Senior outside hitter Ally Bonnet-Eymard piled up 22 kills and junior Cailyn Mackintosh tallied 49 assists. Franklin amassed 55 kills.
“They really just needed to trust each other and play together as a team,” coach Samantha Elliott said. “That’s what they did, and I’m so proud of them.”
The Panthers split the regular season series with the Warriors, including their lone loss of the season, a narrow 3-2 defeat on March 20. Elliott and Co. felt a little extra motivation entering Friday’s matchup.
“It wouldn’t have felt right to have a Hock final without playing K-P again; I think it was fate to face them again,” Elliott said. “My girls definitely wanted redemption from that.”
Lynnfield 3, North Reading 0 — The Pioneers (12-1) captured the Cape Ann tourney final by taking three hard-fought sets 25-22, 25-19, 25-23.
Coach Brent Ashley praised his team for remaining composed against a tough North Reading team. “You’ve got to love that volleyball I.Q. team — the team that you can just sit there and say, ‘We’re smart enough to run it, so let’s do it,’ ” he said.
Sophomore Ella Gizmunt racked up 13 kills, 7 digs, and 5 ace. Senior Jill Babine also added 5 kills, 4 aces, and 9 digs. But to Ashley, Babine’s impact transcended her numbers. “She just didn’t make mist
Apponequet 3, Seekonk 0 — Mia Comeau led the host Lakers (3-4) with 8 aces, 13 service points and 12 kills in the South Coast Conference win.
Case 3, Dighton-Rehoboth 0 — Senior Riley Fitzgerald had 14 digs, 16 service returns, and zero errors for the Cardinals (7-1). Senior Alyssa Storm had 18 assists and 6 aces in the South Coast League match.
Lowell Catholic 3, Notre Dame (Hingham) 2 — Molly Trainor (9 aces, 8 kills, 2 blocks), Antonia Mukiibi (7 kills, 6 aces), and Kathryn Rzepala (12 aces, 18 assists) guided the host Crusaders (8-7) to the nonconference victory.
Correspondents Ethan Fuller and Lenny Rowe contributed.