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MIAA GIRLS' VOLLEYBALL | Lincoln-Sudbury 3, Natick 0

Lincoln-Sudbury’s Anne-Sophie Ouellet lowers the boom on Natick in Division 1 volleyball triumph

Lincoln-Sudbury’s Anna-Sophie Ouellet led the way for the No. 2 Warriors with 20 kills in a three-set sweep of Natick Tuesday in a Division 1 volleyball matchup.Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff


Lincoln-Sudbury’s Anne-Sophie Ouellet finished the Tuesday’s Division 1 volleyball tournament matchup against Natick with the same intensity she brings to her team every day, every game, every set. The senior outside hitter led the second-seeded Warriors with a 20-kill performance, highlighting her effort with a pair of booming spikes from the left side to help Lincoln-Sudbury clinch a 25-17, 25-10, 31-29 victory and a berth in the quarterfinals.

Host L-S was in control during much of its sweep over Natick. Each time the second-seeded Warriors (20-2) needed a point, they showed why they are a contender to win a state championship.

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“In my 33 years [at L-S], this is the most cohesive, the closest team I’ve ever coached,” said former L-S head coach Judy Katalina, who retired from the athletic department in 2021 but now is an assistant to third-year coach Greg Falcone. “They truly want the best for each other.”

Katalina wanted to retire from head coaching duties after 30 years. She felt Falcone, a former standout at Springfield College would be the perfect replacement. When offered the position, he said he’d only do it if she were still an assistant.

“He is an outstanding coach,” said Katalina, who now has been a part of 516 career wins as head coach and assistant. “He has taken these girls to their limits. He’s so knowledgeable of the game, he studies film constantly, and he really cares deeply about this team.”

The visiting No. 15 Redhawks (12-6) jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the first set, but before too long, L-S rallied and turned it into a 24-14 lead.

“It comes down to grit, and that’s something our team has so much of,” Ouellet said. “We have that mentality to never let go and to fight for every single ball.”

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It looked like the Warriors would cruise to a third-set win to take the match when they led 22-13, but Natick made a run, even taking the lead a few times. With a pair of kills, Ouellet, whose .297 hit percentage is the highest single-season mark in program history, helped turn a 29-28 match point for the Redhawks into a playoff win for L-S.

Falcone said Ouellet, who once broke a ball cart in practice hustling for a ball, plays volleyball “with the mind-set of a hockey player,” which just so happens to be her winter sport.

“Anne-Sophie is top-five [among players I’ve seen] in my career,” said Katalina. “She’s such a team player, her passing, her serve receive, her serving, everything is top-notch. We’re very proud of the player she’s become.”

The Warriors have never won a state title, but Ouellet and classmate Amaya Parnell (8 kills) say this is the year to do it.

Lincoln-Sudbury’s Amaya Parnell (No. 24) celebrates a point during the No. 2 Warriors sweep of Natick in a Division 1 girls' volleyball tournament matchup.Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff

“The best volleyball team isn’t going to be the strongest hitters, it’s going to be the smartest and most strategic players out there,” Parnell said. “And I think we have some of the best on this team.”

Falcone said the leadership of his senior class has been a strength.

“In four years, they haven’t taken a rep off in practice, let alone a game,” Falcone said. “When there’s chaos, they did a good job slowing it down. That’s stuff that we can’t do as coaches, but they’re mature beyond their years.”

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From the L-S coaching staff to its players, there is an unwavering belief this volleyball team is special.

“Having been on so many teams before, I haven’t been on one yet that loves each other so much,” Ouellet said. “It’s hard to find so many players who care about the game so much and care about their teammates that they’ll leave everything out there.”

Division 1

Barnstable 3, Shrewsbury 0 — Molly Fredo slammed 13 kills and Sadie Wellbeloved amassed 30 assists to pace the No. 5 Red Hawks (18-2) to a second-round win. Lindsey Jones and Charlotte Sullivan also added eight kills each.

Division 2

King Philip 3, Nashoba 0 — Senior captains Ahunna James (15 kills, 4 blocks), Emily Sawyer (9 kills, 7 aces) and Sami Shore (7 kills, 2 aces) paced the No. 2 Warriors (20-2) to the Round-of-32 sweep over No. 18 Nashoba. King Philip will host a Round-of-8 matchup against the winner of the Wednesday night’s Round-of-16 matchup between No. 10 Woburn and No. 7 Westwood.

Division 3

Dennis-Yarmouth 3, Groton-Dunstable 0 — Grace Presswood and Ellen Swanson each tallied nine kills, Vivian Costano racked 27 assists, and Mariah Eaton and Ava Pecorella added five kills a piece to power the top-ranked Dolphins (17-5) to a second-round win.

Newburyport 3, Foxborough 0 — Viive Godtfredsen recorded 15 kills and 6 aces, Sophia Messina had 11 kills, and Beatrice Cortecci collected 9 kills and 3 aces to lift the No. 3 Clippers (19-3) to a Round-of-16 win. Newburyport moves on to play the winner of No. 11 Greater New Bedford (16-7) and No. 6 Ashland (12-9).

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Division 4

Ipswich 3, Advanced Math and Science 1 — Grace Sorensen (13 kills and 13 digs), Kendra Brown (17 assists), , Ella Stein (8 kills, 6 digs, and 4 aces), Tess O’Flynn (14 assists, 5 digs, 4 aces) powered the top-ranked Tigers (18-2) to a Roundp-of-16 victory.

Ursuline 3, Hamilton-Wenham 0 — Freshman Carly Tarantola (12 kills) and senior Faith Rhodes (28 assists) propelled the No. 6 Bears (19-2-0) to the Round-of-16 triumph. Ursuline will face the winner of the matchup between No. 2 Joseph Case and No. 14 Sandwich in the Round of 8.

Division 5

Douglas 3, Lee 1 — Elise Forget racked up 25 assists and Ava Lamire notched 12 digs, 11 kills, and 5 blocks to lift the No. 8 Tigers (14-6) to a Round-of-16 victory over No. 9 Lee (12-10).

Frontier 3, South Shore Voc-Tech 0 — Jillian Apanell collected 5 aces, 3 kills, 2 digs, and 1 block, Sydney Scanlon amassed 18 assists, and Caroline Deane fiered nine kills to power the top-ranked Red Hawks (21-1) to a Round-of-16 victory.

Globe correspondent Mike Puzzanghera reported from Methuen. Globe correspondents Sarah Barber and Tyler Foy contributed to this report. To report scores, call 617-929-2860/3235, or email hssports@globe.com.


AJ Traub can be reached at aj.traub@globe.com.