After losing to 17th-seeded Chelmsford in five sets twice during the regular season, the 16th-seeded Methuen boys’ volleyball team buckled down to beat their Merrimack Valley Conference rival, 3-1, when it mattered most.
The Rangers triumphed 25-21, 25-22, 21-25, 25-22 on Monday to secure their first state tournament win since 2012 and advance to the second round of the Division 1 tournament.
“The guys showed a lot of toughness and a lot of grit tonight and just really took care of business when they needed to,” Methuen coach Matt Twomey said.
The Rangers (13-8) got 20 kills in a monster performance from James Levesque and 13 kills from Drew Eason. Eason also added 10 digs as part of a strong defensive effort that included 12 digs from Matt Kovacev.
“We kept a lot of plays going tonight that, during the season, I think would have been points going the other way,” Twomey said.
On Wednesday, in the second round, the Rangers face top-seeded Needham, which is on a 69-match win streak. Twomey says to pull off the upset, his squad needs to focus on their own play and stay composed.
“Our biggest thing for us just to control our emotion on our side of the net — win the emotional battle by being loud and intense, and not be in awe of them,” he said.
St. John’s (Shrewsbury) 3, North Andover 0 — Matt Deeley (11 kills, 10 digs) and Ben Saro (28 digs, 3 aces) proved pivotal in leading the fourth-seeded Pioneers (17-4) to a second-round home win over No. 13 North Andover.
Division 2 State
Greater New Bedford 3, Leominster 1 — Curran Farnworth (12 kills, 19 digs, 3 aces) and Camden Morin (11 kills, 4 blocks) led the way as the seventh-seeded Bears (15-3) earned a second-round victory.
Wayland 3, Holyoke 0 — Finn Bell notched a program-record 11 aces to go with 15 kills, spearheading a first-round home win for the No. 13 seed Warriors (9-12). Joe Kelly added 11 kills and Grayson Getz logged six kills and 16 assists.
Division 2 State
Hingham 5, Mansfield 0 — Ben LaRhette and Nick Dubois (6-1, 7-5) battled to a doubles win as the fourth-seeded Harbormen (18-4) rolled to a second round victory.
Division 2 State
Duxbury 3, Westwood 2 — Caroline Sutliffe won at first singles (6-1, 6-0), powering the eighth-seeded Green Dragons (17-5) to a second-round win. Agnes Buell and Taylor Florek (6-4, 6-3) added a win at first doubles, and Catherine Driscoll and Natalie Shepler (6-3, 6-2) triumphed at second doubles.
Masconomet 5, Marblehead 0 — Senior captain Kendall Skulley triumphed at first singles (6-0, 6-0) as the fourth-seeded Chieftains (17-0) cruised to a second-round victory. Masconomet did not lose a set.
MSTCA South Heptathlon
Franklin’s Sarah Dumas (2,839 points) jumped out to a commanding lead during Day 1 of the MSTCA South Heptathlon at Notre Dame Academy (Hingham). Dumas notched first-place finishes in the 100-meter hurdles (15.04), shot put (10.58 meters), and 200-meter dash (26.45).
Dumas won the girls’ pentathlon at the Division 2 state championships on May 25, and the MIAA Meet of Champions girls’ pentathlon on June 1.
Hanover’s Natalie Mutschler (2,321 points) sits in second place heading into the second day of competition, which will include the long jump, javelin, and 800-meter dash.