The Barnstable girls’ volleyball team qualified for its third consecutive Division 1 South Sectional final after a decisive, 3-0 victory over sixth-seeded Notre Dame of Hingham Thursday night at Barnstable.
It will be the 20th appearance in 21 years in the sectional final for the third-ranked Red Raiders (18-1), who visit eighth-seeded Pembroke Saturday at 5 p.m.
The Red Raiders (25-22, 25-18, 25-19) struggled to generate offense early and were in a 20-15 deficit late in the first set. Barnstable recovered to take a 23-22 lead thanks to middle hitters Colleen Koen (eight kills and three blocks) and Hannah Andres (2 aces, 2 blocks, 9 digs).
“They are a resilient group and they weren’t rattled after being down by such a large score,’’ said Barnstable coach Tom Turco. “They have been through a lot this season and stayed pretty composed. They know that you are never out in volleyball and a few big plays can change the momentum.”
The Red Raiders carried the momentum into the second set, quickly opening a 7-0 lead. Junior libero Stephanie Martin (nine digs) led the charge with seven straight service points and senior Regan Bristol (16 kills) had two kills during the run.
Senior defensive specialist Anna Strock also chipped in two aces and eight digs as the Red Raiders maintained a 6-point edge throughout the second set.
“We took advantage of the huge momentum swing and we got hot serving the ball and things were basically going our way,” said Turco. “We never allowed them to get any momentum in that second match.”
Melrose 3, Burlington 0 — The fourth-ranked Red Raiders (23-1) continued their quest for a fourth-straight Division 2 North title with 28 assists from senior setter Brooke Bell.
Holbrook 3, Ursuline 0 — The Bulldogs (18-4) advanced to the Division 3 South final for the second consecutive season with senior outside hitter Ellise Morgan contributing 16 kills. in the 25-18, 25-22, 25-8, win.
Canton 3, Westborough 1 — Senior outside hitter Julia Murphy notched 28 kills and four blocks to power the Bulldogs (21-0).