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Marshfield’s Covitz chases 1,000 volleyball kills at St. Michael’s

Covitz sets sights
on 1,000-kill mark

Chelsey Covitz helped to put volleyball on the map at Marshfield High by leading the Rams to their first Atlantic Coast Conference title in 2009, along with a trip to the Division 1 South semifinals.

Covitz and cocaptain Ashley Ahearn , two of the first players at Marshfield to invest the time to play at the club level, helped instill a winning atmosphere with the program.

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Now Covitz is leaving her mark on the volleyball court at St. Michael’s, a Division 2 program in Burlington, Vt.

The 6-foot-3 tricaptain, moving up on the Purple Knights’ career leader list in a number of categories, owns the school record for blocking assists (145) and is second in total blocks with 228. Sixth in career kills (836), she has her eye on becoming the second St. Michael’s player to reach 1,000 kills.

“I played with Lindsey Frazier, who broke the career record for kills with 1,095, so I’d definitely like to get 1,000,” said Covitz, an accounting major who hopes to attend graduate school and become a certified public accountant.

“I have a ways to go. I take a lot of pride in my game and would love to leave my mark here.”

She already has.

As a sophomore, Covitz registered 316 kills, the second-highest in program history, six shy of the single-season record.

But as she continues to put up the numbers, she also has a chance to put St. Mike’s on the map, the way she did at Marshfield High. The Purple Knights (8-5 overall, 1-3 NE-10) have never qualified for the Northeast-10 tourney, but after claiming their first conference win of the season (3-2 over Franklin Pierce), a postseason berth is possible. Covitz delivered eight kills in the win.

“She does it all very well,” said first-year St. Michael’s coach Kelly Garthwait.

“I think the most impressive quality is that she can play any position. She’s been a big hitter in the middle for us in the past and this year we’ve moved her around. She’s definitely one of our best utility players.”

Her first three seasons, Covitz played in the middle, but to take advantage of her height, she was shifted over to outside hitter this season.

“The biggest difference is the timing of the hit,” said Covitz, who also played basketball for two seasons at Marshfield. “Playing the middle is quick and you need to be there to pull the blockers because it’s such a quick set. On the outside you need to wait for the ball to come and be set. It’s more of a drawn-out process but I’m adjusting to that. My height helps with blocking and defense, but I like to think I’m a pretty strong hitter.”

Ahearn and her Bentley teammates got the best of Covitz and the Purple Knights in late September, with the Falcons (10-6, 4-0 NE-10) pocketing a 3-1 victory. Ahearn, a senior captain/outside hitter, contributed eight kills in the win.

Back at St. Mike’s, freshman Natalia Maccarrone of Hingham is having an immediate impact. The 5-foot-2 defender from Notre Dame Academy has moved into the starting lineup and has seen action in 49 games. She is fourth on the team in digs (116) and contributed 13 digs and one service ace in the win over Franklin Pierce.

“Natalia has been incredibly impressive,” said Garthwait. “A lot of times freshmen can be very timid before big games but she comes in and is very consistent and gets everyone pumped up. Size doesn’t matter in the back row because their main job is passing and defense.”

Here and there

Walpole High graduate Cait Snow placed sixth at the Ironman World Championship held Saturday in Kona, Hawaii — her best finish in six appearances at the event. With four straight Top 10 finishes, Snow registered her best time at Kona: 9 hours, 10 minutes, and 12 seconds — 18 minutes off the winning pace. Snow covered the 2.4-mile swim in 58:47, finished the 112-mile bike course in 5:08:05, and turned in the second-fastest time for the 26.2-mile run among the pros in the field with a 2:58:53. The Brockton resident shaved 26 minutes off last year’s time. . . .

On the gridiron, Jon Fraser intercepted a pass late in the game to secure Bowdoin’s 27-21 victory over Hamilton, the first time the Polar Bears have won consecutive games since 2011. Fraser, a 5-foot-10 sophomore defensive back from Marshfield High, added four tackles. A three-sport captain at Marshfield (football, hockey, and baseball), he was a member of the Rams Division 1 hockey championship team in 2011. . . .

Middlebury College remained undefeated (4-0) when junior Chris Tamasi (Canton) squashed Colby’s comeback hopes by recovering a fumble at midfield and returning it 30 yards on the last play of the game in a 14-10 win. Tamasi, a 2010 graduate of Xaverian High, also had six tackles (three for lost yardage). The 5-11, 225-pound outside linebacker is second on the team in tackles (26), including a team high 8.5 for minus yards.

On the soccer pitch, senior midfielder Megan O’Leary of Whitman picked up her first assist of the season in Bridgewater State’s 3-0 win over Fitchburg on Saturday. O’Leary took a feed from sophomore forward Mackenzie Hatfield (Whitman), and dribbled toward midfield before setting up Katie Nasuti for the game’s final tally. O’Leary has started all 11 games for the Bears (5-4-2).

John R. Johnson can be reached at jjohnson49@comcast.net.
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