In a battle of Massachusetts girls’ volleyball elite, third-ranked Barnstable took down second-ranked Notre Dame of Hingham in three straight sets on the road Thursday night, handing the Cougars their first defeat.
The Red Raiders, the defending Division 1 state champions, wasted little time in asserting their dominance, taking the first set, 25-18, on aggressive play from the service line.
“Whether you’re at home or on the road, you have to establish momentum early on,” Barnstable coach Tom Turco said. “Notre Dame has a pretty small gym and that plays into the noise factor. We talked prior to the game about making sure we had loud communication and came in strong.”
The Cougars (14-1), the defending champions in Division 2, did not concede quietly though, fighting back to the tie the second set at 21. With a possible advantage swing hanging in the balance, strong play at the net from sophomores Riley James and Ingrid Murphy allowed the Red Raiders (15-1) to claim the set, 25-22.
James contributed a game-high 14 digs to go along with 23 kills, while Murphy added 13 digs and 12 kills.
“We needed to control the serve-receive game if we wanted to succeed against a team like Notre Dame,” Turco said. “We took their serves well and consistently stayed on attack.”
Senior Dani Derosier led the victors with 10 service points, including five straight to finish off the third set, 25-16. Three games remain in Barnstable’s regular season as it prepares to defend its crown and give Turco his 18th title in 29 years.
“The girls work extremely hard and are confident in their ability as a group,” Turco said. “We play some high-caliber teams over the course of the year, all so that we are prepared come tournament time.”
Westford 3, Acton-Boxborough 0 — Senior outside hitter Angela Alibrandi offered 10 aces and 11 kills, while Julia Libby six kills two aces, as the Grey Ghosts improved to 11-5.
Arlington Catholic 3, Bishop Fenwick 0 — Senior leadership was the key as the Cougars improved to 13-3. Monica Royo, Alex Ball and Lena Perez combined for 22 kills, while setter Marie Donovan chipped in with 27 assists.
Lynnfield 3, Peabody 0 — Senior Katie Nugent tallied 19 kills and seven digs and senior Camie Foley added 18 digs and two aces to lead the way for the Pioneers.
Bishop Feehan 3, Bishop Stang 0 — Senior outside hitter Mary Campbell led the way for the Shamrocks with six kills, four digs, and a block to improve to 10-4 on the year.
Newton South 3, Boston Latin 0 — Catherine Patti and Ella Kim each recorded five kills for the Wolfpack (11-4).
East Boston 5, Tech Boston 0 — Senior co-captain Sebastian Macias tallied a goal and three assists for the Jets to bring their record to 13-1.
Quincy 3, Duxbury 0 — Senior Jose DaSilva netted two goals in the win for the Presidents.
Hingham 5, Plymouth North 0 — Seniors Andrew Hickey and Grayson Presutti each notched two goals for the Harbormen.
Blue Hills 20, Hull 12 — The Warriors (5-2) jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead in the first quarter on a 70-yard fumble recovery from senior Darius Williams and senior Merignac Lubin secured the win with a 21-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter.