Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Game 6: Melrose 3 Wilmington 0

Melrose kept its winning streak alive with a road win at Wilmington.

Here's a look ahead at the next couple of weeks. It's a three game home stand for the Lady Raiders as they look to build momentum.


Standings: "The Usual Suspects"

These are incomplete.

For the most part, Maxpreps rounds up "the usual suspects."

Not sure why Lexington is not included, but they are at least 4-0. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Game 5: Melrose 3 Arlington 0

Melrose* traveled to Arlington looking to maintain momentum coming off its big win over Newton North. Even without Meri Lessing, unavailable with illness, the Lady Raiders pounded their way to a 25-6, 25-12, 25-7 win. The victory extends Melrose's record to 5-0.

The first set saw fourteen Melrose kills as Melrose never trailed, leading 5-1, 8-3, and 18-4 en route to a rout. Hannah Mulcahy hammered home four kills, Allie Nolan and Marissa Cataldo a pair each, and Bella Federico added three.

The Spy Ponders were within hailing distance in set two, trailing 13-10 before a 12-2 Melrose explosion put them away. Unofficially Hannah the Second added five kills.

The final stanza saw more Melrose dynamite offense with a highlight set from Victoria Crovo who fired home five kills. Melrose led 8-0 and 18-3 along the way, cruising to victory. Ashley Harding had a couple of winners.

Game Notes: Melrose had no net calls in all three games, which is a big and important improvement from earlier matches.

*Unofficial stats courtesy of Dick Collis.

Game stats from

All healthy players returned and saw action.
Meagan Leyne returned from injury and got her first varsity kill.

Amanda Cain remains among the statistical leaders in digs in Massachusetts.

Freshman Lily Fitzgerald got valuable setting experience in relief of veteran Allie Nolan and chipped in with four assists.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Melrose - Newton North Photoessay - Bonus Shots

Photos courtesy of Don Norris. Click images to enlarge.

Organizational Advancement

When we implement our 'plan', we can do so on an individual, family, TEAM, corporate, community, national, or even global scale.

But we fail in two ways, either doing without thinking, or thinking without doing.

Ray Dalio of Bridgewater Associates has a manifesto of his corporate principles that works on multiple levels, from the individual, to TEAM, and beyond. Success follows organizational values, plans, and their implementation.

Coaches implement plans based on what they feel are in the best interests of the TEAM. Those, by necessity will not always be understood or liked by each individual on the TEAM. The needs of the team come before those of the individual. Ideally, communication bridges that gap. 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

See Both Sides of the Trade

The approach to investing and sports overlap in large degree. They both rely study, mental toughness, focus, commitment, and process. The process of preparation, planning, practice, feedback, and adjustments belong to both sports and trading. You can only change your personnel (portfolio), strategy, and psychology.

This article discusses investment biases and limitations, but especially the value of humility.

Here are a few relevant excerpts:

Firstly, treat all decisions as experimental rather than formal commitments. This helps avoid theory-induced blindness, where making an initial decision seemingly commits us to a course of action regardless of its consequences. It's a state of mind, rather than a set of rules.

Secondly, be cautious about the extent of your knowledge - securities markets are beset by uncertainty, it is impossible to predict the future and highly risky to gamble on being able to do so...mistrust any expert who offers very precise predictions.

Thirdly, don't react to events immediately, no matter how critical it may seem to do so. In the short-term emotional responses distort our decision making processes and enforcing a delay allows us time to calm down and reconsider

I'm always reminded of a mentor's admonition, "good judgment comes from experience; experience comes from bad judgment."


A number of Melrose Lady Raiders have continued their volleyball in college. Hannah Brickley had an exceptional athletic career at Trinity and graduated salutatorian summa cum laude in biology.

Kayla Wyland (10) plays opposite at Plymouth State...and yes, she still rolls up those sleeves. That's the easiest way to spot her in the video.

Jen Cain is having a lot of success for Merrimack.

Brooke Bell leads Keene in assists.


"There are three kinds of lies - lies, damned lies, and statistics." - Mark Twain (or Benjamin Disraeli)

Selected Melrose leaders (from

Selected Massachusetts leaders:


Sorting it Out

With more intersectional play and traditional powers playing each other, the longer-term focus in Division 2 will come into sharp relief.

There isn't much of a Middlesex League sample size to go by, but Melrose, Lexington, Winchester, and Reading were expected to be contenders. Lexington is at 3-0 with a victory over Medford yesterday. Reading is listed at 2-0 as of September 10th in the Boston Globe. Certainly the quality of play is improving throughout the league.

Melrose benefits immensely from its non-league schedule as it faces numerous perennial powers to prepare for post-season challenges.

Undefeated reigning State Champion Notre Dame (Hingham) has defeated Ursuline (a Melrose common opponent) 3-1, and defeated future Melrose opponent Westboro 3-2 yesterday. Melrose travels to NDH on September 26th. Hopkinton handed Medfield its second loss yesterday, Marlboro, winner of multiple titles in Division 2, remains undefeated. Another central division power, Canton, remains undefeated. Last year's finalist in D2, Bishop Fenwick, had heavy losses to graduation and is 2-1 according to Coach Adam DeBaggis always fields a competitive team.

In the west, Longmeadow and Minnechaug are at the top of the heap so far.

Greg Bidgood gives a preview of the Middlesex League with a focus on the communities. The Middlesex League partition into large and small, developed as a football convenience, has little meaning for volleyball fans.

His take: "The parity is not the same in the Freedom as Melrose, an historical power, once again will be the team to beat in the division as they are likely the best team in the entire Middlesex League and will contend for a D-2 sectional title and maybe even more."

Friday, September 12, 2014

First Look: Melrose - Newton North Photoessay

Images courtesy of Don Norris. Click to see enlarged/entire frame.



"Hit Me with Your Best Shot" Melrose - Belmont Photoessay

Photos courtesy of Don Norris. Click photographs to see the full frame.