Wednesday, October 22, 2014

*Game 20: Melrose 3 Burlington 0

Scores from Dick Collis*

Melrose moved within one game of completing an undefeated ML season, defeating Burlington on the road, 25-13, 25-21, 25-14.

The win brings Melrose's record to 19-1 and a victory at home Friday against Wakefield would seal another 20 win season.

Data from

Stat Leaders:



Meri Lessing checks in at 30 in total kills, Victoria Crovo at 52, and Hannah Mulcahey at 73. Both Meri and Hannah have missed time this season with illness or injury holding their numbers down.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Game 19: Melrose 3 AC 2

Travel to the bandbox at Arlington Catholic is never easy. Tonight was no exception as Melrose survived the Cougars attack with a hard-fought 25-20, 19-25, 25-19, 23-25. 16-14 victory.

The win lifts Melrose's record to 18-1 and sets Melrose in the driver's seat for a one seed in the Division 2 North tournament.

The first set saw ties at 2, 3, 5, 9, 10, 11, and 12 until Melrose took the lead for good at 14-12. From 14-13, Melrose had a five point run feature Allie Nolan serving and a trio of kills by Victoria Crovo to lead 19-13, and AC never got closer than three as Melrose finished them out with a pair of Meri Lessing kills.

Melrose had an unofficial eleven first set kills including three apiece for Victoria and Meri, and a pair from Cat Torpey and Allie.

The Lady Raiders opened set two with a quick 6-2 advantage, only to see AC fight back to even the score at nine and forecasting ties at 10, 11, 15, and 16. From there, AC launched a 9-3 offensive to finish the frame.

Numerous AC blocks frustrated Melrose, but Meri fired home another three kills and Victoria a pair.

Set three began with back-and-forth action leading to a deadlock at seven, only to see a service run from libero Amanda Cain open a 15-7 lead. Melrose ran its edge to 24-14, but AC wouldn't go easily, scoring five consecutive points to regain momentum before succumbing 25-19.

Marissa Cataldo led the offense in the stanza with three kills and Meri banged home a pair.

The fourth set saw neither team lead by more than three points at any time. An unlucky thirteen times the teams tied, the first at three and the last at twenty-three. Noteworthy were Fibonacci series ties at 3, 5, 8, 13, and 21. Three service errors proved costly for Melrose as AC scored the final two points to break the final tie and send the match into a decisive fifth set. Meri had another four kills and Hannah Mulcahey added three.

The fifth set saw a gut check from Melrose, including the wire-to-wire play from Allie and Victoria, and more offensive heroics from Meri (four kills).

AC took the early edge at 2-0, but Melrose responded with four to go up 4-2. To and fro, neither team could seize a decisive edge, with ties at six and seven before the Cougars led 10-8, only to see Melrose answer with another run of four to go up 12-10, but AC rallied to knot the set at thirteen and fourteen. With Melrose leading 15-14, Meri deliver the decisive winner to give Melrose the win. Division 2 rankings.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Melrose - Stoneham Photoessay

A lot of action snaps from Don Norris.


Globe North notes on players to watch.

Rankings will come out later today or tomorrow.

Tomorrow's showdown with AC will feature a pair of teams with aspirations in Division 2 North.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Melrose - Watertown Photoessay

A lot of great shots from the incomparable Don Norris. Click frames to enlarge.

It's gratifying to see a lot of young players whom we coached in middle school enjoy success at the next level.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Game 18: Melrose 3 Stoneham 0

Melrose remained undefeated in ML play with a 25-16, 25-19, 25-20 win at Stoneham. Stoneham brought a hard-hitting attack but it wasn't enough to defeat the diversified Melrose attack.

The Lady Raiders dominated the opening set, leading 7-2, 12-3, and 18-8 before Stoneham mounted late resistance.

Meri Lessing and Victoria Crovo each had a trio of kills, and Hannah Mulcahey  had a pair of late kills to ice the set in which Melrose had a lone service error.

The second set was tighter, with back-and-forth action, Melrose up 4-1 and 6-3, only to see the Spartans knot the score at 7 and 8, before Melrose opened a 12-8 edge. But Stoneham fought back to tie at 13, with Melrose regaining the lead for good at 14-13. Twelve kills and a closing burst from 18-17 with a 7-2 run clinched the set.

Marissa Cataldo delivered four kills, Allie Nolan a pair along with Victoria, and four late kills from Meghan Leyne, Cat Torpey, and two from Marissa finished the hosts.

Two service errors marred the set.

Stoneham had control for the early part of the final frame, leading 6-4, 10-6, and 15-10. But Melrose had a six point run to lead until Stoneham leveled the set at 16. But a 7-1 Melrose burst took a lead to 23-17 before Stoneham narrowed the advantage to 23-20. A critical kill by Leyne brought Melrose to within a point of victory, completed with a Victoria serve.

Meri, Meghan, and Victoria each had a pair of kills to lead the way for Melrose, with Meghan coming up big in crunch time as she works to carve out a role down the stretch.

The victory brings Melrose to 17-1 with the next match next week at Arlington Catholic.

Road Trip and Stretch Run

Melrose comes down the stretch, striving for acceleration, with a few challenges left on the schedule. Sports fans know perhaps the greatest 'closer' in history.

Secretariat's 1973 Belmont Stakes performances sets the bar.


Assist leaders. 

Dig leaders.

 Yesterday's attack box score.

Yesterday's assist leaders. Freshman Lily Fitzgerald gives fans a preview of what to expect going forward.

Stretch Run.
Melrose's stretch run has a couple of themes, get healthy and play well in preparation for the post-season. Both AC and Westborough are top-ranked teams that provide stiff competition for every opponent.

Melrose embarks on a three match road trip starting today over the line in Stoneham.