Sunday, November 23, 2014

All In

Are you willing to pay the price for success?

Allie Nolan receives yet another recognition with selection as a Boston Globe All-Scholastic. Congratulations on an outstanding career.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Breakup Dinner Highlights

Melrose volleyball celebrated another successful season with a banquet at the Montvale Plaza. The 2014 team had an excellent 22-3 season and some quality wins, particularly defeating future Division I state champion Newton North. 


The seniors had numerous achievements during their four years including:

4 Middlesex League Championships
2 Div. 2 North Titles
1 State Championship
Overall record of 92-9
Middlesex League Record :  61-0

As surely as great teams begin with great teammates, individual achievement helps accomplish great results. 
Allie Nolan was recognized for the Division 2 All State team.  

Individual awards presented during the break-up dinner

Top Server:  Allie Nolan
Top Defender:  Amanda Cain
Most Improved Player: Amanda Cain
Unsung Hero: Marissa Cataldo
MVP:  Allie Nolan
Coach's Award: Allie Nolan


2015 Captains:  Victoria Crovo and Marissa Cataldo

Sunday, November 09, 2014

First Batch, Melrose - Weston Shots

Images courtesy of Don Norris, who does a magnificent job with the photographer's eye. Click pics to enlarge.























Playoff Picture

Five of Melrose's non-league opponents played yesterday. How did they fare?

Newton North beat Brookline (3-0)
Weston defeated AC (3-2)
Case defeated Ursuline (3-2)
Hopkinton defeated Westborough (3-1)
Notre Dame Hingham defeated Duxbury (3-0)

Melrose went 4-2 in their non-league schedule (other team was Central Catholic). The survivors among them went 2-3. Weston plays Minnechaug (West) in the State semifinals and Notre Dame plays Hopkinton.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

D2 North Semifinals: Weston 3 Melrose 0

Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional. ~M. Kathleen Casey

The weight of high expectations is lifted, as Weston came in and delivered their inaugural sectional final appearance with a 21-25, 23-25, 20-25 victory over Melrose. The defeat can't be labeled an upset as Weston outplayed Melrose throughout and made more plays at critical moments. Melrose finishes the season at 20-3 and the traditional celebratory "Tootsie Pop" stayed in the wrapper. 

Sophomore opposite hitter Cat Torpey remained out with a leg injury. 

The match started well enough as the Lady Raiders jumped out to a 6-0 lead. Coach Fabe Ardila called a time out, momentum stalled out, and a 9-2 Melrose lead morphed into a 9-9 tie, followed by deadlocks at 10, 11, 12, 13, and 14 until Weston took the lead permanently at 16-14. Melrose got as close as one at 17-16 but Weston opened a 22-16 lead and Melrose had no answers. Amanda Cain had a handful of tough digs in the set. 

Meri Lessing and Hannah Mulcahey each had three kills and Allie Nolan a pair among nine for the locals. 

The second set saw Melrose compete from an uphill position, trailing 9-2 before they began a counterattack. Melrose trailed 12-4 before getting closer at 12-7 and 15-12 behind kills from Victoria Crovo, Stephanie Crovo, and Marissa Cataldo. With Weston leading 20-15, Melrose counter punched to get even at both 21 and 22. But the Lady Raiders couldn't keep Weston at bay as star outside hitter Gabriella Ardila pounded away to close out Melrose 25-23. 

Victoria had four kills in the set, Meri three, and Marissa a pair. 

Melrose sought to continue their season with a third set comeback, with ties at points one through eight. Weston then went on a five point run to lead 13-8. Melrose got within three at 16-13 behind kills from Meri and Vick, but Weston ran the lead to 20-15, a tall order to rally against solid offense. Nonetheless Melrose got to within 20-17, but a timeout snuffed out the momentum. The visitors carried the play down the stretch, continually going to Ardila, reminiscent of the Molly Barrett performance for Medfield in the 2005 state championship. 

Game analysis: Weston simply made more plays, fewer errors, and played more consistently over the course of the match. Melrose had trouble putting them in 'high pressure' situations to see if they would fold under the pressure. 

Congratulations to the team on another twenty win season and to the seniors who closed out their careers, with four great years, including a State Championship experience. 

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Melrose - Bishop Fenwick Photoessay

Photos courtesy of Don Norris. Click images to enlarge the frame.





















Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Quarterfinals: Melrose 3 Bishop Fenwick 1

Melrose, seeking its 12th consecutive Division 2 North final berth, advanced to the semis with a 21-25, 25-10, 25-12, and 25-20 victory at the Melrose Veterans Memorial Middle School.

During warmups opposite hitter and blocker Cat Torpey sustained a leg injury and was unable to play tonight, giving Senior Stephanie Crovo a big role tonight.

Melrose got off to a quick 5-3 lead only to see Fenwick run off 9-2 to take a 12-7 edge. Melrose played uphill the rest of the set, getting close at 18-19 and tied at 21 only to see the visitors play outstanding defense to win.

Melrose had twelve kills including five for Hannah Mulcahey and three for Victoria Crovo. Allie Nolan had a busy night retrieving serve receive and first passes and deserves a lot of credit for her efforts.

Set two saw Melrose race out to a 9-1 lead and leaving no doubt as they led 16-4. A combination of better play and Fenwick struggling saw the Lady Raiders knot the match at 1-1. Meri Lessing had a big set with five kills and Marissa Cataldo and Victoria each added a pair.

Melrose played its best volleyball in the third set, rallying from a 5-1 deficit, leveling the score at six, and taking a 17-8 lead with a barrage of kills including a flurry from Hannah Mulcahey.

For the set, Melrose had fifteen kills, including five for Hannah, three for Meri and Victoria, and two for Marissa. The Lady Raiders had only two service errors for the match.

Good teams never quit, and after a couple of sets Melrose controlled, Fenwick fought back in the final frame. The black-and-gold trailed 8-3 early and 19-10 but got within a point at 21-20, forcing a Melrose time out at 21-19. But Melrose responded sharply with kills from Steph Crovo and Hannah Mulcahey, and the Crusaders' final return crashed into the tape and Melrose was celebrating another match Thursday.

Melrose unofficially had eighteen kills in the set, led by seven for Meri, six for Hannah, and pair of stylish kills from Allie Nolan.

Game notes: Both coaches, who coach together at St. John's Preparatory, got satisfaction from the match. Coach Scott Celli was happy to advance with a late lineup change, and Fenwick skipper Adam DeBaggis commented that he had pointed to getting his squad to this game. Coach DeBaggis has noted that he has a young team with a bright future.



Melrose hosts Weston Thursday and ML competitor Winchester travels to Arlington to face the AC Cougars.

Teamwork

Cross post from Melrose Girls Basketball blog.  Teamwork creates championships.

Next Step

Melrose faces a talented Bishop Fenwick team tonight in the quarterfinals of the Division 2 North playoffs. Fenwick is perennially one of the top teams in the sectional, coached by Adam DeBaggis, a strong communicator with an attention to detail.

Tonight's (7 PM) matchup at the MVMMS presents one of the more formidable quarterfinal matches that Melrose has faced in years, akin to Dracut in 2002 or Central Catholic in 2005.


Sunday, November 02, 2014

Bracketology Updated


Updated Division 2 North volleyball brackets.

Updated Melrose roster, expanded during the post-season.