Saturday, August 30, 2008


Libero Serve Receive highlights

Melrose played a series of scrimmages, Friday against Newton North, a perennial Division I power and Saturday in a round robin "playday" at Medway.

At Medway, Melrose played a number of top Central and Western Massachusetts teams, including Hopkinton, Frontier, Medway, Westborough, Medfield, and Franklin.

Coaches Celli and Wall had the opportunity to review their veteran and younger players against a variety of competition, and assess areas of strength and opportunities for improvement. They also had to account for the limited practice time while getting the team ready for the regular season.

The team played with great enthusiasm and obviously will look to become more consistent with more practice. Considering the early season scrimmage, the Lady Raiders had relatively few service errors. They can spend this week refining the serve-receive-pass game and hitting consistency while they build toward their opener against Lexington. The ability to dig and pass the first pass cannot be understated to initiate the offensive attack.

For the team to go deep into the playoffs, they'll need to work to develop a constant 'attack' mentality, keeping opponents on the defensive.

They scrimmage Andover Wednesday at 4:00.

Historically, Reading has posed the greatest challenge for Melrose as they seek to defend their Middlesex League title with Lexington next in line in the ML.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Better Than a Thousand Words

Click photos to ENLARGE.

The Lady Raiders prepare for the new season, looking to better last season's outstanding 22-1 campaign that ended at the hands of Central Catholic. Melrose returns a young, but experienced team that will compete against the top area teams this season.All-state middle hitter Tri-captain Hannah Brickley looks to add the most serious hardware to her trophy case, a D2 North Championship and beyond.
A pair of basketball standouts, setter Colleen Hanscom (L) and Siena Mamayek will ably assist the Melrose offense.
With a full season of varsity experience under her belt, Laura Irwin will be a formidable outside hitter who can deliver with the best in Melrose history.
__________________________________________________________Fortunately, defender Jess Farr will only have to deal with one ball at a time this season.
______________________________________________________A panoramic view of much of the team, from left, Hannah Brickley, Athena Ziavras, Jess Farr, Alex Harlow, Allie Walsh, Siena Mamayek, Kelly O'Neill, and Annmarie Wiesen.
_____________________________________________________Alex Harlow competes for time in the back row.
Sophomore Athena Ziavras looks to transform potential into performance.
_________________________________________________Senior Tri-Captain Kelly O'Neill has her game face on already.
______________________________________________________Tricaptain Setter Colleen Hanscom brings athleticism and versatility including blocking power to the position. Jess Farr looks on (R).
Annmarie (R) penetrates the net to block Siena.
______________________________________________________Head Coach Scott Celli has helped bring three Division II North championships to Melrose and helped make the volleyball program one of the most popular sports in Melrose.
Melrose fans look forward to an exciting season including a match with perennial State Champion Barnstable. The keys to success include 1) consistency, 2) steady improvement of the serve-return game, and 3) aggressiveness from the hitters to prevent the opposition from getting in position to score easier points.

Photos courtesy of Don Norris.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

This Is Your Team

Melrose Volleyball prepares for the 2008 season with new and familiar faces, in rosters announced by Head Coach Scott Celli today. Coach Celli is pleased at the enthusiasm and the depth on the rosters and fully expects to field strong teams going forward. An enormous freshman turnout made the selection process particularly difficult this season.

The Lady Raiders scrimmage Division I powerhouse Newton North on Friday at 2:00, travel to the Medway playday on Saturday, and will host Andover next Wednesday at 4:00. At Medway, Melrose will be plays powerful Westboro and Medfield back to back.

Varsity Volleyball Roster – 2008

Kelly O'Neill (captain) 12

Hannah Brickley (captain) 11

Colleen Hanscom (captain) 11

Jessica Farr 11

Alex Harlow 11

Laura Irwin 11

Siena Mamayek 11

Allie Walsh 11

Annemarie Wiesen 11

Athena Ziavras 10

Junior Varsity Volleyball Roster – 2008

Haley Scofield (captain) 10

Mercedes Ward (captain) 10

Bridget Corso 10

Brittany Adelman 9

Alyssa DiRaffaele 9

Kate Hinkle 9

Erin Hourigan 9

Jennifer McGee 9

Courtney McNamara 9

Maggie Moriarty 9

Kailey Rawston 9

Katie Shinkwin 9

Jill Slabacheski 9

Anna Tramontozzi 9

Rachel Wolley 9

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Melrose Volleyball 2008 Underway

The Melrose Lady Raiders open the new volleyball season with tryouts beginning last week. Melrose has made five consecutive appearances in the Division II North finals with extraordinary success.

Melrose comes off one of its most successful seasons ever, having finished 22-1 including a spectacular victory over previous State Finalist Arlington Catholic and a pair of wins over archrival Reading.

Coaches Scott Celli, Steve Wall, and the Lady Raiders have enjoyed spectacular success both as a team and individually over recent seasons.
Melrose has averaged 20 wins during the past 6 seasons, and over 21 during the past five seasons. This has led to four Middlesex League titles, three Division II North titles, and one berth in the State Championship in 2005 when Melrose lost a five game final to Medfield.

In addition to team success, Melrose has had four All-Scholastic players and three All-State players, most recently Hannah Brickley who earned All-State honors last season as well as being named All-Scholastic by the Boston Herald.

Melrose returns a strong core lineup, with Hannah Brickley at Middle Hitter, Laura Irwin at Outside Hitter, Colleen Hanscom at setter, and experienced defenders in Kelly O'Neill and Jess Farr. Melrose has a number of strong candidates to fill the other Middle Hitter and Opposite positions, including AnnMarie Wiesen, Siena Mamayek, and Athena Ziavras. Junior Alex Harlow also returns to compete for time in the back row.

A number of young players continue to compete for positions on the varsity and junior varsity. A large number of freshmen also are competing for positions in the program.

Successful recruitment of athletic, dedicated young players has been a key to the continuing success of the program. Other big contributions have been a winning tradition, a broad overlap with the basketball program, remarkable community support, and consistent coaching.

Tricaptains for the 2008 season include senior Kelly O'Neill and Juniors Hannah Brickley and Colleen Hanscom.

Here is a video with selected highlight stills from last season.

The Middlesex League continues to expand, with Winchester adding a team this season. This adds the potential for longer-term competitiveness, but expansion teams suffer from inexperience. The traditional competition for the ML title comes from Reading and Lexington, both of whom have had superior height and solid coaching.

Melrose travels to Central Mass next Saturday for an annual play day featuring many of the top area teams and some teams from outside the area as well.