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Winnisquam volleyball team overpowered by Nute in bid for repeat

  • Winnisquam holds back emotion immediately after their loss to Nute in the NHIAA Division III championships at Plymouth State University in Plymouth on Friday, November 8, 2013.<br/><br/>(WILL PARSON / Monitor staff)

    Winnisquam holds back emotion immediately after their loss to Nute in the NHIAA Division III championships at Plymouth State University in Plymouth on Friday, November 8, 2013.

    (WILL PARSON / Monitor staff)

  • Winnisquam junior Erica Doubleday sets the ball for senior Carissa Archibald during Winnisquam's loss to Nute in the NHIAA Division III championships at Plymouth State University in Plymouth on Friday, November 8, 2013.<br/><br/>(WILL PARSON / Monitor staff)

    Winnisquam junior Erica Doubleday sets the ball for senior Carissa Archibald during Winnisquam's loss to Nute in the NHIAA Division III championships at Plymouth State University in Plymouth on Friday, November 8, 2013.

    (WILL PARSON / Monitor staff)

  • Winnisquam Regional High School loses to Nute in the NHIAA Division III championships at Plymouth State University in Plymouth on Friday, November 8, 2013.<br/><br/>(WILL PARSON / Monitor staff)

    Winnisquam Regional High School loses to Nute in the NHIAA Division III championships at Plymouth State University in Plymouth on Friday, November 8, 2013.

    (WILL PARSON / Monitor staff)

  • Winnisquam Regional High School loses to Nute in the NHIAA Division III championships at Plymouth State University in Plymouth on Friday, November 8, 2013.<br/><br/>(WILL PARSON / Monitor staff)

    Winnisquam Regional High School loses to Nute in the NHIAA Division III championships at Plymouth State University in Plymouth on Friday, November 8, 2013.

    (WILL PARSON / Monitor staff)

  • Winnisquam Regional High School loses to Nute in the NHIAA Division III championships at Plymouth State University in Plymouth on Friday, November 8, 2013.<br/><br/>(WILL PARSON / Monitor staff)

    Winnisquam Regional High School loses to Nute in the NHIAA Division III championships at Plymouth State University in Plymouth on Friday, November 8, 2013.

    (WILL PARSON / Monitor staff)

  • Winnisquam Regional High School loses to Nute in the NHIAA Division III championships at Plymouth State University in Plymouth on Friday, November 8, 2013.<br/><br/>(WILL PARSON / Monitor staff)

    Winnisquam Regional High School loses to Nute in the NHIAA Division III championships at Plymouth State University in Plymouth on Friday, November 8, 2013.

    (WILL PARSON / Monitor staff)

  • Winnisquam Regional High School loses to Nute in the NHIAA Division III championships at Plymouth State University in Plymouth on Friday, November 8, 2013.<br/><br/>(WILL PARSON / Monitor staff)

    Winnisquam Regional High School loses to Nute in the NHIAA Division III championships at Plymouth State University in Plymouth on Friday, November 8, 2013.

    (WILL PARSON / Monitor staff)

  • Winnisquam Regional High School loses to Nute in the NHIAA Division III championships at Plymouth State University in Plymouth on Friday, November 8, 2013.<br/><br/>(WILL PARSON / Monitor staff)

    Winnisquam Regional High School loses to Nute in the NHIAA Division III championships at Plymouth State University in Plymouth on Friday, November 8, 2013.

    (WILL PARSON / Monitor staff)

  • Winnisquam Regional High School loses to Nute in the NHIAA Division III championships at Plymouth State University in Plymouth on Friday, November 8, 2013.<br/><br/>(WILL PARSON / Monitor staff)

    Winnisquam Regional High School loses to Nute in the NHIAA Division III championships at Plymouth State University in Plymouth on Friday, November 8, 2013.

    (WILL PARSON / Monitor staff)

  • Winnisquam Regional High School loses to Nute in the NHIAA Division III championships at Plymouth State University in Plymouth on Friday, November 8, 2013.<br/><br/>(WILL PARSON / Monitor staff)

    Winnisquam Regional High School loses to Nute in the NHIAA Division III championships at Plymouth State University in Plymouth on Friday, November 8, 2013.

    (WILL PARSON / Monitor staff)

  • Winnisquam Regional High School loses to Nute in the NHIAA Division III championships at Plymouth State University in Plymouth on Friday, November 8, 2013.<br/><br/>(WILL PARSON / Monitor staff)

    Winnisquam Regional High School loses to Nute in the NHIAA Division III championships at Plymouth State University in Plymouth on Friday, November 8, 2013.

    (WILL PARSON / Monitor staff)

  • Winnisquam Regional High School loses to Nute in the NHIAA Division III championships at Plymouth State University in Plymouth on Friday, November 8, 2013.<br/><br/>(WILL PARSON / Monitor staff)

    Winnisquam Regional High School loses to Nute in the NHIAA Division III championships at Plymouth State University in Plymouth on Friday, November 8, 2013.

    (WILL PARSON / Monitor staff)

  • Winnisquam holds back emotion immediately after their loss to Nute in the NHIAA Division III championships at Plymouth State University in Plymouth on Friday, November 8, 2013.<br/><br/>(WILL PARSON / Monitor staff)
  • Winnisquam junior Erica Doubleday sets the ball for senior Carissa Archibald during Winnisquam's loss to Nute in the NHIAA Division III championships at Plymouth State University in Plymouth on Friday, November 8, 2013.<br/><br/>(WILL PARSON / Monitor staff)
  • Winnisquam Regional High School loses to Nute in the NHIAA Division III championships at Plymouth State University in Plymouth on Friday, November 8, 2013.<br/><br/>(WILL PARSON / Monitor staff)
  • Winnisquam Regional High School loses to Nute in the NHIAA Division III championships at Plymouth State University in Plymouth on Friday, November 8, 2013.<br/><br/>(WILL PARSON / Monitor staff)
  • Winnisquam Regional High School loses to Nute in the NHIAA Division III championships at Plymouth State University in Plymouth on Friday, November 8, 2013.<br/><br/>(WILL PARSON / Monitor staff)
  • Winnisquam Regional High School loses to Nute in the NHIAA Division III championships at Plymouth State University in Plymouth on Friday, November 8, 2013.<br/><br/>(WILL PARSON / Monitor staff)
  • Winnisquam Regional High School loses to Nute in the NHIAA Division III championships at Plymouth State University in Plymouth on Friday, November 8, 2013.<br/><br/>(WILL PARSON / Monitor staff)
  • Winnisquam Regional High School loses to Nute in the NHIAA Division III championships at Plymouth State University in Plymouth on Friday, November 8, 2013.<br/><br/>(WILL PARSON / Monitor staff)
  • Winnisquam Regional High School loses to Nute in the NHIAA Division III championships at Plymouth State University in Plymouth on Friday, November 8, 2013.<br/><br/>(WILL PARSON / Monitor staff)
  • Winnisquam Regional High School loses to Nute in the NHIAA Division III championships at Plymouth State University in Plymouth on Friday, November 8, 2013.<br/><br/>(WILL PARSON / Monitor staff)
  • Winnisquam Regional High School loses to Nute in the NHIAA Division III championships at Plymouth State University in Plymouth on Friday, November 8, 2013.<br/><br/>(WILL PARSON / Monitor staff)
  • Winnisquam Regional High School loses to Nute in the NHIAA Division III championships at Plymouth State University in Plymouth on Friday, November 8, 2013.<br/><br/>(WILL PARSON / Monitor staff)

PLYMOUTH – When Winnisquam beat Nute in last year’s final, the Rams didn’t seem fully prepared for the big stage. But when those two teams met again in the Division III volleyball title game last night, Nute was ready, and Winnisquam knew it before the first ball was struck.

“Last year they got here at 20 after six to play in a seven o’clock match,” Winnisquam Coach Mike Livernois said. “This year when we got here at 5:30, they were here, too. They were prepared this year and they wanted it.”

And they got it. The top-ranked Rams finished a 20-0 season with a 25-18, 25-17, 25-19 championship win over No. 3 Winnisquam (17-3) at Plymouth State University, reversing the 3-0 decision the Bears laid on them in 2012 final.

“We were so motivated by last year I can’t even begin to explain it to you. We were so ready to get into the gym and to kill it,” Nute senior Heidi Cloutier said. “We had that experience last year, so we felt more comfortable and at home this time around.”

The Rams were able to attack from multiple angles with multiple players, like Ella Gourlay, Alisha Flanagan and Nicole Flanagan. And setter Michelle Guindon did a great job feeding them all, but there was no doubt Cloutier, a four-year starter, led the way from her middle hitter position.

“That’s probably the best game that (Cloutier) has had her entire career,” Nute Coach Kristin Wilson said. “She just came out and she hit and she blocked, and she did it in the semifinals and the quarterfinals … she’s just been on fire at the end of the season.”

Winnisquam did what it could to counter Nute’s offense. Carissa Archibald finished with a team-high nine digs to go along with five kills, Dallis Austin had seven digs, and Hannah Chapin and Mo Raymond came up with six digs each. But Nute simply overwhelmed the Bears with numbers and persistence.

“I think they were relentless with that attack, and that’s why they were 19-0 and now 20-0,” Livernois said. “They have a very strong attack, they run it well and when they don’t make errors, you have to play almost perfectly to beat them, and unfortunately for us, we didn’t play that way tonight.

“We had a few too many service errors, we had a few hitting errors, a few communication errors, but I think they forced a lot of that. When you play a team that’s that good, they can get you out of your rhythm and force you to make mistakes.”

The Bears made mistakes right from the start and fell behind early in the first set, but they climbed back into it, pulling to within 11-10. Nute took over from there, however, with a 6-1 run that included four kills from Cloutier. Winnisquam rallied behind Chapin (team-high nine kills) to make it 19-17, but the Rams went on another 6-1 run to close out that first set, 25-18.

The Bears rebounded nicely in the second set, jumping out to a 5-1 lead behind some solid serving from setter Erica Doubleday (21 assists). But the Rams methodically erased that lead and by the middle of the set the score was knotted, 10-10, and things would go back and forth until it was tied again at 16-16. That’s when Nute’s Mariah Burke came off the bench to serve, leading the Rams on a six-point run, two on aces, and an eventual 25-17 win and a commanding 2-0 lead.

“It just seemed like at the end of each game they had enough composure and made enough plays to pull away with each one,” Livernois said.

The third set pretty much followed that same script, except the Rams didn’t wait until the end to pull away. Winnisquam took a 9-6 lead behind some inspired play from Archibald, but Nute chipped away until it was 13-13. Guindon stepped to the line at that point and led her team on an eight-point run that was simply too much for the Bears to overcome. They fought back to make it 21-19 late, but once again the Rams had what it took to finish, winning the final four points for the 25-19 decision and the championship.

“We didn’t get rattled at all, which was such a huge difference from when we played in the championship last year,” Wilson said.

The loss ended a remarkable run for Winnisquam seniors Bailey Long (six kills), Chapin, Archibald and Austin, who had a 69-10 record, two state titles (2010 and ’12), a runner-up (’13) and a semifinal appearance (’11) in their four years on the varsity team.

“That’s a pretty impressive record to leave in any sport,” Livernois said. “I think they’ve definitely left their mark and they’ve set the bar for the teams to follow.”

(Tim O’Sullivan can be reached at 369-3341 or tosullivan@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @timosullivan20.)

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Winnisquam volleyball team’s all-time results in finals

Friday, November 8, 2013

The Winnisquam volleyball team fell to 3-1 all-time in championship matches. The results: 1998 – Winnisquam 2, Gilford 0 2010 – Winnisquam 3, Epping 0 2012 – Winnisquam 3, Nute 0 2013 – Nute 3, Winnisquam 0 …

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