High schools: Concord volleyball fends off comeback in sweep over Dover

  • Concord’s Brenna Vandersea (left) and the rest of the Tide volleyball team celebrate a point in the second set of Wednesday’s Division I contest against Dover in Concord. Concord swept the Green Wave, 3-0. JAY McAREE / Monitor staff

  • Concord freshman Emma Ferguson (11) stretches to get a piece of the ball during Wednesday’s game against Dover. Ferguson finished with seven kills and the Tide defeated Dover, 3-0. JAY McAREE / Monitor staff

  • Concord’s Quinn Daniels slaps the ball over the outstretched arms of Dover’s Mary Zlotosch (14) during Wednesday’s game in Concord. The Tide fought off a strong Dover team to run its record to 10-2. JAY McAREE / Monitor staff

  • Concord teammates Maria Wimpey (20) and Emma Ferguson (11) pair up at the front of the net to block the shot of Dover’s Hannah Jelley (11) during Wednesday’s game in Concord. JAY McAREE / Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Thursday, October 05, 2017

It would have likely been one of the more impressive comebacks in Division I this season. And if Dover had finished its stunning rally in the second set on Wednesday night, it could have resulted in a statement win for the Green Wave on Concord’s home floor.

“I think 10 years ago I would have been blowing a gasket,” Concord Coach Jonathan Flower said of his team’s near collapse in the second set. “But I’ve realized thinking about my own experience and watching other coaches, the more upset I get, the worse the team does.”

After storming out to a 25-21 first-set win, the Tide led by a 20-6 margin in the second and was on cruise control, poised to deliver a blow to a Dover team that entered with an identical 9-2 record.

But somewhere along the way in the middle set, the Tide became a little bit too relaxed. A little too passive. And it nearly cost Concord the match.

The Green Wave pieced together 15 minutes of flawless volleyball, outscoring Concord 15-2 to crawl within one point at 22-21. Dover then tied the score at 24-all with a service ace before the Tide (10-2) finally snapped out of it to win the second set, 27-25, and eventually sweep the Green Wave, 3-0.

“What ended up happening was I think we just kind of sat back and I think (our girls) knew they only needed three points,” Flower said. “So just waiting for the other team to screw up three times and they weren’t going to do it for us. … We have this little second-set slump that we’ve had this entire season. We came out strong and (Dover) seemed more slumpy than we did but they pulled it out at the end. It was almost like fighting against ourselves, our own inertia.”

The win itself was huge. But Flower wasn’t sure it would come had the Tide not dug deep in a crucial middle set.

“I think we would have had a tough time with this match because Dover’s a really good team,” Flower said. “We knew they had some very strong outside hitting and some folks who played very well for them last year.”

Junior Mia Harmon, who played in the middle for the first time since last season and racked up seven kills, five digs, two aces and a pair of blocks, also noted the importance of winning such an emotional set.

“We haven’t won like any second sets ever, and I think it was just an accomplishment for us and got us really motivated after winning that second set and that pushed us to getting that third set,” Harmon said.

That third set wasn’t an easy one, either, as Concord and Dover traded points back and forth before a late surge helped the Tide clinch the match, 25-22.

“That’s what is so frustrating about losing in three,” Dover Coach Colleen Harte said. “If you can pull one out, it can change the whole direction of the game. … We were able to maintain composure (in the second set) and just went one at a time instead of getting frustrated and frantic like we were the rest of the time.”

Led by the play of Harmon, along with libero Brenna Vandersea (21 digs), setter Abby Rochette (26 assists, 16 digs) and senior co-captain Maria Wimpey (14 kills, 13 digs), Concord shook of its loss last week to defending champion Hollis-Brookline and joined the Cavaliers, Pinkerton and Salem as the only D-1 teams with double-digit wins on the year.

“I think we’ve just kind of clicked a lot more since the beginning of the season and it’s all come together,” Harmon said.

Concord will continue its brief homestand on Friday with a match against Keene before visiting Manchester Central on Tuesday.

(Jay McAree can be reached at 369-3371, jmcaree@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @JayMcAree.)


Gilford 3, Laconia 1

Key players:Gilford – Karly Sanborn (38 assists, 21 digs), Brooke Beaudet (19 kills, 13 digs), Abby O’Connor (8 kills), Lexi Boisvert (7 kills, 19 digs), Lindsey Sanderson (6 kills), Abby Warren (6 kills), Maggie McNeil (4 kills, 12 digs), Kasey Moore (11 digs), Bailey Hildreth (9 digs); Laconia – Hannah Dow (15 kills, 17 digs), Caitlin Beattie (7 kills, 8 digs, 34 assists)

Highlights/key moments: Gilford won sets one, three and four by scores of 25-20, 25-13 and 25-22. Laconia won the second set, 25-23.

Coach’s quote: “This was a fantastic match between two rival schools. It was our best game of the season both offensively with 50 kills spread out between six different players and defensively with 94 digs spread out between 10 different players. ” – Gilford’s Joan Forge

“Our girls played well and were able to take the second set. We just couldn’t put it all together for the win.” – Laconia’s Jeffrey Twombly

Records: Gilford 9-2; Laconia 6-3

Milford 3, John Stark 0

Key players: John Stark – Haley Philibotte (19 digs, 2 aces, 2 kills), Sarah Wagner (5 kills, 3 blocks)

Highlights/key moments: Milford took control early, but the Generals made it interesting in the first set, losing 25-19. Milford dominated the second set, 25-14, and sealed the match in the third, 25-20.

Coach’s quote: “We played an undefeated team tonight and showed that we can play with the best teams. We just need to get that win and build our confidence.” – John Stark’s Jeff McClellan

Records: Milford 11-0; John Stark 8-3

Inter-Lakes 3, Franklin 0

Key players:Inter-Lakes – Jessalyn Brown (20 assists, 14 service points), Emma Wheeler (6 kills, 7 service points), Catie Leberman (7 service points, kill), Delaney Smith (4 kills); Franklin – Lexy Lynch (2 kills, 5 blocks, assist, dig), Addison Granger (4 digs), Sydney Ericson (4 digs), Fayth Kaspszak (kill, 2 digs, ace, assist)

Highlights/key moments: The Lakers continue their undefeated streak through Division III.

Coach’s quote: “Another great team effort with all 14 players contributing. Jessalyn Brown was outstanding at the setter position, getting the ball to 11 different Lakers for kills.” – Inter-Lakes’ Randy Mattson

Records: Inter-Lakes 10-0; Franklin 0-11

Winnisquam 3, Newfound 0

Key players: Winnisquam – Shannon Goodwin (19 kills, 4 digs), Talia DeBlasie (25 assists, 3 aces, 6 digs), Gabby Isabelle (8 kills, 10 digs, 6 aces), Olivia Dill (9 digs), Aubrey St. Onge (6 digs), Maddisyn Skeats (6 digs)

Highlights/key moments: Winnisquam earned its 10th 3-0 shutout of the season, this one coming with 25-18, 25-18 and 25-21 scores.

Records: Winnisquam 12-0; Newfound 7-4


Concord 5, Manchester Memorial 2

Key players: Concord – Haley Munroe (3 goals), Carly Torrance (2 goals)

Highlights/key moments: The Tide shook off a slow start and rattled off three goals in a 10-minute span to take control and notch its first win since Sept. 13.

Coach’s quote: “Concord’s goals were great to watch and Memorial should be commended for their exemplary effort and sportsmanship.” – Concord’s Andy Briers

Records: Concord 2-8-1; Memorial 1-10

Bishop Brady 3, Pembroke 0

Key players:Brady – Kathryn Weed (goal, assist), Riley Marsh (goal), Maddy Smith (goal), Emma Windsor (4 saves), Abby Tremblay (assist), Lauren Roy (assist); Pembroke – Maddie Gaskell (8 first-half saves), Josie Stotlar (6 second-half saves)

Highlights/key moments: Marsh, assisted by Tremblay, gave Brady a 1-0 lead at 18:55 of the first half. That score stood until Weed scored at 12:58 of the second half, assisted by Roy. Weed got back in the books when she assisted Smith at 9:34 of the second half for the game’s final score.

Coach’s quote: “Good work put in by everyone on and off the field. It’s all about continuing to make progress.” – Brady’s Kelly Owen

“Although our girls fought until the end, we had a difficult time generating offense today. We just couldn’t get the ball going our way. Brady is a scrappy team. They played well and got the job done.” – Pembroke’s Aimee Monterio

Records: Bishop Brady 4-7; Pembroke 3-8

John Stark 6, Conant 2

Key players: Stark – Rebecca Wetherbee (2 goals), Elizabeth Aubin (goal, 2 assists, strong midfield game), Meg Girardet (goal, 2 assists), Kasey Arnold (goal), Delaney Forrestall (goal), Meg Newhall (assist)

Highlights/key moments: The Generals came out fast, scoring the game’s first two goals and eventually taking a 4-2 lead into halftime. Stark tightened up the defense and added two more goals in the second half.

Coach’s quote: “Breakout offensive performance from our team today. Some players we were just waiting to breakout did today and we also got scoring from our sophomores and freshmen. Very happy for our girls today.” – Stark’s Dennis Pelletier

Records: John Stark 2-10; Conant 0-10

Bow 4, Laconia 1

Key players: Bow – Erin Boldwin, Jennie Ess (goal), Laura Hoeker, Sonya Delorie (goal), Savannah Speckman, Shanon Ford, Elizabeth Guertin (assist), Dillon Hicks, Bri Mullen, Emma Hilton (solid defense)

Highlights/key moments: Laconia took a 1-0 lead 12 minutes into the game, but the Falcons tied things up nine minutes later and took a lead they wouldn’t relinquish when Ess scored her first varsity goal with two minutes left in the first half.

Coach’s quote: “The girls have hit their stride and are playing solid field hockey. Today’s game was a full-team effort showing their depth of skill. They had great passing, strong midfield play and a well-balanced defense.” – Bow’s Rebecca Cleary

Records: Bow 6-5; Laconia 2-10

Mascoma 4, Franklin 0

Key players: Franklin – Jada LaPierre (goalkeeper)

Highlights/key moments: Holding Mascoma scoreless for the game’s first 25 minutes still wasn’t enough for the Golden Tornadoes to pull off the upset.

Coach’s quote: “We just didn’t come to play today. Nothing seemed to work for us. We took ourselves out of the game after the first goal was scored.” – Franklin’s Nancy Hicks

Records: Franklin 3-8; Mascoma 5-6


Concord 4, Dover 1

Key players: Concord – Taylor Silverstein (3 goals), Sebastian Pardo (2 assists), Sujan Gurung (2 assists), Chea Chebo (goal), Liam Devanny (5 saves)

Highlights/key moments: The Tide outshot Dover, 20-6, and Silverstein’s hat trick propelled Concord to its fifth win in its last six games. Dover tied the game in the 48th minute and Concord answered with three goals in the second half.

Coach’s quote: “I was very pleased with our play in the second half.” – Concord’s Scott Dunlop

Records: Concord 8-3; Dover 3-8

Newfound 2, Bishop Brady 1

Key players: Newfound – Brad MacDonald (goal), Cian Connor (goal), Ryan Quinn (assist)

Highlights/key moments: The Bears used two early goals to pull ahead and rode some strong team defense the rest of the way to limit Brady’s attack.

Coach’s quote: “I am happy that we got the win but we needed to finish our opportunities in the second half. We are still working on playing a complete game on both sides of the ball.” – Newfound’s Jason Hill

Records: Newfound 5-7; Brady 4-8-1


Portsmouth 2, Coe-Brown 0

Key players: Coe-Brown – Emily van Gerena (9 saves), Amelia Bracket (defense)

Highlights/key moments: The Bears played one of Division II’s toughest teams close in the first half, but Portsmouth’s speed was eventually just too much to slow down. Portsmouth added an insurance goal in the second half to put it away.

Coach’s quote: “We were better in the second half with communication and built a couple of good attacks.” – Coe-Brown’s Josh Hils

Records: Coe-Brown 4-7-1; Portsmouth 9-3

Belmont 4, Campbell 1

Key players: Belmont – Makenzie Donovan (goal), Julianna Estremera (2 goals), Morgan Hall (goal), Emma Cochran (6 saves)

Highlights/key moments: Donovan gave Belmont a 1-0 lead in the first minute. Cochran made a nice save on a breakaway to preserve Belmont’s 3-0 lead with 10 minutes left in the game.

Records: Belmont 5-3-3; Campbell 8-3-1

Hopkinton 1, Stevens 0

Key players: Hopkinton – Grace Clark (goal), Maura Zankel (defense), Cathen Hall (defense), Amelia Bassett (8 saves)

Highlights/key moments: Stevens was in control through the first half, but Clark’s goal in the 28th minute gave the Hawks a lead they rode to the end.

Records: Hopkinton 8-2-1; Stevens 7-6


Concord first

Highlights/key moments: The Crimson Tide finished with 32 points to take first in this six-team meet. Bishop Guertin was second with 41 points and Merrimack took third with 87 points.

Key players: Concord – Molly Bragg (1st, 20:29), Morgane Orcutt (2nd, 20:43), Sarah Zarakotas (8th, 21:30), Kat Jepson (10th, 21:49), Hannah Barton (11th, 21:50)