Souhegan falls to Windham in opener
For just the second time in the last 18 years, the Gilford High School girls volleyball team didn’t advance to its respective championship game, as Coe-Brown, of Northwood, knocked the Golden Eagles out in the Division II semifinals on its way to a championship.
Gilford and Coe-Brown, along with last year’s runner-up, Windham, and Portsmouth should be among the top teams in D-II. Milford, which returns every key contributor from a team that went 14-4 last year, hopes to be there as well. Leading the way for Milford is senior Libero Amanda Alcox, who was a D-II first team player a year ago, along with seniors Jess Leach and Abby Blanchet and junior Olivia Rougeau.
Souhegan is in its second year under had coach Kelly Olsen and the Sabers will look to improve on a season that saw them finish strong and grab a D-II playoff berth.
In Division II girls, defending divisional, MOC and New England champion Coe-Brown is still the team to beat. The Bears return junior Elisabeth Danis (second at D-II, third at MOC’s, 15th at New Englands), senior Hannah Parker (fourth at D-II, seventh at MOC’s, ninth at NE’s) and junior Brooke Laskowsky (sixth at D-II, ninth at MOC’s, 32nd at NE’s).
Look for Oyster River, led by junior Maegan Doody (third at D-II, first at MOC’s, 11th at NE’s); and Souhegan, led by sophomore Madeleine Hunt (23rd at D-II, 20th at MOC’s), to be improved. Hollis Brookline, led by Sarah Cramton (10th at D-II, 23rd at MOC’s), is also in the mix to chase Coe-Brown.
The area’s top boys runner comes out of Amherst, as Souhegan once again challenges for the top spot in D-II behind seniors Eli Moskowitz (second at D-II, fifth at MOC’s, 43rd at NE’s) and Ben Platt. Joining that duo is a group of Sabers underclassmen that won the D-II JV meet last fall. Defending champion Oyster River, Portsmouth and Coe-Brown are also divisional contenders.
COACH: Charles Roberson (24th year).
LAST YEAR: 14-4, lost in the quarterfinals.
RETURNING STARTERS: Amanda Alcox, sr., Libero; Jess Leach, sr., OS; Hanna Hembrow, jr., S; Abby Blanchet, sr., S; Cecilia Arnoldy, sr., MH; Jess Scott, sr., OS; Olivia Rougeau, jr., MH; Mary Griggs, so., MH.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Barbara Ferraz, sr., S; Zoe Menendez, sr., DS; Maddy Wheeler, so., OS.
PROMISING NEWCOMERS: Casey Covell, so., OH; Natalie Olsen. jr., S.
COACH’S COMMENTS: “This team has the potential to be very good,” Roberson said. “We are solid at all positions.”
COACH: Kelly Olsen (second year).
LAST YEAR: 6-10, lost in
RETURNING STARTERS: Sam Allen, sr., outside; Oksana Clay, sr., setter; Hannah Cochran, jr., outside.
RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Esther Johnson, sr., middle; Brooke Tanguay, jr., outside.
PROMISING NEWCOMER: Sydney French, so.
COACH’S COMMENTS: “This year we are starting off ahead of the point we were at this same time last year during preseason,” Olsen said. “The additional hard work and commitment our team has put in during the offseason with conditioning, attending our team summer camp and open gyms, are turning out to be crucial toward our strong team development. We look forward to a competitive season full of hard work, dedication and excitement.”
BOYS CROSS COUNTRY
COACH: Mike Wright (fourth year).
2013: 12th at Division II meet.
TOP RETURNING SCORERS: Jake Ricca, jr.; Tim Tamulonis, jr.; Joseph Degraphenried, jr.; Jacob Sickler, so.
PROMISING NEWCOMERS: Blake Audibert, fr.; Jeremy Jackson, fr.
COACH’S COMMENT: Fourth-year Spartans coach Mike Wright wants to focus on developing his young team slowly.
COACH: Geoffrey Wilson (14th year)
2013: Second at Division II meet; third at Meet of Champions.
TOP RETURNING SCORERS: Eli Moskowitz, sr.; Ben Platt, sr.
OTHER RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Stefan DeShazo, sr.; Matt Saunders, jr.; Garrett Earley, so.
COACH’S COMMENT: “After graduating five of our top seven from last year’s team, the key will be the continued improvement of last year’s top returning JV runners,” said Sabers coach Geoffrey Wilson of Souhegan’s D-II JV meet champions.
GIRLS CROSS COUNTRY
COACH: Mike Wright (fourth year).
2013: Ninth at Division II meet.
TOP RETURNING SCORERS: Brianna Lippitt, sr.; Miranda Couture, sr.; Aimee Krafft, sr.; Shannon Hull, jr.; Lindsay Wright, so.; Grace Vogel, so.
PROMISING NEWCOMERS: Katie Ebbert, so.; Kaela Greska, fr.; Maddie Sullivan, fr.; Victoria Goullett, fr.; Stephanie Bishop, fr.
COACH’S COMMENT: “We have to pack up our top seven,” Spartans coach Mike Wright said.
COACH: Geoffrey Wilson (14th year).
2013: Fourth at Division I meet; eighth at Meet of Champions.
TOP RETURNING SCORERS: Madeleine Hunt, so.; Hannah Gillis, jr.; Hannah Culver, sr.; Kate Bermingham, jr.; Shannon Earley, so.
OTHER RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Amy Lambert, Rylee Noorda, Emmy Ehrenstein, Ali Roberts.
PROMISING NEWCOMERS: Elise Lambert, Maddy Barretto, Alissa Reitter.
COACH’S COMMENT: Sabers coach Geoffrey Wilson is looking for “Continued improvement of a strong team from last year, with five of our top six runners back, along with several excellent newcomers. It should put us near the top of our Division this fall.”
COACH: Tracie Ibarra (13th year).
2013: N/A; lost in preliminary round.
RETURNING STARTERS: Madison Gagnon, jr.; Julia mazzeo, sr.; Kaitlyn Nelson, sr.; Kelsey Poulter, sr.; Olivia Mabbett, jr.; Nicole McMorrow, jr.; Cora Rogers, jr.; Rachael Nelson, so.; Allison Betelak, jr.; Maya Flores, so.
OTHER RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Erin Tyrrell, jr.; Meghan Marshall, jr.; Sara Pickett, so.; Isabelle Rivas, sr.; Jenna MacKinon, jr.
PROMISING NEWCOMERS: Lauren Dishong, fr.; Lilly Erdody, fr.
COACH’S COMMENT: “Our success will lie in our ability to continue pushing ourselves both physically and mentally as a team,” 13-year coach Tracie Ibarra said. “The idea is to continue raising that bar to a higher level of intensity, skill, and strategy every day. After losing only three players, we are fortunate to be returning a cohesive, creative and much more determined team. Every time we step on the field, we will do so with a higher level of respect for the hard work and determination each team puts in, and with a clear vision of the goals we have set for success 2014 season.”
COACH: Kelli Warecki (third year).
2013: 11-2-1; lost in quarterfinals.
RETURNING STARTERS: Lauren McCormick, sr., midfield; Madison Angulas, sr., midfield; Katie Almeida, sr., forward; Kate Heaney, sr., goalie.
OTHER RETURNING LETTERWINNERS: Kylie Charbonneau, sr., forward; Mikayla Hickey, jr., midfield; Claire Foley, jr., goalie.
PROMISING NEWCOMERS: Natalie Nelson, sr., defense; Steph Kimner, sr., midfield; Jaimie Cates, jr., defense; Katie Casey, jr., midfield; Kaylyn Forest, jr., forward; Caleigh Burns, jr., midfield; Gwen Hale, jr., midfield; Natalie Caraccio, jr., defense; Timber Devine, so., midfield; Maddie Boyea, so., midfield; Erica Cheries, so., forward; Erin McCool, fr., defense; Abby Cranney, fr., forward; Brigid Casey, fr., forward; Mckenzie Robinson, fr., midfield.
COACH’S COMMENT: “For us to be successful this year, we need to play a full-field, full-team game,” third-year coach Kelli Warecki said. “We have a very talented young squad who knows the game and will need to use their individual skills in our new collective unit.”