Slow start won’t derail driven, talented Souhegan volleyballers

AMHERST – If the Souhegan High School volleyball program is to head where coach Amanda Ouellette hopes, these are the matches they need to win.

Still, it would be hard not to admire the Sabers’ fight in a marathon five-set loss to Coe-Brown on Tuesday night.

“This team plays its heart out every day, in practice, in matches, every point,” said Ouellette, whose crew dropped to 2-4 with a 15-12 score in the decisive fifth.

“They don’t stop. They just keep going. I have great seniors, great talent. This is a big year.”

All night long the teams traded punches. Coe-Brown took the first, 25-23, despite a gallant serving bid from Katerina Stuopis, who rallied the Sabers back from 24-18.

The second was about survival, and at 21-21, the Sabers were just a tad tougher, pulling it out, 26-24, as Stuopis again loomed large late.

Saber Molly Driscoll was huge in the third game pulled out by Souhegan at 25-23. The senior missed on a potential game-winner at 24-22, but the hosts knew exactly where to go one point later with Driscoll this time sealing the deal

perfectly.

That’s where the fun would end though. Coe-Brown took the fourth, 25-19.

And in the fifth, there were certainly Saber highlights.

Senior Katie O’Brien, who was drilling the ball from the outside all night long, had three kills in the game game. Driscoll and sophomore Allie McCall each had a pair.

And Stuopis delivered a pair of aces, but it just wasn’t enough.

“We know what has to be done,” said Ouellette. “These girls have done an amazing job on moving on to the next point, the next day. I have confidence in them.”

Friday, the Sabers head off to Kingswood with a 6 p.m. start.

The Sabers then host Hanover on Monday night.

Coe-Brown improved to 3-4 with the victory.

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