Merrimack volleyball sweeps away Concord

Behind 20 kills from senior outside hitter Jen Coffey and eight kills and four aces from sophomore middle hitter Elise Jolly, the Merrimack High School girls volleyball team was able to defeat visiting Concord 3-0 in the quarterfinals of the Division 1 Tournament.

“Such a nice feeling to go to the Final Four again in my senior year,” Jen Coffey said. “It’s emotional because for seniors it’s their last game (at Merrimack High) tonight.”

The top-seeded Tomahawks did not waste any time as they took a 7-0 lead in the first set which included six straight service points from junior setter Jo Coffey.

Merrimack head coach Tammy Lambrou talked about her message was to her team going into the match.

“To not worry about the score, play our game, play hard, have fun and the score will work itself out,” she said.

Jen Coffey registered the clinching kill to send the Tomahawks to a 25-16 first set victory.

No. 9 Concord built an 8-4 advantage in the second set but the Tomahawks would battle back to even the score at 9-9 and then would outscore Concord 16-9 down the stretch of the set to take the second set 25-18.

“Always try to stay positive,” said Jen Coffey of what the message was from the leaders on the team when they went down early in the second set. “If you mess up, it is in the past, you can never go back so just got to keep moving forward, stay positive and go for the next ball.”

The third set was sitting at 13-6 in favor of Merrimack and then Jolly reeled off 10 straight service points to give Merrimack a 23-6 lead. Jen Coffey would register the match clinching kill to give the Tomahawks a 25-10 victory in the third set.

“We started off a little flat, played a little (nervously) in the beginning,” said Lambrou.

“But I think overall we stepped it up. Once their nerves were gone the kids really started to play their game which was nice.”

Strong performances for the Tomahawks included Jen Coffey, Elise Jolly, Jo Coffey (33 assists and four aces), senior Caitlyn Paulson (seven aces), senior Jackie Petrocelli (three kills) and senior outside hitter Tayla Schipilliti (three kills).

“Everyone contributed and put balls down when we needed them to which was nice,” Lambrou said.

With the win, Merrimack punched its ticket to a semifinals matchup against No. 4 seeded Salem on Wednesday at Pinkerton Academy.

“To relax, fundamentally we have it,” said Lambrou about what the keys are going to be going into the semifinals.

“We just need to be prepared mentally and know that we can do it.”