Merrimack volleyball sweeps away South, falls at Dover in QF
By GEORGE SCIONE
MERRIMACK – On paper, it was supposed to be a relatively easy 3-0 win for sixth-seeded Merrimack. The Tomahawks may have recorded that three-set win in their Division I preliminary round match on Oct. 26, but there was nothing easy about it.
Eleventh-seeded Nashua South (9-10) refused to play like an underdog, missing a few opportunities to close out the second set – and forcing the need for extra points in the final sets – in a 25-23, 31-29, 28-26 loss to Merrimack (15-6).
"They are an 11-seed team, but they definitely don’t play like one," Merrimack coach Tammy Lambrou said of the Panthers. "To be honest, I don’t think we were playing like a sixth seed team."
Jolly was caught in the middle of an epic preliminary round match Wednesday night. She led both teams with 23 kills –
none easy to come by.
South – which was led by Daria Putsch (12 kills, 19 digs), Kara Kelliher (11 kills, 10 digs, two aces) and Alexie Dearborn (13 digs) – held set point in the second and third sets before Merrimack turned it around for the win.
"I think they played well. I think they played scrappy," South coach Wayne Siejkowski said of his Panthers. "I think they missed a couple of opportunities. I think there were a couple of chances there, where they got a little rattled. I’m not used to seeing that from this team."
Jolly was strong defensively for the Tomahawks in those final two sets. She finished with 14 digs, five blocks and three service aces. Joanne Bonner also came up with a couple of key blocks and three kills, while Alli Marino recorded 28 assists and Addie Lacey chipped in with five kills in the win.
Division I quarterfinals
No. 3 Dover 3, No. 6 Merrimack 0
Despite a strong performance from Elise Jolly – 21 kills, nine digs and three aces – sixth-seeded Merrimack (14-6) dropped its quarterfinal match 25-23, 25-20 and 25-18 to third-seeded Dover (17-3).
Jolly finishes her high school career second all-time in kills statewide with 1,016. She holds the state record for career blocks.
Alli Marino (19 assists) and Addie Lacey (two blocks, three kills) also played well in the loss.
Division I Prelims
No. 4 Concord 5, No. 13 Merrimack 1
The 13th-seeded Tomahawks (6-11) found the back of the net once, but it wasn’t close to enough in a four-goal loss to the fourth-seeded Crimson Tide (13-3-1).