Monthly Archives: November 2022

Newburyport gains D3 volleyball Final Four

Captains Emma Foley, Viive Godtfredsen, Sophie Messina
Sophie Messina had five blocks

(Newburyport) The (20-3) Clippers have reached the MIAA Division 3 volleyball Final Four.

Newburyport accomplished this by overwhelming Ashland 3-0 on Friday afternoon.

The Clippers have now won six straight matches including three in the tournament.

The #6 Clockers (13-10) struggled in the first two sets before coming to life in the final set to lead for part of it. 

However, in that last set, the #3 Clippers fought back to tie the score at 10-10 and sailed home from there.

The set totals were 25-16, 25-13, and 25-12.

Newburyport has gotten better as the tournament has progressed.  Maybe they were “scared straight” after nearly losing to #30 Bishop Fenwick in their tourney opener.

“I think that this is the best I’ve seen us play this season,” said junior Zoey Calitri after today’s win.

“Our defense was strong,” she added.  “When it’s strong, we can run a quick offense.  Then we get to run our middles and that’s an automatic kill.”

Receiving serves successfully was important.

Sophie Messina returns serve

“The key to this win was serve-receive,” said Coach Lori Solazzo.  “We knew that they were good servers.”

The Clippers had seen Ashland’s win over Greater New Bedford.

“We watched it,” said senior Viive Godtfredsen, “looking for places we could score.  We were prepared for everything.”

“We practiced a lot, so we were ready to play today,” added senior Bea Cortecci.

Senior Sophie Messina paced the Clippers with eleven kills and five blocks that converted into points.

“Sophie has been a force in the middle,” said Coach Solazzo.  “People haven’t been able to stop her.”

Sophie was on the scoring end of some terrific setups by Emma Foley.

“Our service-receive was great,” said Sophie.  “We’ve been working on that.”

Junior Lily LeDuc finished with ten kills.  “Lily had a heck of a game,” said Coach Solazzo.

Bea Corecci had five aces

The Clippers serving was outstanding as their sixteen aces reflects.

“We started the first set strong with a serving run by Viive (Godtfredsen),” explained Lily.  “We limited our errors.”

Four of the top five seeds are in the D3 Final Four.  Newburyport will face #2 Tewksbury at a neutral site this week.

Viive knows a little bit about (19-4) Tewksbury. “I play club with a few girls who are on the Tewksbury team.”

Can the Clippers advance?

“I knew at the start that our team was talented,” said Coach Solazzo.  “I wasn’t anticipating that we were going to go this far but we’ve shown that we belong here.”

The Newburyport captains (Emma Foley, Viive Godtfredsen, Sophie Messina) received the Final Four trophy from an MIAA representative after the Ashland win.

“We’ve got a trophy now,” said Sophie afterwards.  “It’s the first time.”

Viive was pleased with the Final Four trophy but added, “we want the next trophy.”  That would be the one given next weekend to the Division Three champion.

Coach Solazzo: “We have been focused on our next opponent.  We keep saying, ‘One point, one set, one match at a time, together.”

Lily LeDuc had ten kills

Emma Foley about to set up Bea Cortecci in the middle

Clippers celebrate a berth in the D3 Final Four

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Nashua South defeats Hanover 2-0 to repeat as NHIAA Division I Champs

Goal scorer Revin Olsen and goalie Ansh Khanna jump above the well-wishers at game’s end
Carter Guerin double-teamed

(Exeter) “We’re starting a new tradition at South,” said Nashua South coach Tom Bellen.

“We’ve been decent in the past,” he added, “now we’re one of the powerhouses.”

Coach Bellen’s Panthers solidified their status with a 2-0 win over Hanover to gain the NHIAA Division I state title for the second straight season.

Revin Olsen’s first-half goal off a header turned into the game winner.

“I saw the ball crossed in,” explained Revin’s teammate Leonel Lopez afterwards.  “I saw Revin there above everyone else.  He was right where he needed to be.  When he scored it, I was so happy.”

Leonel not only saw that goal but later in the second half the sophomore defender kept the Bears (16-5) from scoring a tying goal. 

On the crucial play, South goalie Ansh Khanna had the right side of the net covered but to his left was wide open.  The Hanover shot headed for what looked to be an open space.

Goalie Ansh Khanna thanks teammate Leonel Lopez for saving a goal

“I saw the net was open so I jumped into the spot,” explained Leonel.  He was able to head the incoming shot away to preserve the shutout.

“Both teams created great chances,” said Hanover coach Rob Grabill afterwards. 

“I love the fact that it was an attractive game,” he added.  “It was a game that represented the sport very well.  It was high level soccer.”

Temperatures were in the 70’s with a steady breeze. The weather and the soccer were equally impressive.  Whistles were few.

Earlier in the season after Nashua South lost to Nashua North, Coach Bellen made a surprising prediction.  “I told the kids after that loss that we were going to win the state championship.”

“It was just a matter of doing the little things better, “he added.

“At the time, I knew we were a talented team and thought that we could win again,” said senior Jadiel Bomfim, “but it was going to take a lot of work.”

Battle for control

Senior goalie Ansh Khanna agreed, “We came into the season thinking we could do it again.”

The Panthers (17-3) put the game out of reach in the closing minutes with a second goal.

The Panthers were awarded a corner kick.  Bears goalie Ty Nolon recognized that the Panthers, with the one-goal lead, would take their time preparing for the play.  So he carried the ball to the corner and put it down in front of the corner kicker (Santi Somorrostro) and quickly headed to the front of the net.  Santi saw the opportunity and curled a shot into the net before Ty or his teammates were set up to defend.

“That was high soccer IQ by Santi in that second goal,” said Coach Bellen.  “We talk all the time about being smart out there.  We’ve had a couple of free-kick plays during the season similar to the one today.”

The #2 Panthers had defeated the #5 Bears 2-1 at Hanover on September 14th.

Hanover came into today’s game on a 12-game winning streak.  The Bears won the state title in 2013 and 2019.

Ryder Hayes and Rory Olsen

Ansh Khanna: “I did my job.  To beat the same team again was lovely.  We showed them that we’re one of the best.”

Jadiel Bomfim: “Hanover is a good team.  I have a lot of friends there.”

Coach Grabill: “Two very different high school communities and yet how much they have in common and how well they got along with each other.  It was heartwarming.  I really liked to see that.”

Joona Hantula: “I was on the bench for the first goal.  I said to one of my teammates that we’re going to score….and we did.”

Coach Bellen: “Leonel did the same thing in another game this season to save a goal.  I owe him twice!”

Revin Olsen (5) celebrates his goal with teammates

2022 NHIAA Division I boys soccer state champs

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Newburyport barely survives tourney opener against Bishop Fenwick

(Newburyport) “It looked as if our season was going to be over a little earlier than we thought,” was how Newburyport senior Sophie Messina explained their tight tussle with Bishop Fenwick on Friday night.

The #3 seed Clippers (18-3) had their hands full and then some against the #30 seed Crusaders (8-14).

The home team was down 2-1 after three sets but rallied to escape a shocking upset in the MIAA Division 3 Round of 32.

Viive Godtfredsen had fifteen kills for Newburyport

Newburyport had twice defeated BF 3-0 going into this one.

“It was easy to see an easy win based on where we were in the bracket,” explained Fenwick coach Sam Kelly afterwards.  “Our goal was to make it challenging for them.”

Mission accomplished on that!

Lacey Murphy ready to block

“Bishop Fenwick definitely took it to us tonight,” said NHS coach Lori Solazzo afterwards.  “I’m proud of the win but Bishop Fenwick played great.”

The set results were 22-25, 25-21, 21-25, 25-16, and 15-8.

The Clippers will return to action on Tuesday.

Calli Symond returns service

The keys to the early success for BF were limiting unforced errors and attacking the Clippers.

“We knew they would be running a tall front row with an aggressive attack,” said Coach Kelly.  “We brought up Kylie Murphy from the JVs to start for us in her first varsity game.  She played fantastic.”

Kylie is tall like her teammate sister Lacey and between them they made it difficult for Newburyport to find open shots at the net.

Both teams struggled to run points together.

“We were going point to point instead of getting some runs,” said Coach Solazzo.

Newburyport’s inability to put point together kept BF in each of the first three sets and after the Crusaders won two of them the pressure was squarely on the Clippers.

“Being down 2-1 was a little nerve wracking,” said Newburyport senior Viive Godtfredsen.  “It was a matter of who was mentally tough at the end.”

Coach Solazzo credited senior Bea Cortecci with swinging things in the Clippers favor in the fourth set.

Bea Cortecci returns serve

“Bea pulled us through in that 4th set with her aces and kills,” Coach Sollazzo said.  “It was the turning point for the team for sure.”

Once the Clippers were back even after four sets the momentum switched completely in the 15-point final set.  Several miscues gave Newburyport a quick 4-0 lead.  Then it was 8-3 and 10-3.  The final was 15-8.

“Passing was a struggle the first couple of sets,” said Sophie Messina afterwards.  “Setter Emma Foley was running all over the place.  In the 4th and 5th sets we were able to get passes closer to the net and score off of that.  A win is a win.  We’ll take it.”

“We’re excited to keep going and get as far as we can,” said Vive Godtfredsen.

Sophie Messina had 17 kills.  Bea Cortecci had 16 kills and 10 aces.  Viive Godtfredsen had 15 kills while Lily LeDuc added 14 kills.

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