Category Archives: Triton

Jack Fehlner leads Newburyport to Spofford title

Jack Fehlner was the center of attention when the game ended
Newburyport Clippers win the 2021 Spofford Tournament
Baserunner Cael Kohan and 1B Brady Ford

(Georgetown MA) Newburyport was desperate for a win.

After an impressive 9-1 month of May, June turned into a problem.

After an early win in June, three straight losses had followed, most recently, a 12-1 nightmare loss to North Reading.

Before that NR disaster had been a tough 7-2 defeat this past Wednesday to Triton.  A game in which Jack Fehlner came in to give relief and suffered through a five-run outburst by the Vikings.

Fast forward to this afternoon.  Again, it was Triton and again it was Jack Fehlner doing the pitching.

But what a difference this time!

Jack Fehlner limited Triton to four hits

Today, Jack pitched a four-hit, complete-game shutout as the Clippers downed Triton, 5-0, to take home the championship trophy in the Spofford Tournament.

“After that loss to Triton, the team gave me some great words of encouragement,” said Jack post-game, “that really helped.”

Jack’s pitching was probably enough to make him the tourney MVP but when he added a home run in the seventh inning the guesswork ended.

“Jack’s homer wasn’t a surprise to me,” said Newburyport coach Mark Rowe. “He hits bombs in practice.”

Tony Lucci had a 2-run double

Through three innings, Jack allowed only one baserunner while Triton starter DJ Watson allowed just one hit (Luke Stallard).

The Clippers bats came to life in the fourth inning.

A single (Luke Stallard) and a walk (Jax Budgell) set up Newburyport’s leading hitter (Jake Buontempo) for an RBI single to left. 

Jake took second without a throw and senior Tony Lucci followed with a two-run double to right center.

“It was an outside pitch,” recalled Tony.  “Coach (Rowe) always tells us to take that one to rightfield and that’s what I did.”

Triton (7-7) threatened to cut into Newburyport’s 3-0 lead in the fifth inning.

Andrew Masher and Griffin Dupuis executed a perfect hit-and-run to put runners on first and third with two outs in that inning.  Jack Fehlner, however, was able to get a strikeout to get out of it.

Jake Buontempo had a long homer to left in the sixth inning
Brady Lindholm had a hit

The Clippers (11-4) added another run in the sixth as Jake Buontempo hit a long home run over the leftfield fence.

“I was down 0-2,” said Jake.  “I had seen two curveballs.  I choked up a little bit like I always do and got a nice curveball and ripped it.”

The Vikings were back threatening in the sixth inning.  Consecutive singles by Brady Lindholm and Cael Kohan set up Triton with one out. After a flyball out to left, Ryan Lindholm hit a flare into short left.  It had trouble written all over it!  But Newburyport shortstop Tony Lucci ran straight back for it and caught it in true snow-cone fashion to end the inning and save a run.

“The catch by Tony was awesome,” said Jack Fehlner.  “It was such a clutch play.”

“I was a bit nervous going after it, but I ran as fast as I could to make the catch,” said Tony.

Jack finished off the final Triton inning with consecutive strikeouts.

Pickoff attempt

“Jack came in determined after they got to him the other day,” said Coach Rowe.  “He felt that he had something to prove today.”

Triton coach Ryan McCarthy: “Both teams hit the ball hard today.  I thought that the Fehlner kid pitched a great game today.  We hit him hard the other day, but he bounced back.”

Nick White: “It was a nice bounce-back win.  We’ve been struggling lately.”

Coach Rowe: “We were kind of on our heels after the last few games, but we had a long talk yesterday and had a good practice.”

Jack Fehlner celebrates home run

There was some uncertainty on Jack Fehlner’s homer in the seventh inning.  “I wasn’t sure it was out,” said Jack, “until their shortstop told me.”

Newburyport captains Tony Lucci, Ryan Archer, and Nick White with trophy
3B Andrew Masher had a hit for Vikings

Jack Fehlner: “My two-seam fastball was working really well.”

Triton had seven infield groundouts.

Newburyport last won the Spofford Tournament in 2018.

Triton’s last one was in 2012.

Ideal weather.

Generous donations announced pre-game to help the family of a firefighter who is battling cancer.

I learned from Coach McCarthy that the post-season tournament will only be for the North title.  He also thought that the tournament had to end by July 1st

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Clippers celebrate
Team picture
LF Ryan Archer congratulates Tony Lucci
Tony Lucci makes a (blurry) snow-cone catch
Jack Fehlner pitches
Jax Budgell heads home with the second Newburyport run
RF Cole Daniels made a terrific catch in the second inning
SS Tony Lucci
Throwing out the ceremonial first pitch
Owen Roberts

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Newburyport dominates rematch with Triton

Emily Meleedy pitched a 2-hit, complete-game shutout with 8 strikeouts
The Clippers had thirteen hits

(Byfield MA) “We showed up to play,” said Newburyport senior Cali Caponigro.

And show up they did.

The Clippers (8-5) had everything going as they took a, 13-0, mercy-rule win over Triton on Thursday afternoon.

The way this game went was a surprise.  Back in May, the Clippers held on for an, 11-10, victory against the same Vikings.

Today, Newburyport grabbed the lead immediately, had terrific pitching (Emily Meleedy), and made the plays in the field.

Liv Kiricoples had one of Triton’s two hits

Triton (6-6) just couldn’t match up on this afternoon.

Emily limited the Vikings to their fewest hits of the season (two) while striking out eight batters.

“Their pitcher was terrific,” said Triton coach Alan Noyes.

The Clippers scored early and in five of the six innings played.

“We started off strong today and that really helped,” said Emily Meleedy.

An infield error prolonged the first inning.  Grace Habib singled in the first run and Emma Keefe doubled in two more sending Newburyport off to a quick, 3-0, lead.

Clippers watching the action

The Clippers were ahead, 4-0, before Triton had their first hit (Liv Kiricoples) in the third inning.

The visitors gained serious separation in the fourth inning adding a four-spot to their run total.

As in the first inning, the Triton trouble started after two outs.  Nieve Morrissey and Maddie McLeod each drove in a run while Emily Meleedy’s double to left brought two Clippers home.

That moved the lead to, 8-0.

The Newburyport defense also had a good afternoon.

Centerfielder Nieve Morrissey made the play of the game in the Triton fourth IMO.  Nieve came running to the rescue when an infield popup near second base looked to be falling in.

CF Nieve Morrissey (3) makes a remarkable running catch
Triton shortstop Kyla Story

“Nieve’s catch was amazing,” said shortstop Emma Keefe afterwards.  “She’s a fast one.”

The Vikings did get a runner to third (Liv Kiricoples) in the fifth inning with one out.  However, Emily Meleedy escaped damage with a strikeout and an infield grounder handled by 3B Cali Caponigro.

The Clippers had thirteen hits.  Emily Meleedy had three, while teammates Nieve Morrissey, Cali Caponigro, Emma Keefe, and Sophie Lavallee had two each.

Emma Keefe had four RBI while Grace Habib and Emily Meleedy had two each.

Emma Keefe had four RBI

“Our bats showed up today,” said Cali Caponigro. “I’m really proud of our team.”

Coach Bob Gillespie: “They came out ready to go.  We put up three right away in the first inning.  Emily (Meleedy) pitched great.  We thumped the ball all day long.  Anytime we beat Triton it’s a great day in Newburyport.”

“Give Newburyport credit,” said Coach Noyes, “they swung the bats and made the plays.”

Coach Noyes: “We lost Izzie (Reiniger) yesterday and didn’t have time to move bodies around to adjust to it.”

Natalie Indingaro had the second Triton hit.

Running try by 2B Maddy Jacques

Coach Noyes: “Grace (Romine) was fine today.  We just made too many errors behind her.”

Coach Gillespie: “We had a tough game yesterday against North Reading but that’s old news.  We’re as happy as can be with this win.”

Emily Meleedy didn’t walk anyone.  “I threw in a couple of different pitches today,” she explained.  “I’ve got a good team behind me.”

Triton will face undefeated Amesbury on Saturday.  It’s a little difficult to figure out how good the Indians are defensively because of all the strikeouts Alana Delisle and Liv DeLong have been getting. 

The weather was cooler than it’s been and there were no complaints. 

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

CF Nieve Morrissey about to catch the final out of the game
Cali Caponigro scored three runs
LF Matigan Richmond
Emma Keefe steals second
Skylar Colburn
Emily Meleedy was on base four times
Keira Dowell gets to third base
3B Cali Caponigro
Grace Romine throws to first base
Grace Romine pitches
Emily Meleedy pitches
Gabbie McKendry catches a popup
Baserunner Maddie McLeod

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Cael Kohan impressive in 7-2 Triton win over Newburyport

Cael Kohan (1) congratulated after victory
Vikings celebrate during 7th inning

(Newburyport MA) “It was a good baseball game for six innings,” lamented Newburyport coach Mark Rowe afterwards.

Triton erupted for five runs in the seventh inning and claimed a, 7-2, win over the Clippers.

Senior Cael Kohan was the complete-game winner for the Vikings.

“Cael was awesome,” said Triton coach Ryan McCarthy post-game.

“In this (hot) weather, I kept checking with him and he just wanted to go back out there,” said Coach McCarthy.  “He was gutsy out there.”

Jake Buontempo scores for Newburyport

Cael scattered four hits and recorded nine strikeouts.  He also drove in the go-ahead run in the game-turning seventh inning.

“We’ve been in a bit of a funk at the plate the last couple of games but the pitching we’ve faced has something to do with it,” said Coach Rowe.  “Cael pitched a great game.”

Cael said that he felt, “really great after the game. I could go again.”

Triton (7-6) went up by two after 3 ½ innings.  Brady Lindholm and Joe Abt had RBIs.

The Clippers (10-3) tied it in their half of the fourth inning on a Ryan Archer two-run single to rightfield.

2B Joe Abt (3 hits) flips to first

“We were up by two,” said Coach McCarthy, “but Newburyport came back.  They are a very good team.”

The fourth was the only inning that Cael struggled as he gave up three walks and hit a batter.  “I fell apart in that one inning,” said Cael. 

But after the Ryan Archer two-run single, Cael regained control.  A couple of strikeouts minimized the damage in the fourth inning.  He allowed only two baserunners over the final three innings.

Luke Stallard started for Newburyport and limited the Vikings to two runs over 5+ innings.

Jack Fehlner finished the sixth for Newburyport.

Kyle Odoy singled in a run in the 7th

“In the seventh there was a leadoff walk and then Triton really started hitting the ball,” recalled Coach Rowe.  “Jack is one of the best pitchers in the league and they just teed off on him.  But those things happen.  He’ll be back.”

A walk (Tim Carter), a sacrifice bunt (DJ Watson), and a wild pitch put pinchrunner Stone Butler on third with one out.  Next was a walk (Brady Lindholm).  Still no runs yet but three straight run-producing singles followed by Cael Kohan, Kyle Odoy, and Joe Abt.

Later, Ryan Lindholm had an RBI double.

“We wanted to put some pressure on them,” said Coach McCarthy.  “We had some great at-bats in the last inning.”

Cael Kohan had a complete game 4-hitter

Cael enjoyed the five-run lead going into the bottom of the seventh inning.  “I was confident that my team would make plays behind me.  I was just throwing strikes.”

Cael said, “My curveball was great.  I was hitting my spots with the fastball.”

Junior Joe Abt led the Triton attack with three hits and two RBI.

Cael Kohan, Kyle Odoy, and Ryan Lindholm each had two hits for the Vikings.

Luke Stallard paced Newburyport with two hits.  Ryan Archer had two RBI.

The two teams faced each other on opening day in May and the Clippers put a six-run inning together defeating Triton, 10-4.

The last ten times the two teams have faced each other they have each won five times.

Tony Lucci and Ryan Lindholm

The teams will meet again in the Spofford championship game on Saturday at Georgetown.

After two straight days of games being cancelled because of the heat, it was good to see games being played even with temperatures in the 80s.

Cael pitched an impressive game today, but his college future involves another sport, golf.  He’ll be playing golf at Bryant University in the fall.

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

SS Tony Lucci in on a grounder
SS Brady Lindholm handled the last two outs
Sacrifice bunt
Connor Stick steals 2nd as SS Brady Lindholm reaches to tag
Joe Abt and Brady Ford
Luke Stallard went 5+ innings for Newburyport
Luke Stallard back to first
Kyle Odoy scored two runs
Kyle Odoy slides in with a triple as Demitri Connor takes throw
SS Brady Lindholm
3B Andrew Masher
Ryan McCarthy and Mark Rowe go over the rules pre-game

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Grace Romine shines in relief in Triton’s 13-4 win over Ipswich

Grace Romine pitched four shutout innings in relief for Triton
Triton struggled in the field early on

(Byfield MA) Triton can hit and they can score runs.

Today the relief pitching of sophomore Grace Romine kicked in as well to help the Vikings defeat Ipswich, 13-4, on Friday afternoon.

Grace came in for starter Mallory Johnson in the top of the fourth inning.

First batter Grace faced (Rowan Galanis) dropped down a perfect run-producing bunt to give the Tigers a, 4-3, lead.

After that? Ipswich didn’t get a run or a hit the rest of the way, in fact, Grace retired the last ten batters she faced.

“Grace pitched well,” said Triton coach Alan Noyes afterwards.  “She pitched well in a loss to North Reading a few weeks ago.  She’ll probably get the ball when we play Newburyport on Monday.”

Kyla Story had four hits

The Vikings (6-5) had hits in every inning and scored in every inning.

“They’ve got good hitters,” said Ipswich coach Paul James post-game.

Kyla Story, Haleigh Harris, and Natalie Indingaro led the Triton attack.  Kyla had four hits and four RBI.  Haleigh contributed three hits and two RBI, while Natalie had two hits and two RBI.

“We do a lot of hitting,” explained Coach Noyes.  “We put in forty-five minutes to an hour every day we practice.”

The Tigers, however, looked strong in this one into the fourth inning.

“We had it close,” recalled Coach James. 

Triton errors and hit batsmen put the visitors into numerous scoring situations during the early innings and they capitalized four times.

However, despite some shaky plays, the Vikings also had some defensive gems that limited the Ipswich run production.

Catcher Haleigh Harris has the ball ready for incoming Rowan Galanis

Twice in the first four innings, Rowan Galanis was thrown out at the plate. 

In the second inning, it was a throw by centerfielder Izzy Oldoni that got the Ipswich senior. 

In the fourth inning, when Cassidy Smith tried to steal second, the throw went directly to shortstop Kyla Story instead.  Kyla returned the throw to catcher Haleigh Harris catching Rowan trying to score from third.

In the third inning, rightfielder Natalie Indingaro made a nice running catch to rob Maya Williams of a hit.

The Vikings had eight doubles off starter Annabel Morris and those big hits accounted for seven runs driven in.

Senior Gabby McKendry had a two-out, two-run single during Triton’s six-run sixth inning.

Rowan Galanis safe at second

Junior Lexi James had two hits and scored three times for Ipswich.

The weather was warm, and the threatening clouds didn’t turn into anything.

The seniors from both schools were honored afterwards.

Freshman Kyla Story continues to impress me with her hitting and her fielding.  I’m not the only one.

Coach James: “Triton has a great shortstop.”

Coach Noyes: “At the start of tryouts she hid in the corner.  She’s come into her own.  She’s the real deal.  She had a big game against Lynnfield.”

I asked Kyla afterwards about the game: “Our energy got up after a while.  I’ve been practicing a lot.  I play in the middle infield for the Northeast Hurricanes.”

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Senior Izzie Reiniger
Catcher Katie Bekeritis
Natalie Indingaro – two hits, two RBI
Grace Romine pitching
Paige Leavitt slides in safely
Rowan Galanis out at home in the second inning
Lexi James scored three times
Catcher Haleigh Harris chats with new pitcher Grace Romine
Ipswich bench
LF Emily Johnson
1B Gabby McKendry
Katie Bekeritis on base
1B Cassidy Smith
2B Maya Williams
Ipswich box
Triton box

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Triton gets twenty-five hits defeating Pentucket 27-12

Haleigh Harris had one of Triton’s three home runs
Grace Romine gets an out at first

(Groveland MA) “Triton is a crazy hitting team,” said Pentucket coach Deb Smith afterwards.

No chance of an argument on that one from anyone at Groveland Pines this afternoon.

Triton put on a hitting show defeating Pentucket, 27-12, in a game called after five innings.

“We can hit,” said Triton coach Alan Noyes, “and when our pitching develops, we’re going to be pretty good.”

Triton coach Alan Noyes and Emily Johnson

The Vikings (1-1) climbed off the bus hitting today jumping into a seven-run lead in the first inning.

Credit Pentucket.  They put a six-run inning together in the second inning and the game was tied, 7-7, after two innings.

“Pentucket girls don’t quit,” added Coach Noyes.  “A lot of these kids play together on club teams.”

“I liked the way we came back after falling behind early,” said Coach Smith.

The good news for the Sachems (0-2) was the early comeback.  The bad news was that the Vikings weren’t done scoring.

Shortstop Sarah Sargent throws to first

The visitors from Byfield sent fourteen batters to the plate in the third inning adding nine runs.  In the fifth inning it was sixteen batters and ten more runs.

“Triton hit the ball so hard and so well and they were very disciplined waiting for their pitch,” said Coach Smith.  “It was hard to defend.”

Haleigh Harris, Natalie Indingaro, and Mallory Johnson had over-the-fence home runs for Triton.

Sophomore Grace Romine took the win going four innings in relief of starter Mallory Johnson.  Grace also scored three runs, had four hits, and drove five runs in.

Freshman Mallory Johnson collected three hits (including the HR), scored two runs, and added six RBI.

Mallory Johnson homered in the first

Sophomore Natalie Indingaro contributed four hits (including the HR), scored two runs, and drove in six.

Everyone in the Triton starting lineup had at least one hit.

Pentucket did end up getting twelve runs which would be enough to be competitive with many Cape Ann League teams.

Sophomore Ella Agocs and junior Bailey Stock each had three hits for the Sachems.

“There’s nothing we can do but get better,” said Coach Smith.  “I’m not worried.  We’ll learn from today and hopefully get some wins next week.”

Coach Noyes: “Seven of our starters are either freshman or sophomores.  Twelve of the thirteen kids on our roster had never dressed for a varsity game.”

Coach Smith: “We have almost all new players with only one returning starter.”

Crowd at second

Senior Charlotte Latham and junior Meg Hamel did the pitching for Pentucket.

It may be early, but Triton’s freshman shortstop Kyla Story looks to have the range and arm of her predecessor CAL All-Star Bridget Sheehan.  Kyla had three hits and scored three runs.

I haven’t done a Pentucket softball game for a while.  Last time for me may have been when Julie Freitas (assistant coach) pitched the Sachems past Newburyport.  Julie is now at UNH playing club softball.

There was plenty of “action” beyond the leftfield fence if dogs barking is your thing.  One of Triton’s home runs gave those dogs something to bark about landing in the midst of them.

I’ve done a few games and the pattern is for the visiting team to be late arriving.  Learned why today.  It’s because of a shortage of bus drivers due to Covid-19.  A driver has to finish his/her route before bringing a team to a game.

Pentucket scored twelve runs

Sunny afternoon but breezy.

When I get into Groveland Pines it takes me back to college days when I used to come here to watch drivers such as Bentley Warren and Ollie Silva in action.

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Pitcher Meg Hamel waits for a throw
Emma Lopata caught in a rundown
Play at the plate
Ella Agocs and Grace Romine
Freshman Mallory Johnson
Freshman Kyla Story
Sophomore Liv Kiricoples
Sophomore Sydney Pichette
Senior Sarah Sargent
Junior Emma Lopata
Senior Charlotte Latham
Sophomore Ella Agocs

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Newburyport hits and fields its way to a 10-4 win over Triton

Jax Budgell slides home safely during Newburyport’s six-run fourth inning
Brady Lindholm had two hits for Triton

(Rowley MA) Newburyport made full use of the equipment they brought.

The Clippers collected twelve hits defeating Triton, 10-4, at Eiras Park in the season opener for both teams on a sunny Thursday afternoon.

And then there were the gloves. 

Sometimes you’ll get one catch that earns a star in the scorebook.  On this afternoon, all the Clippers outfielders (Ryan Archer, Jake Buontempo, Jax Budgell) had highlight moments.

“We have some great outfielders,” understated NHS starter Jack Fehlner afterwards.

Newburyport picked up six runs in the fourth inning with two outs and Triton couldn’t completely recover.

The Vikings did recover enough to close to 6-4 with a run in the 4th and three in the 5th.

Newburyport starter Jack Fehlner ended both of Triton’s run-producing innings with called strikeouts to limit their comeback attempts.

Jax Budgell makes a diving catch to end the game

“Triton is a very good hitting team,” said Jack.

Ryan Archer scored twice for the Clippers

“When Triton was down by six, I told the team between innings that they won’t lay down,” said Coach Mark Rowe, “and they didn’t.”

Catcher Nick White, usually known for his defense behind the plate, was instead recognized (by me) for his hitting.  And why not, he had three hits and four RBI.

“I don’t think I’ve ever had a hitting game like this before,” explained Nick.

“With the rain recently, we’ve done a lot of hitting under the stadium and I think it paid off,” said Coach Rowe.

Senior Ryan Archer also had three hits that turned into three RBI.

“Newburyport is a good team,” said Triton coach Ryan McCarthy.  “They have returning players and they’re aggressive at the plate.”

Triton managed seven hits with senior Brady Lindholm getting two hits for the Vikes.

Griffin Dupuis scores for Triton

Things did not go Triton’s way in Newburyport’s six-run fourth inning.  The Vikings nearly had baserunner Charlie Forrest picked off.  Later in the same inning, Newburyport loaded the bases with two outs and no runs in at this point.  An infield grounder didn’t result in an inning-ending force-out and two runs scored. Four more Clippers runs would follow before Triton could stop the damage.

“It stung that they got six with two outs,” recalled Coach McCarthy.

The Vikings rallied back in the 4th and 5th.  Cael Kohan’s bases-loaded single gave Triton its second run.

Kyle Odoy followed with a grounder to 3B Demetri Connor.  Demetri tried for a force at home, but his throw was wide, and two Vikings crossed the plate.

“I thought Jack (Fehlner) pitched great,” said Coach Rowe.  “We made some mistakes in the inning they scored three runs.”

Owen Tahnk pitched two innings for NHS

Sophomore Owen Tahnk pitched the last two innings for Newburyport.

Owen’s pitching probably won’t be remembered very much because it was during his two innings that Newburyport’s outfield trio put on their show.

In each of the catches, the outfielder had to dive forward to get the ball………and it worked for all three of them.

Plenty of sun and plenty of spectators.

“It was great weather, and we had a chance to play the game we love,” said Coach McCarthy.

Jax Budgell celebrates

Nick White: “Any time you can put up double-digit runs you’ve had a good hitting night.  I think that our two pitchers (Jack Fehlner, Owen Tahnk) will be among the best in the league.”

Besides getting twelve hits, the Clippers took eight walks.  Triton had only one walk.

Not counting today’s game, the last eight times these teams had met they had each won four times.

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Luke Stallard scored two runs
Dylan Watson
Two of the areas best athletes
Coach Ryan McCarthy and Brady Lindholm
Coach Mark Rowe
Noah MacDonald out stealing
Looking for the handle
Jake Buontempo
Jack Fehlner steals second
Triton starter Cael Kohan
Ryan Lindholm
Andrew Masher

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Newburyport edges Triton in back-and-forth thriller 3-2

Sydney Yim and Evelyn Pearson at the net
Emma Campbell finds an opening

(Byfield MA) Triton coach Karen Christian said the game was “probably the highlight of the season,” and her team lost!

The Vikings (5-5) took Newburyport to five games on Wednesday night at Triton.

The Clippers (8-2) extend their win streak to seven. Their last loss was to Triton in March.

Newburyport won the first two games tonight, 25-19 and 25-15.

In those first two, Sydney Yim (Purdue commit) gave Triton trouble serving, setting, and finishing.  Many of her finishes weren’t hard hits but, instead, dropped into open spaces.

Sydney Yim

I started thinking sweep and early evening.

The Vikings had other ideas.

“We flipped the switch in Games 3 & 4 and started making the plays we weren’t making before,” said Mia Berardino afterwards.

Suddenly the Vikings began to look like the team that had defeated the Clippers, 3-1, in March.

Triton took the next two games, 25-13 and 25-17.

The Vikings got off to good starts in both games and rode Newburyport errors to the two wins.

“We weren’t ourselves today,” said Newburyport coach Lori Solazzo post-match.  “but player for player we’ve improve so much.  My frustration is that I didn’t see the team I usually see most of the time.”

The level of play was remarkable at times. Hard hits were not definite winners. 

Both teams had terrific setters (Molly Kimball and Sydney Yim) so there was a steady diet of hard hits provided. 

Kate Sarra gets low

There was a play in Game Four in which both Sydney Yim and Abigail Gillingham launched hard hits, only to have Triton find a way to play on and eventually get the point.

In three of the games, the team with the early lead went on to victory.

That held true in crucial Game Five.  “We were overthinking it a bit early and we fell behind,” said Coach Christian.

The Vikings went down 6-1 and later 14-9. in the fifteen-point, deciding set, before turning on the “not-done-yet” button.

The Clippers struggled with four straight Evelyn Pearson serves and suddenly we had ourselves a 14-13 nail-biter!

Evelyn Pearson

A hard, deep hit by the Clippers was called in, and then it was called out, and then they decided to play it over again.

Fortunate for Triton because an “in” call ends the game.  Fortunate for Newburyport because an “out” call ties the game at 14-14.

“Thank goodness that out-of-bounds play didn’t end it,” said Coach Solazzo afterwards.

Given a second chance to win the game, the Clippers got it done.

Newburyport seniors keyed the set/match winner.  Kate Sarra received the serve and sent it to Sydney Yim.  Sydney set the ball near the net for Abigail Gillingham.  Abigail hit the ball through the Triton defense.

Clippers celebrate winning the match

“Abigail had an amazing game,” said Sydney Yim.  “She has been a huge part of our team this year.”

Abigail Gillingham at the net

“The team buckled down at the end, showed some grit, and pulled this one out,” said Coach Solazzo.

“It certainly had the feel of a championship game to me,” said Coach Christian.  “I would love to see them next week with the same energy.”

There will be a Cape Ann League tournament next week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

“Triton is a great team,” said Coach Solazzo.  “They’re scrappy.  They played their hearts out.”

Evelyn Pearson: “I’m proud of my team.  We pulled our energy together.  Newburyport was a lot more competitive than the first time we saw them.”

Mia Berardino: “It wasn’t the outcome we wanted but I’m proud of the way we played.  I think if we play like this we can go far in the playoffs.”

The Clippers ended up undefeated (5-0) on the road. 

All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.

Sydney Yim and Mia Berardino
Sydney Yim sets
Mia Berardino serves
Mia Berardino spikes
Sydney Yim and Em Hoggard
Abigail Gillingham and Molly Kimball
Evelyn Pearson and Ava Hartley
Mia Berardino blocks Sydney Yim

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Mia Berardino leads Triton VB past Newburyport 3-1

Mia Berardino up for a block against Viive Godtfredsen

Mia Berardino had five aces

(Newburyport MA) Two of the best volleyball players (Mia Berardino & Sydney Yim) in these parts had at it tonight as Triton visited Newburyport.

On this night it was Mia Berardino’s Vikings winning three sets to one in Cape Ann League action.

Mia (just a junior) has offers from Babson, Stonehill, and Bentley and is talking to Holy Cross.

“I love volleyball,” said Mia afterwards.  “This was a huge win for us.  It seems like we’ve lost so many times to Newburyport.”

Volleyball is a team game but Mia’s five aces, eighteen kills, eight digs, and two blocks were crucial in the Vikings (2-1) win.

“We made the plays when we needed to,” explained Triton coach Karen Christian.  “The energy and enthusiasm was great.”

Even though Newburyport (1-2) won the first set (25-16) Clippers coach Lori Solazzo wasn’t fooled.  “We won but it didn’t feel like we did.  We weren’t executing well even in the first game.  We had our highs and lows.  We need to find the middle ground and be more consistent.”

Evelyn Pearson and Emma Campbell of Triton battle Sydney Yim at the net

Ava Hartley (9 kills) for Newburyport

The second game was tight and tied at 15-15 before Mia led a run of nine unanswered points and Triton won, 25-16.

“In the first set we were all over the place,” explained Triton senior Evelyn Pearson.  “After that we settled down and covered a lot more.  We started diving.  Volleyball is all about coverage and communication.”

“We lost the first set and never gave up hope and came back with a vengeance,” said Coach Christian.

Sydney Yim went out with an injury in the third game with the Clippers trailing 20-15.  Newburyport would lose that one, 25-19.

Sydney returned in the 4th game, but her team was behind, 13-9.  Triton continued to make plays while the Clippers struggled with consistency falling, 25-18.

Sydney Kim (18) at the net

“We learned from playing a strong team,” explained Sydney post-match.  “We just need to communicate more.  We’re very young and still getting used to each other.”

Sydney is committed to Purdue.  “I leave June 12th for Purdue to start early training.  It will be nice to get playing time in the summer.  It looks like there will be a Big Ten season in the Fall.”

Sydney collected eighteen assists tonight against Triton.

Mia and Sydney play on the same club team (Smash Volleyball – Newton).

“Mia was awesome tonight,” said Sydney.  “She’s definitely looking to play in college.”

Evelyn Pearson and Abigail Gillingham battle

Mia: “They had a big block, so we had to be smart with our shots and we did that.”

Coach Christian: “I am consistently impressed with the effort the girls do day in and day out.  It was a sweet win and I’m happy for our seniors.”

Coach Solazzo: “Triton has definitely improved.”

Evelyn: “I am going into bio-medical engineering.  I’m not sure what college yet.  I have been accepted by my top choice (Northeastern).”

Sydney: “Purdue is now ranked #10 in the country.  We were #20 last year.  There are two graduating seniors.”

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

The link to this coverage will be on Twitter (@mcclellandpeter). Pictures should appear on Instagram (@mcclellandmiscellanea).

Vikings celebrate 3-1 win

Emma Campbell block

Viive Godtfredsen (7)

Mia Berardino

Laney Lucci

Emma Campbell and Sophia Messina

Kate Sarra

Jess Manganello

Sydney Yim waits on a serve

Emily Hoggard

Sophia Messina and Emma Foley at the net

Kate Sarra

Sydney Yim setup

Mia Berardino spikes

Emma Foley (3 aces)

Sydney Yim (18 assists)

Molly Kimball (3 aces, 5 kills, 17 assists)

Evelyn Pearson (3 aces, 12 kills, 7 digs)

 

 

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Undefeated Newburyport (11-0) wins Kinney semi-finals 69-45 vs Triton

Adam Bovee finds Clipper teammate Tommy Jahn for a layup

Trevor Ward was part of a very effective Newburyport defense

(Newburyport MA) Newburyport continues to roll along.

The Clippers (11-0) are now just one win away from a perfect season after taking out Triton, 69-45, on Wednesday night in the semi-finals of the Kinney Tournament.

“They’re a really good team,” said Triton coach Ted Schruender afterwards.

Hard to argue.

The Clippers were unselfish on offense and relentless on defense.

That combination made it a tough night for the Vikings (3-8).

“Newburyport plays great pressure defense,” added Coach Schruender.  “They’re physical and they overplay.  You have to take advantage with backdoors and by attacking the rim.”

Jake Robertson had twenty points including five 3’s

Newburyport had a 15-point win (63-48) against Triton on February 3rd at Newburyport.  In that game, Jake Robertson had twenty points including six 3’s.  Also, in that game, the Clippers gained separation with a 24-point second quarter.

In tonight’s game, Jake again had twenty points but “only” five 3’s.  Separation in this one?  The Clippers, led by Max Gagnon, had a 24-point third quarter.

Kyle Odoy guarded by Jake Robertson

The struggle for Triton was trying to get open shots.  The Clippers were man-to-man in the first half and had active zone pressure in the second half.  Both were very effective in limiting second chances and clear paths to the basket.

“We were at them right away,” explained senior Trevor Ward. “Our defense gave us the advantage tonight.”

Trevor had two layups in a nine-point Clipper run in the first quarter that pushed them ahead, 12-4.

An eight-point run, including two Jake Robertson 3’s gave the home team a, 20-11, lead in the second quarter.

The game got away from Triton in the big Newburyport third quarter.

Junior Max Gagnon (13 points) had a stretch of terrific offense during that quarter.  First, he hit a three (from Jack Fehlner).  Then he went full-court on a rebound.  Next, Max had a steal that he took in for a layup.  Not bad for a minute’s worth of work!

Dylan Wilkinson (12 points) looks for an opening

That surge of offense gave Newburyport a, 48-29, lead with four minutes left in that third quarter. Triton didn’t have the weapons on this night to recover.

“I was feeling it tonight,” said Max post-game.  “To see it go in gives me confidence.  I have put in a lot of work on my shooting and we do plenty of shooting in practice.”

Part of the success Newburyport had on defense was keeping track of Triton’s Dylan Wilkinson.

“He can shoot and he can get hot,” said Newburyport coach Dave Clay.  “We were keying on him.  We wanted to mark him every time he stepped over halfcourt.”

Dylan was limited to twelve points and had Triton’s lone 3-point basket.

The Newburyport offense was spread.  They had thirteen 3’s and thirteen 2-point shots.

Trevor Ward makes a pass for a layup

Their passing was excellent.  Most of their outside shots were open looks after several passes.

The second-half point separation gave both coaches opportunities to use everyone in uniform.

“I enjoyed watching the progress of the players who haven’t been getting a lot of minutes,” said Coach Clay.  “They’ve played against very good players in practice and it’s helped them grow.”

Part of Coach Clay’s concern over Dylan Wilkinson was over the fact that in Newburyport’s last two games, individual players Kyle Beal (Rockport) and Cam Keliher (Amesbury) had big games versus the Clippers.  I watched Cam put up a remarkable 44 points and nearly lead Amesbury to a huge upset.

Action on the boards

Triton has now lost twelve straight to Newburyport (by my count).  Last win for the Vikings was in 2015 when Dave Clay was coaching at Triton.

Ten players scored for Newburyport.

Coach Schruender: “We got outplayed by a very good team.  However, I don’t question the heart of our team.  It was a tough win-lose season but that doesn’t change the fact that I had a great group of seniors that I’ll miss a lot.”

Newburyport box

Triton box

The link to this game will be posted on Twitter (mcclellandpeter).  It also should be posted on Mascores.  Pictures from the game will be posted on Instagram (mcclellandmiscellanea) in a day or so.

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Peter Sullivan

Dennis Brendan and Tommy Jahn battle

Jack Fehlner

Kyle Odoy and Jake Robertson

Jared Leonard chased by Adam Bovee

Griffin Dupuis

Dylan Wilkinson (12 points) gets to the rim

Jack Fehlner and Charlie Cahalane pressure Alden Lentz

Andrew Cullen saves a ball going out of bounds

Charlie Cahalane (9 points) eyes the basket

Jake Robertson passes to the perimeter

Nick White finds the camera

Stone Butler

 

 

 

 

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Pentucket notches first win 47-46 versus Triton after eleven lead changes

Dylan Wilkinson falls away after nearly winning the game at the buzzer for Triton

Nick Daly (10 points) had the game-winner for Pentucket

(Byfield MA) Nick Daly’s runner from the right gave Pentucket the lead with three seconds left.

Triton responded with a set play.

It nearly won the game for them at the buzzer.

“Nine out of ten times that shot goes in,” said Pentucket head coach Ed Hickey post-game.  “It was run well, and we were lucky it didn’t work.”

As a result, the relieved Sachems had their first win of the season, 47-46.

“Alden (Lentz) threw a great inbounds lob pass,” recalled Triton coach Ted Schruender of the final play. “Dylan (Wilkinson) came off a nice backscreen by Quintin McHale, but it just didn’t work out.”

It was catch-and-shoot for Dylan and “at a tough angle,” added Coach Hickey.

The Sachems (1-2) managed to lead at the end of every quarter but hardly dominated within each quarter.

Dylan Wilkinson elevates for a chance at a block

There were lead changes in every quarter totaling eleven for the game.  Three happened during the last two minutes of regulation.

Consecutive inside scores by Kyle Odoy, Travis Overbaugh, Quintin McHale, and Nick Dupuis pushed the Vikings ahead, 44-40, with three minutes left in the game.

Pentucket responded with a rebound basket by Michael Perlitch and a three from the right by Nick Daly with 1:47 remaining to retake the lead, 45-44.

After turnovers by both teams, Travis Overbaugh cashed an offensive rebound with eighteen seconds left putting Triton on top, 46-45.

On Pentucket’s final possession, Triton switched to a man-to-man and junior Nick Daly ended up with the ball on the right side with the clock running out.

“I was going to take a three,” explained Nick post-game,” but I saw an opening to get to the hoop.  The shot hit a lot of rim but went in.”

Quintin McHale (12 points) finds a teammate

“I thought that Quintin had great position on that last play,” recalled Triton coach Ted Schruender.  “He (Nick Daly) made a tough shot.  Quintin may have tipped the shot, but it still went in.”

Triton (3-5) had good looks, especially in the first half, but couldn’t make enough shots to gain separation.

Pentucket struggled to get high percentage shots most of the game.

“We played well,” said Coach Schruender, “but they hit shots at the end of the shot clock that were tough shots.”

“Triton caused a lot of turnovers and it got them some easy hoops,” said Coach Hickey.

The Sachems struck from beyond the arc seven times including four times in the first quarter.

Junior Che Condon paced Pentucket with fourteen points including three 3’s. Nick Daly added ten points.

Quintin McHale (12 points) and Dylan Wilkinson (11 points) led Triton.

Travis Overbaugh turns a turnover into two points

Senior Travis Overbaugh had nine points for Triton including two layups off steals in the second half.

Coach Hickey: “Being in quarantine for two weeks really set us back.  We’re getting better and the kids are really working hard.”

Nick Daly: (On the last play) “That last play was close. The pass went over my head and when I looked the shot was falling out.”

Pentucket had six games postponed during their quarantine time.  They are scheduled to play their final five games in an eight-day span.

“We don’t mind the games being packed in at the end,” said Coach Hickey.  “The kids just want to play them.”

Triton box

Pentucket box

The link to this story will be on Twitter @mcclellandpeter.  It should also end up on Mascores.  Pictures should make Instagram @mcclellandmiscellanea.

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Ryan Tedeschi

Che Condon (14 points) defends

Jared Leonard

Quintin McHale and Dylan Wilkinson surround Che Condon

Drew Sullivan (32) and Griffin Dupuis (24)

Travis Overbaugh guards Silas Bucco

Dylan Wilkinson in for two

Kyle Odoy splits Silas Bucco and Nick Daly

Dylan Wilkinson double-teamed

Nick Dupuis in close

Kyle Odoy covered by Kenneth Lee

Alden Lentz set to run the final play for Triton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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