Tag Archives: Abby Gillingham

Newburyport’s fast start enough to defeat Haverhill 47-35

Lindsay Joulbert faces tight defense by Jackie Doucette.

Makenna Ward (14) moves quickly after a Haverhill turnover

(Newburyport MA) Newburyport had the defensive heat on high from the get-go and gained permanent separation early against Haverhill.

The Monday night non-league game was an unsavory 47-35 loss for the Hillies.

“That was not Haverhill basketball you saw out there,” explained a disappointed HHS coach Melissa Tarpy afterwards.  “We didn’t play basic basketball.”

It certainly didn’t help the Hillies (3-6) that Merrimack Valley League All-Star McKayla Dingle was not in uniform.

“We were missing a player but that is no excuse,” added Coach Tarpy.  “Teams step up in those situations and we didn’t.”

The Clippers (6-2) turned full-court man-to-man defense into ten Haverhill turnovers and a nineteen-point first quarter. Haverhill never recovered from the 19-7 deficit.

Sami Cavanaugh covers Kya Burdier (9 points)

“We got turnovers and layups,” said Sami Cavanaugh afterwards.

Sometimes turnovers merely change possession.  The Clippers had the kind that led to points.

“If our defense is strong, everything else is dictated by that,” said Newburyport coach Karen Grutchfield.

“We’ll never win a game with that many turnovers,” added Coach Tarpy.

The home team started the second quarter with two more hoops (Abby Gillingham layup from Sadie Vandenberg, Deirdre McElhinney steal and layin).  The Clippers’ advantage became, 23-7, and had me wondering why I thought this might be a competitive game!

The rest of the way, however, was competitive.  Haverhill outscored Newburyport 28-24 in the remaining twenty-three minutes of action, but the closest the Hillies would get to the lead was, 35-28, in the first minute of the final quarter.

Newburyport immediately answered by getting baskets when, first Makenna Ward, and then Ann Affolter, got the ball in to 6-3 Abby Gillingham on the block.  Abby was able to turn and get consecutive layups against out-sized opponents.

Makenna Ward sends a bounce pass to Abby Gillingham

Abby gets good positioning to receive a pass in close

Abby (14 points) gets a layup

“We have tall forwards,” said Sami.  “It was important to get the ball in to them because Haverhill couldn’t match up with them.”

Kya Burdier set to block Sami Cavanaugh’s shot

Sami added two free throws to run the Clippers consecutive-point total to six and boosted their margin to thirteen (41-28).  The NHS defense kept Haverhill from getting inside of double figures over the final five minutes.

The Clippers had one turnover in the breakaway first quarter but fifteen more (by my count) after that.  “We turned the ball over a lot,” said Coach Grutchfield, “and that helped them get back into the game.”

Against North Reading, last Wednesday, the Clippers struggled to get the ball inside without losing possession.  Much better job tonight.

Neither team did themselves any favors at the free throw line; Newburyport (8/18) & Haverhill (9/26).

Senior Leandra Kwo led HHS with thirteen points.  Sophomore Kya Burdier added nine points.

Deirdre McElhinney (9 points) looks to pass

Abby Gillingham (14 points) led all scorers.  A jumper from the corner was part of her collection of points.  Freshman Deirdre McElhinney added nine points including a triple.

Coach Grutchfield: “We have good depth.  We did a good job of getting the ball inside to Abby.  It was good to see Makenna (Ward) looking for her shot tonight.”

Coach Tarpy: “It was probably one of the worst games we’ve played defensively.  We’ve got more than half the season left.  We will also face Newburyport again.”

Haverhill is a D1 team from the Merrimack Valley Conference.  The Hillies had their best season in sixteen years last year when they were 16-6 and won a tournament game.  Haverhill was 17-62 in the four seasons before last year.

Kya Burdier was All-MVC last season.  Leandra Kwo was an Lawrence Eagle-Tribune All-Star in the same season.

Newburyport box

Haverhill box

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

Abby Gillingham sets a screen for Sami Cavanaugh

Anna Affolter

Christina Firek

Deirdre McElhinney drives right

Opening tip

Sami Cavanaugh

Sami Cavanaugh gets by Haley Phillips

Carli Quinlan

fight for possession

Jackie Doucette

Kya Burdier in for two

On the floor

 

 

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Triton volleyball sweeps Newburyport 3-0 in rematch

Colleen McCarthy (5), Mia Berardino (13), and Caitie Rooney (15) had big games for Triton

Newburyport seniors honored before the match

(Newburyport MA) Call it the curse of Senior Night if you will.

The Clippers celebrated their seniors and then lost three straight sets to rival Triton on Monday night in Cape Ann League volleyball.

“It was extremely disappointing,” said NHS coach Lori Solazzo afterwards.  “We didn’t come out the way we usually do.”

Evelyn Pearson

The Vikings (4-12) took advantage of Newburyport subpar play in game one as they broke an 8-8 tie with ten straight points.  Evelyn Pearson was the server for Triton during the run.  Caitie Rooney tipped in several winners for the Vikings. The Clippers (4-13) lost the first set, 25-12.

The second set was much more competitive after Triton raced off 22-14.  Paige Volpone and Colleen McCarthy paced the Vikings to what looked like a comfortable spread.  But sophomore Abby Gillingham served the home team into contention and forced a Triton timeout.  The Clippers would get to within a point (24-23) on big plays by Melaina Lucci and Sydney Yim.  The visitors nailed down the final point after a lengthy, exciting volley to grab the second set 25-23.

Sophomore server Sydney Yim carried the Clippers to leads of 10-4 and 21-13 in the third set.

Abby Gillingham up to block

“We didn’t give up even though down 21-13 in the third set,” recalled Triton coach Bob Van Etten.  “We just picked away and came back and took it.”

The Vikings put nine unanswered points together and after a Colleen McCarthy winner led, 22-21.  An Abby Gillingham block gave Newburyport the serve with a 24-23 deficit but again after a long volley the Vikings gained the point they needed to win the set and the match.

Viking captain Caitie Rooney was excited about the win.  “A win over Port is always a big win.  Everyone stepped up especially Mia (Berardino), Evelyn (Pearson), and Colleen (McCarthy).  Those were our hitters and they played like out of the park tonight.”

Coach Van Etten: “It was very much a team effort but Caitie Rooney had an outstanding match.”

Coach Solazzo: “We let them in several times, point by point.  Volleyball is such a team sport that you have to trust that your teammate will be where they’re supposed to be.  Once that trust gets lost it gets into your head and you fall apart a little.”

Caitie Rooney serves

The Vikings and the Clippers met previously on October 1st.  Triton took that one 3-1.  “It was a close match that could have gone either way,” recalled Coach Van Etten.

Newburyport is in its second season of volleyball.  Last year the brand-new Clippers finished 1-15.  Their win?  The last game of the season against Triton.  Excited?  “It was a five-set match and it was like winning the World Series for us,” said Coach Solazzo.

Full disclosure.  This was the first volleyball game I have ever covered.  If you’re looking for digs, reception errors etc., you’ve come to the wrong place.  Even taking pictures was a challenge because the game is very fast, and the players closest had their backs to me.  It was an adventure for sure, but I enjoyed it.

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

Triton wins the match

Triton wins a set

Abby Gillingham blocks

Caitie Rooney

Clippers coach Lori Solazzo

Colleen McCarthy

Colleen McCarthy serves

Jess Rosseau (8)

Julianne Heath

Julia Vachon (9) blocks Linda Freeman (26)

Julia Vachon

Kalli Doyle and Grace Shelley

Maggie Bowen

Paige Volpone

Senior Skylar Sneider

Sydney Yim (15), Melaina Lucci (5), and Abby Gillingham (15)

 

 

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