Tag Archives: Ava Hartley

Lynnfield VB sweeps Newburyport

Junior Ella Gizmunt had a big night for the Pioneers
Sarah Foley returns a serve for Lynnfield

(Newburyport MA) Lynnfield seldom loses to Cape Ann League opponents.

And Newburyport had too many unforced errors tonight to change that.

The Pioneers (14-2) took the match, 3-0, winning 25-23, 25-18, and 25-15.

Sydney Yim (now at Purdue) was a dominating player for Newburyport for several years.

Lynnfield now has a similar player in junior Ella Gizmunt.

“I must have done something right to get Ella on my roster,” said Lynnfield coach Brent Ashley with a smile afterwards.

The six-foot Ella finished with nineteen kills, ten digs, and three aces.

Ella Gizmunt (6)

“We had trouble defending her in our back row and when she was hitting from their back row,” said Newburyport coach Lori Solazzo. 

“You have to have blockers against a player like her,” added Coach Solazzo.

But the Clippers (6-10) didn’t do much blocking and the result was an evening with frequent hard-to-handle volleys coming their way.

Newburyport squandered a lead late in the first game and didn’t recover in the last two games.

“We came in strong and then we lost our stamina,” said Coach Solazzo.  “I don’t have an explanation for it.  Lynnfield came back around, and we couldn’t fight them off.”

The Clippers had a 19-14 lead in the first game and forced Coach Ashley to call a timeout.  The Pioneers rallied to tie things at 20-20.  It was still anyone’s game at 23-23.  On the crucial next point, the visitors recovered after hitting the ball into the Newburyport ceiling. The final point was on a serve that the Clippers couldn’t keep in play.

Emma Foley (8)

“We knew that Newburyport would make adjustments after their loss to us earlier in the season,” said Coach Ashley.  “Lori (Solazzo) has done so many new things with their offense and defense.  It took us a while to adjust and figure out what they were doing.”

The slow start tonight didn’t surprise Ella Gizmunt.  “Sometimes we start out slow,” she said.  “That’s been our weakness this season.  The second and third game we were ready to play.  We were excited and got some momentum going.”

The home team went down 10-3 in the second game and 13-4 in the third game.  Credit the Clippers for fighting back in each game but the unforced errors prevented any kind of threatening run.

“We’ve been battling the unforced errors all season,” said Coach Solazzo.  “We talk about it all the time. It’s hard to pull ahead when you have so many of them.”

There were some bright spots for Newburyport.  Sophia Messina had seven kills and Ava Hartley had six kills.  Lauren Kolman recorded four aces.

Ava Hartley

I thought that Sarah Foley (Lynnfield) and Emma Foley (Newburyport) each did a nice job of setting up teammates.

Coach Ashley mentioned that big numbers were turned in by junior Giuliana Guarracino: sixteen digs, seven aces, and four kills.

I asked Ella Gizmunt about her volleyball plans after Lynnfield: “I don’t have any definite college plans yet but I’m certainly looking to keep playing.  I’m talking to a few schools but no names to mention yet.”  Based on what I saw in tonight’s limited sample, I could see her holding her own at the D1 level.

Coach Ashley: “Ella is a fantastic player.  She knows the game so well.  We knew that she was coming into our program when she was in seventh grade.”

Big game ahead for the Pioneers.  On Monday night (October 25th), they will be hosting Ipswich.  The Tigers have only one loss.  They, in fact, shut out Lynnfield in their first meeting.

Ella Gizmunt (6)

Of note is the fact that in the current MIAA power rankings for Volleyball Division 4, Ipswich is first and Lynnfield is second.  Hamilton-Wenham is fourth.

“It will be a great match,” said Coach Solazzo.

“The game with Ipswich is really important,” said Ella.  “We want to get our redemption.”

Coach Solazzo: “We improved from the last time we played Lynnfield.  That was our first and foremost goal today.”

I did some checking on Lynnfield volleyball.  Mascores has their VB stats starting in 2012.  Between 2012 and now, they have been 178-37.  They have been to the state finals or semi-finals six times.

The Pioneers have now won seven of their last eight games.

Newburyport has gone 2-8 since they had a four-game winning streak earlier in the season.

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

Lynnfield wins 14th
Ava Hartley spikes
Anna Rossi at the net
Abby Dwyer
Sarah Foley (10) and Giuliana Guarracino (11)
Lynnfield sets up for a spike
Ella Gizmunt
Emma Foley (8)
Ava Hartley (10) returns
Ella Gizmunt spikes from the second row
Sophia Messina (3) and Grace Davie (4)
Celia Carbone (7) and Lily LeDuc (5)
Emma Foley
Sophia Calle
Anna Rossi
Ella Gizmunt

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Newburyport rallies to defeat Triton 3-1

Sophia Messina had fourteen kills for the Clippers
Clippers break a five-game losing streak

(Byfield MA) Newburyport hadn’t won in over two weeks.

And they were blown out by Triton (25-10) in tonight’s first set.

After that, the Clippers (5-7) managed three straight happy endings to catch a 3-1 win over the Vikings.

The endings, however, weren’t so happy for Triton.

“Those last three games could have gone either way,” lamented Triton coach Bob Van Etten afterwards.

Mia Berardino had nineteen kills

The Vikings (4-7) led 23-22 in the second game, 25-24 in the third game, and 24-21 in the fourth game.  The Clippers were able to rally back each time; 25-23, 27-25, and 26-24.

“I don’t know what it is about Triton,” said Newburyport coach Lori Solazzo post-match, “it’s always a battle.”

Last time the two teams met, it took five games before the Clippers prevailed.

“We always end up having drastic highs and lows against Triton,” said Coach Solazzo.

“The first game was certainly a low, but we worked through it,” she added.

Anna Rossi had six aces

A key to the win was the play of Newburyport junior Sophia Messina who had fourteen kills.

“I switched her to the outside part-way through the set and she made a huge difference for us,” said Coach Solazzo.

“We struggled with our offense the first two sets and Sophia came out and hit well tonight,” explained Coach Solazzo.

“We’re a work in progress,” explained Coach Van Etten.  “We have a lot of new players.”

Two of the Vikings veterans (Mia Berardino and Molly Kimball) carried the team tonight.  Mia had nineteen kills while Molly had twenty-two assists.

Molly Kimball had twenty-two assists

Mia will be playing volleyball for D2 Stonehill next year.

“The team was very welcoming,” said Mia about Stonehill.  “I love the coach.  I’ll be playing at a D2 level in a very competitive conference.”

“We dominated the first set tonight,” recalled Mia, “but Newburyport adjusted.”

One of the “adjustments” was moving Sophia Messina to the outside.

Coach Van Etten noticed another one: “They kept feeding our setter (Molly Kimball) on free balls to take her out of the play.”

When Molly has a chance to set Mia up, good things usually happen for the Vikings.

Ava Hartley

Newburyport’s Ava Hartley is a senior and has seen Mia play numerous times.  “Mia is insane,” laughed Ava.  “You can’t necessarily stop her.  We wanted to keep the ball away from her and on our side.”

Ava did a good job of blocking some of Mia hits and receiving some of her hard serves.

“Coach has been stressing blocking a lot recently,” added Ava.

Ava is hoping to play volleyball at Endicott next year.  “I’ve been talking with the coach,” said Ava, “and things look good.”

Trinity Cole had twelve digs

Triton has now lost three straight, but they are optimistic about the future.

“We have a path to .500,” said Coach Van Etten with seven matches remaining.  “We have a lot of new players but by the end of the season we’re going to be ready to go.  We should make the states.”

Mia was also optimistic.  “I’m really proud of our team,” she said.  “Almost all of the girls were JVs last year.  They are improving and getting better.”

Mia Berardino up to finish

Ava Hartley: “Tonight was important for us mentally so that we know that we have a team.  We’ve had a lot of losses the last couple of weeks.”

Coach Solazzo: “We knew that this would be a rebuilding year, but we do have a lot of talent.  It’s a matter of who plays where and trying to get that magic combination.”

Anna Rossi had six aces for Newburyport while teammate Abby Dwyer had four blocks.

Trinity Cole had twelve digs for Triton and teammate Kendall Liebert had three blocks.

My wife and I are officially back in Amesbury after 3 ½ months in Maine.  Hoping to cover several area games each week.

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

Brianna Welch with blockers Abby Dwyer and Sophia Messina
Molly Kimball (8) sets up Kendall Liebert
Brianna Welch blocks
Sophia Messina up for a big hit
Mia Berardino set to block and Ava Hartley set to spike
Ava Hartley blocks at the net
Mia Berardino spikes and Anna Rossi blocks
Ava Hartley spikes
Emma Foley sets for Newburyport
Abby Dwyer and Emma Campbell

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Filed under Newburyport, Triton

Newburyport runs streak to six with 3-1 win versus North Reading

Clippers celebrate another win
Abigail Gillingham and Sarah Gerber

(Newburyport MA) Six straight wins for Newburyport.

Tonight it was a 3-1 win against North Reading on Senior Night.

“It wasn’t our best effort,” said Clippers coach Lori Solazzo afterwards, “but I’m very happy with the win.”

Newburyport (7-2) has a win against every team in the Cape Ann League except Triton.

A rematch between those two teams is scheduled for Wednesday at Triton.

“I’ll be pretty disappointed if we play like we did last time (3-1 loss) against them,” said Newburyport senior Kate Sarra post-match.

Tonight, the sets went; 25-20, 25-17, 21-25, and 25-12.

“We came out slow tonight,” said NR coach Mike Milone.  “We weren’t clicking together very well and didn’t take advantage of their errors.” NR had won two straight.

Sydney Yim makes a hard hit

In Game One, the Hornets (4-5) trailed the entire game but were close to the lead most of the way.  It was 22-19 late but the Clippers wouldn’t give in.  Sophomore Ava Hartley dropped shots in and served well.

Sydney Yim has been noticeably good in every game I’ve seen her play.  No surprise that she’s in D1 Purdue’s plans in volleyball.

It’s not the big hits, although you see a few of them, it’s the steady diet of consistent play.  Some of her setups were so good that you actually wanted to come out of the stands and take a whack at them!

Tonight Sydney had a good eye for open spaces on the North Reading side that were reached with soft shots.

Sophia Messina

In Game Two, the Hornets started strong (9-8 lead) but then the bottom fell out.  With Kate Sarra serving, Newburyport pulled away, 17-10, and NR couldn’t recover.  Sophomore Sophia Messina finished the match with a neat drop shot. 

The third game was the most exciting.  Things were tied at 8-8 before the Hornets, led by Sarah Gerber, gained separation, 21-10.  Newburyport was down, but not out yet.  The Clippers put seven straight points together and suddenly the NR lead was just 23-21.  But the visitors hung tough and a nice hit by the Hornets Celia Standel was the game winner.

“We may have been too cocky in the third set,” said Kate Sarra.  “We had won two sets and just fell apart at the start of the third one.”

Sydney Yim was key in the decisive 4th game.  She set up teammates, especially Abigail Gillingham, and put away shots herself.  A 16-11 Clippers lead was 25-12 at the end.

“We played with them a while,” said Coach Milone.  “We just weren’t able to keep it up.  We should have been playing like a seasoned team, but we weren’t.”

Sydney Yim and Anna Bryk at the net

“Our energy was good tonight,” said Abigail Gillingham afterwards.  “When we got down in the 3rd game, we picked it back up in the 4th.”

“We got the win, but I thought North Reading was scrappier,” said Coach Solazzo.

Sydney Yim (21 assists), Ava Hartley (9 kills), Abigail Gillingham (7 kills), Laney Lucci (5 digs), and Kate Sarra (5 aces) led the Clippers.

Coach Milone: “Sarah Gerber was good tonight.  Her blocking, hitting, and passing were solid.”

The regular Cape Ann League season ends this week.  There will be a tournament next week although there has been nothing official on how many teams will be in the tournament.  Lynnfield with one loss (to Newburyport) and Newburyport with two losses (Lynnfield & Triton) will certainly be playing in it.

Kate Sarra

Coach Milone: “The season has been short and fast.  I am incredibly excited that our eight seniors have been able to have a season.”

Newburyport’s four seniors (Sydney Yim, Laney Lucci, Abigail Gillingham, Kate Sarra) were honored afterwards.

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

Abigail Gillingham and Anna Bryk
Sarah Gerber sets
Sophia Messina and Viive Godtfredsen with Sarah Gerber
Sydney Yim sets
Anna Bryk spikes
Abigail Gillingham blocks
Ava Hartley
Laney Lucci
Viive Godtfredsen
Anna Bryk and Abby Gerber
Sophia Messina
Team celebrates seniors

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Filed under Newburyport, North Reading