Tag Archives: Coach Lori Solazzo

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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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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